BJU Public Relations

The official PR blog for Bob Jones University

" June 2014 "

Mellinger Selected for NRB’s Distinguished Oxford Scholars Program

Dawn MellingerGREENVILLE, S.C. (June 25, 2014) – National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) recently selected Dawn Mellinger of Denver, Pennsylvania as one of six college students to participate in a two-week study abroad trip to Jesus College in the heart of Oxford University.

Mellinger, a senior journalism and mass communication major at Bob Jones University, will participate in the Oxford method “one on one” tutorials (research and writing) with a distinguished scholar. During the study, Mellinger will complete four essays in either communication, film, theology, ethics or philosophy.

“Dawn has done superb work in our program here at BJU, and we are very proud of her acceptance as an NRB Oxford Distinguished Scholar,” said Dr. Darren Lawson, Dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication at Bob Jones University. “We know this experience will greatly enhance her current studies and future career.”

The study tour will be led by NRB President and CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson. The tour will also be joined by Dr. Harold Rawlings, an expert on the history of the English Bible, and Bill Blount, NRB Board Chairman.

BJU Responds to Al Jazeera America Report

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 19, 2014) –Bob Jones University released the following statement regarding the Al Jazeera America story which aired on June 17, 2014. It may be attributed to Randy Page, director of public relations at BJU:

“Caring for our students and alumni is of utmost concern. Rape, abuse and neglect are not the fault of any victim. Those who perpetuate these horrific crimes bear full responsibility for their actions and should be prosecuted.

Believing that all forms of abuse and neglect are abhorrent, Bob Jones University embarked on a program in 2011 to review and improve our response to students who report abuse. In subsequent months we have updated policies, implemented awareness training, appointed a full-time abuse counselor, and appointed an ombudsman to review our policies and past responses to abuse. It is our desire to continue to serve and improve our care for the hurting and abused.”

Darrin Hassevoort Named Dean of Fine Arts and Humanities at Chattanooga State

hassevoortCongratulations to Bob Jones University alumnus Darrin Hassevoort. Hassevoort, a resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was recently named Dean of Fine Arts and Humanities at Chattanooga State.  Hassevoort earned a BMus in Voice in 1994 and a MMus in Voice Performance in 1996 from BJU. Congratulations, Dean Hassevoort!

Mark Vowels Talks About Discipleship and Church Planting with Janet Mefferd

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 10, 2014) – Mark Vowels, who serves as a professor at Bob Jones University, recently spoke with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Janet Mefferd about discipleship and church planting. During the June 6th broadcast, their conversation centered on Vowels’ blog post from the School of Religion blog.

BJU President Steve Pettit Named Distinguished Citadel Alumnus

BJU President Steve Pettit

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 9, 2014) – The Citadel Alumni Association recently named BJU President Steve Pettit, a 1978 business administration graduate of The Citadel, as a Distinguished Citadel Alumnus.

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, has alumni dating to 1842. According to The Citadel Alumni Association, Steve Pettit is the 142nd alumnus to meet the strict written criteria and also receive the unanimous vote of the Distinguished Citadel Alumni Election Committee necessary to be selected for this prestigious honor.

While nearly all colleges and universities have established public lists of their accomplished alumni, The Citadel Distinguished Alumni Committee strongly believes their strict adherence to specific established written criteria and the requirement that all nine members voting alone without consultation reach the same conclusion for selection, uniquely elevates this list above the rest.

Contributions to the college and honorary positions are not considered as each selectee is judged solely on the merit of one’s achievements and, most importantly, whether the cornerstone of a Citadel education—Honor—has been displayed by the selectee.

Pettit was elected president of Bob Jones University by the BJU Board of Trustees on May 8 and began serving May 10. An installation service is scheduled for September.

Michael Simmons Named Outstanding District Level Support Staff of the Year

Burke Royster (L) presents award to Michael Simmons

Greenville County Schools Superintendent Burke Royster (L) presents award to Michael Simmons

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 5, 2014) – Michael Simmons, a 1985 graduate of Bob Jones University, was  named Outstanding District Level Support Staff of the Year by the South Carolina PTA.  His award was announced at a recent Salute to Education banquet where numerous awards were given by Greenville County Schools, Greenville Federal Credit Union and South Carolina PTA.

Simmons, a resident of Travelers Rest, serves as Webmaster for Greenville County Schools.

Jason Warren Named School Administrator of the Year

JasonWarrenGREENVILLE, S.C. (June 4, 2014) – Jason Warren, a 1998 graduate of Bob Jones University, was recently named School Administrator of the Year by the Greenville County School District (GCSD).

The school district, in conjunction with Greenville Federal Credit Union, announced the award at a recent Salute to Education banquet. In addition to the School Administrator of the Year award, five other awards were presented.

Warren, a resident of Simpsonville, served as principal of Beck Academy and will begin serving as principal of Greenville High Academy this fall.

According to the GCSD, “Jason has created an environment at Beck that encourages teachers to work together to provide high-quality instruction and assessments. He can often be seen in the halls talking and listening to students, and in turn, encouraging them to strive for excellence. He has made it possible for students to enjoy the Forensics Team and Youth in Government programs. The school’s phone app, new logo, and parent newsletter have all received state-level awards.”

Leisa Artus Named District Professional Employee of the Year

LeisaArtusGREENVILLE, S.C. (June 4, 2014) – Leisa Artus, a 1986 graduate of Bob Jones University, was recently named District Professional Employee of the Year by the Greenville County School District (GCSD).

The school district, in conjunction with Greenville Federal Credit Union, announced the award at a recent Salute to Education banquet. In addition to the District Professional Employee of the Year award, five other awards were presented.

Artus, a resident of Greer, serves as the Social Media and Creative Services Specialist for district’s communications department

According to the GCSD, “Leisa’s expertise is highly sought after by principals, department heads, webmasters, and administrators. She inherently understands how to create graphics that explain complex ideas in an easy to understand format. She supports her team and is reliable, professional, creative, intuitive, and ethical. Leisa has been a key player in many district projects that have received state and national recognition. She engages the district’s social media audience with interactive stories and graphics.”

BJU Bruins Golfer Clay Wiginton Nearly Makes the Cut at PGA Qualifying Tournament

ClayWigintonGREENVILLE, S.C. (June 3, 2014) – The Bob Jones University Bruins golf program has made tremendous strides in their first season of competition. Clay Wiginton was a standout player for the Bruins this season. On Friday, Wiginton took his talents to new heights as he competed in the qualifying tournament for the FED EX St. Jude Classic, a PGA tour event held in Memphis, Tennessee. Wiginton was among the field of over 200 golfers competing in the event. Making it through the first-round cut would mean scoring in the top 40. Wiginton was riding momentum as he had shot a personal best 66 round in a practice round earlier in the week.
The conditions would prove to be a tough obstacle as rain and wind made for difficult play. Wiginton began the round by making several good shots, but conditions made would-be birdies into pars and bogies. The highlight of the round came on the 9th hole as Wiginton sent his second shot 6 feet from the hole. He would make the birdie putt to gain momentum heading into the back nine. “It was very wet the whole day so the course played very very long,” Wiginton said. “I played the round with a pro golfer and another amateur trying to qualify like me. Overall, it was very tough conditions and no part of my game was working.”

Wiginton finished the round with a score of 80. This placed him at 43rd, just shy of making the top 40 cut. “Going into the tournament I was really hoping to advance but would have had to shoot around par to do so,” Wiginton said. “While that didn’t happen it was still an awesome experience.This tournament really got me excited for fall golf. I really want to go out and have a great fall season with the Bruins.”

Even during the offseason, Bruins golfers continue training to improve. “I was so thrilled when Clay took the initiative in the off-season to participate in such a highly competitive event just to sharpen his skills,” Bruins’ golf coach Dennis Scott said. “An experience like this for our Bruins golfers is tremendous. It provides a high level of competition, but also gives great exposure to the Bruins golf program. On top of the experience and the exposure, these events give them an opportunity to reflect Christ on a platform that is highly visible. Clay has been a great example of Christ-like character, excellence, initiative, hard work, and integrity.”

The Bruins golf team begins their second year of competition this fall.

This post was originally written by BJU Bruins Sports Information Director Jonny Gamet and appeared on