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News 2019

Belmont College Holds Heritage Tree and Emeritus Ceremony

St. Clairsville, OH (October 24, 2019) — In recognition of their dedication and commitment to Belmont College, two individuals were awarded high honors at the October 24thHonors Reception held at Belmont College’s Academic Technical Center in St. Clairsville, Ohio.


“Our honorees were chosen in acknowledgement of their unique contributions and long history with Belmont College,” said Mrs. Elizabeth Gates, Board of Trustees Chairperson. “They have all served in different capacities by devoting their time and excellent work to the college and our students.”


Dr. Rebecca Kurtz, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Engagement; R.J. Konkoleski, Vice President of Advancement and Marketing; and Mrs. Janet Jacobs, Foundation Board Chairperson.

The Heritage Tree Award is presented to individuals who have helped to shape Belmont College through their leadership efforts and steadfast dedication. Receiving this distinguished award for devotion to the college was Dr. Rebecca Kurtz, of Wheeling, West Virginia and Mrs. Janet Jacobs of Cadiz, Ohio.


“As members of our local community and friends of Belmont College, our honorees have dedicated their resources in support of our students, programs and initiatives,” Gates continued.


Dr. Rebecca Kurtz, retired from Belmont College in 2018 with 22 years of service. At the time of her retirement she was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Engagement. During her time at the college, Dr. Kurtz was instrumental in overseeing many important transitions and successes for Belmont including: expanding course offerings in Monroe and Harrison Counties, supporting the Belmont College Foundation, gaining community college status, and the college’s transition from quarters to semesters. Dr. Kurtz was also active in Belmont’s rebranding process as well as changing the college name from Belmont Technical College to Belmont College. Additionally, she helped to design the college’s state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center.


Moreover, Mrs. Janet Jacobs, Foundation Board Chairperson, was also acknowledged with the Heritage Tree Award. Over the past 15 years, she has worked diligently to support the mission of the Foundation helping to raise funds for the enhancement of the college’s programs, image and effectiveness as an institution, and to provide assistance to students in meeting the ever-increasing costs of a college education.


In 2011, she helped coordinate the very first Thomas R. Dowler Golf Scramble, an annual event, which to date has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars to support the college. Now retired after a 40-year career with PNC Bank, Janet resides in Cadiz, Ohio. During her time at PNC, she worked almost every position in the bank, retiring as an Executive Vice President and a Regional Manager serving Belmont, Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson, Holmes, Columbiana and Tuscarawas.


In presenting her award, Mr. Vince Gallagher, Foundation Board Secretary said “Tonight we celebrate Janet and honor her for her commitment to Belmont College and to our Foundation. She is generous with her time, dedication and support of the college and it is because of people such as Janet that we have so much to celebrate.”


A symbolic tree with engraved leaves adorns a prominent spot in Dowler Hall Lobby to showcase the names of the current honorees and those who previously received the distinction. Inductee’s names are etched on the tree as a permanent reminder of their individual commitment to the creation, growth and development of Belmont College’s heritage.


Additionally, the notable designation of Emeritus was bestowed upon Dr. Rebecca Kurtz, retired Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Engagement.


The Emeritus designation is an honorary title given to retired faculty, staff and board members in recognition of admirable service to the college and its students.


Dr. Kurtz received the title Vice President Emeritus for her many years of service and dedication to Belmont College. For more than two decades, Dr. Kurtz has supported Belmont College and enriched the lives of countless students. She joined Belmont College in 1996 as Assistant Dean of Instructions for Health and Public Services. She later became Dean of Program Coordination and then Dean of Learning. Over the years, Dr. Kurtz held many titles, as she was promoted to Vice President of Learning and Student Success, Chief Academic Officer, and later to Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. In 2015, Dr. Kurtz advanced to the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Learning, and was later named Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Engagement in 2017. Dr. Kurtz was named Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Engagement from 2017 until her retirement in December 2018.


Ms. Stacey Cannon, Learning & Student Success Coordinator, presented Dr. Kurtz with her award. “It is a privilege and a pleasure to honor Dr. Rebecca Kurtz with a leaf on the Heritage Tree, as well as to bestow upon her the title of Vice President Emeritus,” she said.“I’ve often been asked what it was like working for Dr. Kurtz.  She was very demanding but also very fair and appreciative. There was no one else in the college that I would have rather worked for.”


“The Heritage Tree and Emeritus honorees deserve high recognition for their devotion to our institution and our students,” said President Dr. Paul Gasparro. “They are a representation of the dedication that they have given to our students over the years. It is an honor to have had these individuals as a part of Belmont College, and recognize them for the influence they have had on generations of our students.”


A reception was held following the ceremony to celebrate the inductees.


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