BJU Public Relations

The official PR blog for Bob Jones University

" October 2017 "

Alicha M. Grubb Joins Gentry Locke Commercial Litigation Group

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 19, 2017) – Dr. Alicha M. Grubb, a 2013 Bob Jones University graduate, recently joined the Virginia law firm of Gentry Locke as a Commercial Litigation associate in their Roanoke office, helping clients resolve their business disputes.

Grubb previously served as a law clerk at the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court of Virginia, where she researched criminal and civil motions before the Circuit Court; advised on facts, legal precedent and probable case outcomes; and assisted on large projects, such as editing the Virginia Model Jury Instructions. She also previously held roles at the Roanoke County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Grubb earned her BA cum laude from Bob Jones University and studied abroad in Hermosillo, Sonora, and Mexico City, Mexico. She earned her JD from Wake Forest University School of Law, where she was recognized as the highest-ranking oralist on the Wake Forest Jessup International Law Moot Court team, received a CALI Award for trial practice, and was also honored with the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Award.

Grubb belongs to the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy and the Black Law Student Association, and has donated significant time to a variety of pro bono initiatives. In addition to her legal practice, Grubb, who speaks fluent Spanish, volunteers with Blue Ridge Literacy and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

With more than 55 lawyers operating in a range of disciplines from offices in Roanoke and Lynchburg, Gentry Locke serves clients in Virginia and across the U.S., as well as worldwide as a member firm of the ALFA International Legal Network.

Andrew Carter Serves as Intern for Bob Jones University

Andrew Carter

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 16, 2017) – Andrew Carter, a senior engineering major at Bob Jones University, serves as an intern this semester in the BJU public relations office.

Carter, a resident of Greenville, South Carolina, is gaining experience by assisting with media monitoring, writing press releases, conducting social media research, and working with event management.

“I am very excited to apply and grow my skills in the area of public relations,” says Carter. “This internship will give me experience beyond the scope of my major and is one of many great opportunities BJU has provided for me these past three years.”

Candace Burkett Wins Several Awards at Christian Film Festival

Candace Burkett

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 18, 2017) – Candace Burkett, a 2017 graduate of Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Cinema Production, recently won numerous awards for her senior film project, Shaped by God, at the Christian Film Festival in Newport News, Virginia.

Held on the last Saturday of each month, the Christian Film Festival (CFF) showcases Christian movies, music videos, cartoons, documentaries, educational films, and scripts, and recognizes the creators of those projects.

“We are thrilled that once again one of our cinema graduates has been recognized by the Christian Film Festival,” said Dr. Darren Lawson, dean of BJU’s School of Fine Arts and Communication. “Candace’s documentary tells a truly inspiring story and we are very excited that her hard work has been acknowledged in this way.”

Burkett, a resident of Greenville, Mississippi, won Best Student Film, Best Movie Poster, Best Student Film Fan Favorite, and the Inspire Award. In addition, Burkett’s film was awarded Best Producer for the work done by Christopher Zydowicz and Sharyn Robertson, both Cinema Production professors at BJU.

Shaped by God is a documentary about Michael Furchert, a man who kept his Christian faith under a communist regime. The film tells the story of Furchert growing up in communist East Germany, the many trials he faced because of his Christian faith, and how God used those trials in his life to shape him into a stronger vessel for His service. Furchert is now a Christian inspirational speaker and pianist who speaks in ministries across the nation about God’s work in his life.

Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant to Speak at Bob Jones University

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 17, 2017) – The Bob Jones University Public Policy Organization will host South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant for a forum Monday, October 23 at 6 p.m. in Levinson Hall.

Zach Heltsley, President of the BJU Public Policy Organization, said, “We are pleased to host Lt. Governor Bryant to give our students and the greater Greenville community an opportunity to hear from him about the critical issues facing our state.”

A native of Anderson, Bryant earned a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Georgia in 1989. Since then, Bryant has managed, with his brothers and father, Bryant Pharmacy & Supply, an independent pharmacy located in Anderson.

Bryant is married to the former Ann Barinowski of Augusta, Georgia, and they have three children. They are members of Concord Community Church where Bryant has served as deacon. Bryant has also served on the Board of Directors for Camp Hope, a Christian youth camp, where he commits 1 week each year to serve as activities director there.

In 2004, Bryant was elected to the South Carolina State Senate, where he served for twelve years.  As a member of the State Senate, he chaired the General Committee and also had committee assignments on Agriculture and Natural Resources; Corrections and Penology; Finance; and Labor, Commerce, and Industry.

Following the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster, Bryant was elected President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina State Senate before being sworn in as South Carolina’s ninety-second Lieutenant Governor on January 25, 2017.  In his role as Lieutenant Governor, Bryant serves as President of the South Carolina Senate and oversees the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging.

Following his presentation, Bryant will hold a question and answer session. The forum is free and open to the public.


David Kim to Host Masterclass; Mark Reformation Anniversary at BJU

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 16, 2017) — Violinist David Kim will return to Bob Jones University October 18-20 for a teaching residency in the Division of Music. In addition to coaching students in the school’s orchestral program and teaching private lessons, Kim will hold a masterclass and perform an all-Bach concert marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with the University Chamber Orchestra and Chorale.

Kim is the concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra, a position he has held since 1999.

“We’ve been able to collaborate with Mr. Kim for four years now,” said Dr. Michael Moore, conductor of the BJU Symphony Orchestra. “We’re particularly excited to do an all-Bach concert with him this year.”

The concert will open with a performance of Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 under Kim’s leadership after which he will step into the role of soloist for the Violin Concerto in E Major. The evening will conclude with the Reformation Cantata No. 80 “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” under the direction of Moore, with Kim in the concertmaster chair again.

The masterclass will be held Wednesday, October 18, from 4:30-6 p.m. and the Reformation Concert will be held Friday, October 20, at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. They will be held in War Memorial Chapel on the BJU campus.

Denyce Graves to Perform at Bob Jones University

Denyce Graves

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 16, 2017) – World-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves will perform at Bob Jones University’s Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium Thursday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m.

“We are thrilled to host Denyce Graves here at BJU,” said Dr. Darren Lawson, dean of BJU’s School of Fine Arts and Communication. “We invite the Greenville community to join us for this truly spectacular performance by such an acclaimed vocal artist.”

Recognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars, Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents.

Graves has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila. Other noteworthy roles include the title role in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner in the world premiere performances at Michigan Opera Theater, the role of Charlotte in Werther for Michigan Opera Theater opposite Andrea Bocelli in his first staged operatic performances, and the role of Judith in a William Friedkin production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the Los Angeles Opera.

Graves has also performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Teatro Real in Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and the Festival Maggio Musicale in Florence.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the BJU Programs and Productions box office at (864) 770-1372.

Kathy Tovrea Named to 2017 Aramark Ring of Stars Class


Kathy Tovrea

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 16, 2017) –  Kathy Tovrea of Bob Jones University Dining joins 200 of Aramark’s outstanding team members from around the world who have been named to the company’s 2017 Ring of Stars class. This milestone accomplishment was recognized by Aramark during an exclusive celebration earlier this month.

“With 46 years at Bob Jones University under her belt, Kathy excels at customer service,” said Brent Wustman, General Manager for Aramark at Bob Jones University. “She knows every student’s name and attends their concerts, shows and games. She was the first Aramark team member to receive the President’s Award from BJU President Steve Pettit after being nominated by the students.”

 Aramark’s Ring of Stars program is comprised of frontline employees who proudly serve the company’s customers and consumers as chefs, cashiers, hawkers, servers, route drivers, custodians and many others. They work diligently wherever people learn, work, play and recover – including schools and universities, hospitals, sports venues, on delivery routes and in businesses of all kinds.

“These dedicated, talented, and incredibly hard-working Service Stars are the very foundation of Aramark,” said Eric J. Foss, Aramark’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re a people business and every day, these colleagues bring to life our mission to Enrich and Nourish Lives, always demonstrating their commitment to our clients, consumers, communities and to Aramark. I am extraordinarily proud of each of them and humbled by their example.”

This year’s class was selected from more than 1,000 nominations from 20 countries around the world where Aramark operates. The Ring of Stars winners receive an all-expenses paid trip for them and a guest of their choice to attend a special program honoring them in Phoenix, Arizona. Each honoree receives a special gold ring to commemorate their achievement and will also enjoy entertainment and activities throughout the four-day event that is designed especially for them.

In addition, their stories and photos will be showcased permanently in Aramark’s Hall of Stars at its global headquarters in Philadelphia.

Winners were nominated by co-workers, managers and business leaders and are selected for demonstrating excellence in living Aramark’s core values, delivering greatness at the moment of truth, innovating the everyday and demonstrating a high degree of involvement in the communities they serve. The program was inaugurated in 2015.


BJU Concert Choir to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Concert Choir

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 11, 2017) – The Bob Jones University Concert Choir, one of BJU’s upper-level choirs, will perform at historic Carnegie Hall in New York City June 17, 2018.

Dr. Eliezer Yanson, associate professor of music at BJU and director of the Concert Choir, will serve as guest conductor. This is Yanson’s second invitation to Carnegie Hall as he performed there with the University Singers, BJU’s freshman-level choir, in May 2015.

“I’m honored and thrilled to appear at Carnegie Hall again, this time as a guest conductor with the BJU Concert Choir,” said Yanson. “I’m thankful for the invitation extended to me by MidAmerica Productions to lead over 120 singers and for this incredible opportunity for the Concert Choir.”

The BJU choir will join other guest choirs, soloists, and a professional orchestra to perform the Mozart Te Deum, Shubert Mass No. 4 in C, and Arise, Shine! by Greenville composer and BJU graduate Dan Forrest.

The Concert Choir is raising up to $58,000 to cover the extensive travel and lodging expenses.

Donations are tax-deductible and may be sent to: Advancement Office – Bob Jones University, 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC, 29614. Checks can be made payable to Bob Jones University (memo line: “Concert Choir Carnegie Hall Performance”).

BJU Celebrates Homecoming and Family Weekend

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 9, 2017) — Bob Jones University invites the Greenville community to Homecoming and Family Weekend Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 12 to 14, on the BJU campus.

“Homecoming and Family Weekend is a university-wide event that introduces student and alumni families and the Greenville community to today’s BJU,” said President Steve Pettit. “This three-day celebration allows us to build relationships, foster long-held university traditions, and reflect on what God is doing at BJU.”

Activities on Thursday include a golf outing, a Homecoming Concert featuring the Symphonic Wind Band, and a Classroom Connection, allowing guests to experience a variety of BJU’s academic programs.

Friday’s events include campus tours, an author talk and book signing, a college success seminar, the Bruins Family Game Show, and Twenty Eight Steps, a Reformation play. The Bruins women’s volleyball team will play Johnson and Wales University Friday evening at 7 in the Davis Field House.

Saturday’s activities begin with the Bruin Nation 5k Family Race and the second annual U.Day, a family-friendly educational street fair on BJU’s front campus. The Museum & Gallery Maker’s Market will be open throughout the day, featuring a variety of handmade art, crafts and designs by BJU graduates, faculty and students.

President Steve Pettit and administrators will update guests on current university initiatives in Stratton Hall at 11 a.m., followed by a question and answer session.

Other events that morning/afternoon include a variety of youth sports clinics, several affinity reunions, and a Patch the Pirate Concert at 2 p.m.

Intercollegiate soccer kicks off at 4 p.m. when the women’s team faces off against Trinity Baptist College in Alumni Stadium, followed by the men’s match at 7 p.m. During the games, families can enjoy the Bruins BBQ Bash and the Bruin Village with inflatables and carnival games.

The full schedule of events is available at

BJU Programming Team Competes in CodeSprint 3 Programming Contest

GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 6, 2017) – Bob Jones University’s intercollegiate computer programming team competed in HackerRank University’s CodeSprint 3 online programming contest Sept. 29 – Oct. 1.

Teams from 169 colleges and universities from around the world participated in the 48-hour competition. Contestants were given seven problems and were asked to write a computer program that solved the sample information provided as well as more detailed tests given by the judges. Students competed individually and the teams were then ranked by the average of the top ten scores from each team.

The BJU team finished the competition in 36 hours and placed 2nd in the southern region, 4th in the United States, 5th in North America, and 29th overall.

The BJU team members include freshman Jacob Franklin of Rockford, Illinois; sophomore Ryan Longacre of Hallstead, Pennsylvania; sophomore Zachary Hayes of Grovetown, Georgia; junior Carter Shean of Latrobe, Pennsylvania; junior Samuel Henry of McDonough, Georgia; junior Benjamin Steenhoek of Ankeny, Iowa; senior Nathan Collins of Greenville, South Carolina; senior Jacob Brazeal of Taylors, South Carolina; senior Mark Bixler of New Era, Michigan; senior Bill Alger of Valparaiso, Indiana; and senior Italo Moraes of Attleboro, Massachusetts.

The BJU programming team will be competing in the North American Qualifier competition Oct. 6-8 and the 24-hour IEEE Xtreme contest Oct. 13 -14.