Belmont University officially cut the ribbon celebrating the grand opening of a new $87 million multi-functional complex on Saturday, Aug. 22. Named in honor of longtime trustee and Bridges to Belmont Endowed Scholarship creators, the new R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center will house the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, the media studies program and a vibrant new 950-seat cafeteria. The 1:25 ceremony start time marked the University’s 125th Anniversary celebration during the 2015-16 academic year.
The building will include a Multipurpose Media Focus Lab/Entertainment Industry Research Center to study audience reaction, interaction with media technologies and consumer consumption. Area includes one-way windows for observation and media control. Additionally, music history display cases which will initially house a selection from Dr. T.B. Boyd’s private guitar collection, “Breaking Boundaries: R.H. Boyd Publishing and the Influence of African American Music.” The collection represents more than 50 years of African American music with instruments signed by such legends as Dr. Bobby Jones, CeCe Winans and Isaac Hayes.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “From top to bottom, this building reflects innovation, excellence and a strong commitment to setting our students up for success. Our Curb College and media studies majors will be privileged to work with equipment and in settings that meet or exceed industry standards, preparing them to not simply achieve their career goals but to lead their respective industries. It’s only appropriate that we should name this building in honor of a man who is at the forefront of his industry and a couple who generously support education with their time, energy and resources.”
HCA Chairman and CEO Milton Johnson said, “Belmont is a world-class learning environment experiencing tremendous growth, and it is a privilege for Denice and me to be a part of the school’s tradition of excellence. This new center will help Belmont provide its students with the technology and other resources needed to become the best in their fields, while also enhancing campus life for all students.”