John Paul Nefflen
1994 Graduate, magna cum laude, B.A. in Philosophy, minor in Religion
Partner at Shackelford, Bowen McKinley & Norton, LLP on Music Row
As an alum how did you first become aware of/involved with Belmont University?
I first learned of BU through my high school music instructor in Elkins, West Virginia.
Why do you want to support Belmont?
I was very fortunate to study with the professors I had, e.g., Mike Awalt, Ronnie Littlejohn, Marty Bell and Dr. Herbert C. Gabhart. They, along with great friends from down the road at Belmont Heights Baptist Church, changed the direction of my life. By supporting Belmont, I can, in a small way, repay my professors and Belmont for what they did for me.
Also, my cousin, Arielle Manabat just finished her freshman year as a neuroscience major. She is having the same great experience with her professors that I had with mine more than 20 years ago. Participating in Belmont’s mission through financial contributions allows me to indirectly support Arielle’s success at Belmont.
Why are you supporting the Mike Awalt Endowed Scholarship?
Supporting the Mike Awalt Scholarship simply makes sense to me. It is one way I can honor Mike’s memory and the professors that continue to influence me and many others. Also, Belmont’s match allows me to partner with Belmont in providing students with the same life-changing opportunities I received.
Is there a specific experience you’ve had at Belmont that inspired these gifts to endowed scholarships?
The one-on-one time I spent with my professors made the difference. Not only did they help me grow intellectually, but they helped me develop spiritually and professionally in a way that is very meaningful to me. The fact that I really enjoy and find value in my life and the lives of others speaks to their success as professors, mentors and friends.
Why would you encourage others to give to Belmont?
Giving to Belmont, of your time and your finances, allows you to stay connected with a great institution and honor and repay those who made it possible for you to attend Belmont. It is a lifelong relationship. I also believe that as we give to Belmont, we can set an example for and encourage other alumni to do the same.