President/CEO at SunTrust Bank-Nashville

Why do you want to support Belmont?

SunTrust supports Belmont for several reasons. First, the university is very well-established and not only has a strong academic reputation but also produces quality graduates. This is very beneficial to the local workforce. I have seen firsthand how Belmont provides students with an academically challenging education while also encouraging them to uphold core values such as integrity and humility. In addition, the leadership team at Belmont, particularly under Bob Fisher’s guidance, is among some of the best. Over the last several years, they have significantly raised the university’s profile both in the Nashville community and nationally.

Why are you supporting scholarships specifically?

Supporting students and education is a part of SunTrust’s purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being. We want to help all individuals achieve financial confidence, and a big part of that is through education. We support the Bridges to Belmont scholarship program because without it, several of these students (many of whom are first-generation college students) would not have access to the world class education they receive at Belmont. Through this scholarship program, the students are able to pursue their dreams of a productive career without the stress of worrying about how to pay for their education.

Why would you encourage others to give to Belmont?

I would encourage others to give to Belmont because they are good stewards of the gifts that they receive and use the funds to produce quality products or services. In our case specifically, the funds were used to finance the Bridges to Belmont scholarship program, and we continue to give to the university because they have a proven success of producing quality, well rounded graduates. When hiring, these are qualities we look for in candidates, so these students are typically highly sought-after in the employment workforce.

Would you like to share a few thoughts on your experience speaking to the Bridges to Belmont students last summer?

Absolutely! Last summer I was invited to come to the university to speak to some of the Bridges to Belmont students about the value of a college degree and how it relates to being better prepared for a productive career. I can truly say that I was impressed with the quality of the students and their willingness to interact with me and with each other and to really listen, ask questions and learn. The students were inquisitive and engaged, and you could tell they were very proud to be a part of the Belmont community. I was honored to attend this event and as a bank, we are extremely proud to be a part of an organization that values diversity and inclusion. We look forward to our continued partnership.