Watkins college of art

2 Nashville colleges will merge

Jan. 28, 2020
Belmont University and Watkins College of Art will join forces later this year on Belmont's existing campus.

Two higher education institutions in Nashville, Tenn., have announced plans to merge.

Belmont University says in a news release that it will merge with Watkins College of Art. Watkins  will begin a transition to Belmont’s campus following the completion of this academic year.

The governing boards for the two schools have agreed to integrate Watkins’s programs into Belmont’s campus this summer; Watkins’ students will start classes at Belmont in August 2020.

“For well over a century, Watkins has fostered the talents and honed the crafts of thousands of phenomenal artists," says Belmont President Bob Fisher. "Partnering this legacy with Belmont’s thriving creative community in the arts, music, film and design represents a natural fit and brings incredible synergy to benefit all students.'

The agreement formally joins two institutions that already share a strong academic partnership. Watkins and Belmont students have been able to take select courses at both institutions.

In 2018, Belmont’ merged with the O’More College of Design, which strengthened Belmont’s fine arts portfolio and added programs in fashion and interior design. The addition of Watkins further fortifies Belmont as a center for art and design in the region.

“This is a historic day for Watkins as we join Belmont University,” said J. Kline, president of Watkins College of Art. “This agreement secures the legacy and mission of Watkins for generations to come."

The agreement calls for Belmont to house all of Watkins’s existing undergraduate academic programs.

The property where Watkins College of Art now sits will be sold, and the proceeds will be used to create an endowment to support scholarships for Watkins students.

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