News & Events

Winter Graduation Set for December 12

Mars Hill University will confer bachelor’s degrees on an expected 84 August and December graduates at winter graduation ceremonies on Friday, December 12, at 5 pm, in Moore Auditorium.

Keynote speaker for the graduation will be Terry Bellamy, Executive Director of The Arc of Buncombe County, and former mayor of the city of Asheville.


Terry Bellamy02

Terry Bellamy, former mayor of Asheville, will be the keynote speaker for Mars Hill University's winter graduation ceremonies.

The most popular majors among the graduates are business (business administration and business management) and education (elementary, integrated and middle grades). The third most popular is Mars Hill's newest major, criminal justice.

Student speakers will be Kelly McKenna Rachel Bryant, a psychology major from Belmont, NC; and Martha Rhodarmer, an elementary education major from Candler, NC, in the Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) program at Mars Hill. The invocation will be given by Derek Davis Gibson, a religion major from Soldota, AL.

Special music for the graduation will be provided by Heather Nicole Bronson, a musical theatre major from Forest Oaks, NC.

Bellamy holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master's degree in public affairs from Western Carolina University. She is currently working on a doctorate in educational leadership at Western Carolina University.

She is the executive director of The Arc of Buncombe County, an organization which serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During Bellamy's time as the executive director, The Arc of Buncombe County has met the needs of over 5,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in the area

When she was first elected mayor of Asheville in November 2005, she became the youngest mayor in North Carolina, the youngest mayor ever elected in Asheville, and the first African-American to serve as mayor of Asheville. In November 2009, the citizens of Asheville re-elected her to a second four-year term.

As mayor, Bellamy worked continuously to provide more affordable housing to the city’s residents, decrease gang violence, and keep children in school. During her tenure, the city of Asheville received numerous accolades, including the Preserve America designation awarded by First Lady Laura Bush; and being named the Top 25 Best Green Places designation by Country Home Magazine, one of the world’s top-12 Must-See Destinations by Frommer’s, one of the Top 10 Places for Business and Careers by Forbes; and one of 50 Smart Cities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Bellamy is married to Lamont Bellamy and they have two children, Seth and Imani.