College News (Spring 2018) - Montreat College
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David Bruce

July 1, 2017

Dr. David Bruce, longtime executive assistant to Rev. Billy Graham and Montreat College board member since 2015, became the college’s new Board of Trustees chair. Dr. Bruce served as executive assistant to Rev. Billy Graham for the past 19 years. He also serves as president of Graham’s Blue Ridge Broadcasting ministry and has been a part of Graham’s ministries for over 25 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and his M.Div. and D.Min. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Bruce previously served on the boards of the Mission Hospital Foundation and Asheville Christian Academy, and he currently serves on the boards of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Gaither Hall

July 10, 2017

Montreat College was named one of America’s “Best Colleges for Your Money 2017” by Money magazine. Only 23 of North Carolina’s 48 colleges and universities made Money’s list, and Montreat College was ranked 8th among those schools. Only one of the institutions in the UNC system ranked higher than Montreat. Money magazine ranks colleges based on 27 measures of educational quality, affordability, and alumni success. The rankings also take into account how many low-income students each school has propelled into the middle class, a measure which, according to the magazine, points to “colleges that help students achieve the American dream.”

Man and woman in Montreat College Exercise Science center

April 19, 2017

Montreat College achieved the highest degree-seeking enrollment on its traditional campus on record in the school’s 101-year history, both for new students and overall enrollment. Overall degree-seeking enrollment on Montreat’s traditional campus was 520, up from the record of 477 achieved the previous year. The college welcomed 174 first- time freshmen, also the highest number on record, outpacing the previous year’s record freshmen class of 167. The college welcomed 52 new transfer students, bringing overall new student enrollment to 226, eclipsing the previous record of 218 new students achieved in 2015. An additional 61 non-degree-seeking students brought the headcount to 581 students on the traditional campus. In addition, Montreat College’s School of Adult and Graduate Studies enrolled 336 students in Asheville, Charlotte, Morganton, and online, 176 undergraduate students and 160 graduate students, bringing the grand total to 917 students attending Montreat College.

Britten Olinger in a wheelchair, with a dog

September 1, 2017

Just over six months after a tragic car accident in which he nearly died, Britten Olinger returned to work at Montreat College as assistant track and field coach. In his new role, Olinger’s responsibilities include coaching and training long, triple, and high jumpers, recruitment of new students for the track & field program, home meet management, coordination of meet officials, and administrative leadership for home events. On September 24, 2017, Olinger and his family were able to move back into their Black Mountain house for the first time since the accident. The move-in was made possible by a complete rehabilitation—including wheelchair accessibility—undertaken by a team of volunteers. And on September 26, 2017, Olinger and his wife, Samantha, and their daughter, Kolbie, welcomed a new baby boy, Easton, into their family.

Five people holding a certificate

September 5, 2017

Montreat College announced that it has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Montreat College is the first member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) to receive this designation and just the 4th four-year school in North Carolina. According to the notification from the NSA and DHS, “[Montreat College’s] ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure… Like all nations, the United States has a compelling interest in defending its vital national assets, as well as our core principles and values, and we are committed to defending against those who would attempt to impede our ability to do so. Education is the key to promoting these ideals.”

Paul Maurer

September 20, 2017

Montreat College announced that President Paul J. Maurer has been named to serve on the National CyberWatch Center’s Curriculum Standards Panel. In his role, President Maurer will represent Montreat College as it continues to develop its role as a national leader in cybersecurity education, helping to shape the standards and priorities for the teaching of cybersecurity in American institutions of higher education. The National CyberWatch Center is a consortium of higher education institutions, public and private schools, businesses, and government agencies focused on collaborative efforts to advance cybersecurity education and strengthen the national cybersecurity workforce.

Three people holding trophies

October 10, 2017

Montreat College announced that it had been named a Gold-level Champions of Character Five-Star Institution for 2016-17 by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). While Montreat has an impressive record of being named a Champions of Character institution in recent years, this was the first time the college has achieved Gold-level status, ranking among the top 66 NAIA schools in the country. In determining Champions of Character schools, the NAIA measures institutions on their demonstrated commitment to fostering character development within athletics. Schools earn points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition, and character promotion.

Speaker at Retr3at Cybersecurity Conference

October 27, 2017

Montreat College hosted its 3rd annual RETR3AT Cybersecurity Conference. RETR3AT is designed to engage, educate, and raise awareness about cybersecurity in Western North Carolina and beyond. 2017’s RETR3AT keynote speaker was U.S. Department of Energy Chief Information Officer Max Everett. Other speakers at the conference included Bank of America Senior Vice President for Information Security Amy Braswell, FBI Special Agent Brian Cyprian, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Director Rodney Peterson, Ally Bank Information Security & Risk Management Executive Keith Gordon, CVS Senior Director of Information Security Casey Marquette, CounterHack Founder Ed Skoudis, and Tenable Network Security Director of Business Development Chris Cleary. 307 guests attended the conference, up from 169 in 2016 and 77 in 2015.

Woman studying

February 14, 2018

Montreat College announced that its Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program has received accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CMHC degree program is offered at Montreat College’s campuses in Asheville, Charlotte, and Morganton.


Skye Jethani poses with a student

March 20 and 21, 2018

Montreat College hosted Skye Jethani as its Calvin Thielman Lecture Series speaker. Jethani is an author, speaker, consultant, and ordained pastor. He also serves as the co-host of the popular Phil Vischer Podcast, a weekly show that blends astute cultural and theological insights with comical conversation. Between 2004 and 2015, Jethani occupied numerous roles at Christianity Today, including managing and senior editor of Leadership Journal and as the director of mission advancement. He was also the senior producer of “This Is Our City,” a multi-year, multi-city project telling the stories of Christians working for the common good of their communities. He has also authored numerous books and curates the “With God Daily” devotional, a subscription-based daily email designed to help a smartphone generation begin the day with God. ■



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