January 24, 2020

Laura Belcher, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity

Topic: Affordable Housing in Charlotte

Laura Belcher joined Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte in 2014. The organization’s mission is to remove barriers to affordable housing by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. During her tenure, Laura has overseen a 30% growth in production, to 75 new/recycled homes and 100 Critical Home Repair projects budgeted for FY2020. She led the effort in the creation and implementation of a 2016-2020 strategic plan, with the goal of serving 600 additional families. Implementation of the plan has resulted in more diverse housing solutions and an expansion in financial literacy offerings. In September, Habitat Charlotte crossed the milestone of serving its 2000th family. Laura has served on numerous committees of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI); she currently co-chairs the Collaborative Operating Model Executive Task Force and was elected to a 3 year term on the HFHI US Council. She spent the first 20 years of her career in corporate roles with Arthur Andersen, Wachovia Securities and Transamerica. Laura is a CPA, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, and spent 9 years in nonprofit work as CFO/COO of the Arts & Sciences Council prior to joining Habitat. She attributes her passion for Habitat to her church where she started volunteering and building houses over 20 years ago.


January 24- Lunch Bunch

Locations to be announced

See BG Metzler and Ruth McDevitt

at the Lunch Bunch table





Friday, January 10, 2020

New Member Meet & Greet

Join us for coffee &/or tea 

Come early before the opening 10 AM bell, any meeting Friday, to enjoy coffee or hot tea, meet fellow scholars and make new friends who share common interests.

Organized by Carol Kesmodel






January 31, 2020

Chas Fagan

Topic: Stories From a Life in Art

Chas Fagan's career path has been decidedly unplanned. From Presidents and Popes to downright impressive Americans, his journey through the art world has presented him with some fascinating people...and some unexpected situations. Chas will share a cherished selection of back stories behind some of his projects and creations.

Chas Fagan is an American artist who grew up in Belgium and in rural Pennsylvania, gathering inspiration from the rich landscape and history of his surroundings.

Chas' ability to combine his artistic gifts with his knowledge of history has led to several high-profile commissions. Among his favorites are his statue of President Reagan in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, a "young Neil Armstrong" statue for Purdue University (including a surrounding plaza with moon-boot prints), his sculpture of Rosa Parks in the Narthex of Washington National Cathedral, and a monumental-scale bronze sculpture in Dallas titled "Freedom's Charge", featuring two Revolutionary War figures and a billowing battalion flag from Bunker Hill.

He was also fortunate to be asked to paint the official White House portrait of First Lady Barbara Bush, and the official portrait of Mother Teresa for her canonization at St. Peter's in Rome.

A self-taught artist, Chas graduated from Yale University with a degree in Soviet Studies.

In 2002 he and his wife Katie decided to raise their three children in Charlotte. They immediately fell in love with the city, the people, and the history of Charlotte.

Chas is proud to have had the chance to capture some of that history and unique character in his bronze sculptures of Thomas Spratt and King Hagler and of the horse-riding Captain Jack on Charlotte's Greenway.


Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, Soviet Studies


Award for Artistic Distinction (2016)

Faith & Form Award (2007)

Eastman Johnson Award (2005)

IMAGES OF WORK MAY BE FOUND AT: www.chasfagan.com




Friday, February 7, 2020

New Member Meet & Greet

Join us for coffee &/or tea 

Come early before the opening 10 AM bell, any meeting Friday, to enjoy coffee or hot tea, meet fellow scholars and make new friends who share common interests.

Organized by Carol Kesmodel

Wishing everyone a Healthy Holiday and Happy 2020






January 10, 2020

Tom Hanchett, PhD

Topic: The History of Segregated Housing in Charlotte

"Popular speaker Dr. Tom Hanchett visits to talk about the new edition of his history of Charlotte, Sorting Out the New South City, just published by UNC Press. He'll explore Charlotte's growth -- and the surprising history of racial and economic segregation over time.

Best known for his 16 years with Levine Museum of the New South, Dr. Hanchett is now Historian-in-Residence with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Charlotte Magazine calls him "Charlotte's Dr. History" and named him a 2015 Charlottean of the Year."

Dr. Tom Hanchett is the eminent community historian in Charlotte, NC. He has been a frequent and very popular speaker to Senior Scholars. In this presentation, Tom will discuss the history of racial segregation in Charlotte neighborhoods from the 1800's to the present day. 

Tom is an expert on the history of Charlotte's people, streets and buildings. He has been associated with various Charlotte community groups and with Levine Museum of the New South. Previously he served as Staff Historian for 16 years at the Levine Museum where he curated the permanent exhibition "Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers" (named best in the Southeast by the South East Museums Conference), and a string of national-award-winning temporary exhibitions including "COURAGE" abut the Carolina roots of the "Brown v. Board" of Education Civil Rights case.

Tom's writings range widely on urban history and Southern culture: a book about Charlotte's neighborhoods, Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class & Urban Development in Charlotte (UNC Press); an essay exploring the history of US shopping malls; a monthly newspaper column Food From Home; and more.

Educated at Cornell University, University of Chicago, and UNC Chapel Hill. Tom plays fiddle in his spare time.






January 17, 2020

Mark Kelso, PhD, Queens University

Topic: BREXIT - What Does It Mean For Us?

Confused about BREXIT? What does the British public really want? Dr Kelso will review the history, the issues, the path ahead, and why it affects the US and the world.

Dr. Kelso has been one of the most popular of our Senior Scholar Speakers. He has guided our Members through a wide range of complex topics spanning the American political scene.

Mark is Professor of Political Science in the Queens University Department of Political Science and International Studies. He has been teaching at Queens since 1996, He has also taught at the University of Nevada _ Las Vegas, at Penn State University, and at St. Francis College. He received his PhD from Vanderbilt University and his BA from Murray State University.

At Queens, Mark has received the McColl Faculty Award, the Distinguished Professor Award, and the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award, among many other awards.

He has spoken and presented research on Presidential Rhetoric, the Environment and Climate Change, International Politics, Democracy, South Africa, and many other political subjects.

Amazingly, Mark began his political training back in 1986 when he was a U.S. Senate intern for then-new Senator Mitch McConnell!"







February 7, 2020

Kimberly Tuttle, 2019 CMS Teacher of the Year 

Topic: Releasing the Student in All of Us

Being in high school for today's teens is equivalent to .... well.... life. Things may have changed a bit since your days in high school. Hear the CMS Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Tuttle, discuss how there's still a student within us all.

Kim Tuttle is a 1996 graduate of Radford University, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in English with a minor in History. In 1998, she received a Masters of Science Degree in American Literature and a degree in Secondary Education from Redford. Kim was the 1999 recipient of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools 1st Year Teacher of the Year for High Schools and the 2019 Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Teacher of the Year. During 20 years with CMS, Kim has taken on instructional leadership positions within various schools. She currently teaches English at Levine Middle College High School. Kim is also an Educational Consultant for Hairston Education, LLC, where she has worked in implementing the "Trans4mational Leadership" framework to achieve system-wide goals within low-performing schools in districts across the East Coast. She has always believed that the key to sustaining success in the classroom is knowing that "Teaching is heart-work." In order to help a child reach their full potential, one must teach to the heart before effective instruction takes place. The focus of her educational journey is teaching the whole child approach because she has consistently seen the effectiveness of sustaining long term student success in her classroom. Before her students are dismissed for the day, they wait to hear her mantra: "Be blessed. Be safe. Be wise. Make good decisions. I will see you tomorrow."


What's Going On At Queens University of Charlotte?

Queens University Calendar 

 Tip: scroll down the right side, below the calendar, to find events open to the "General Public"


Alternate Venue: Queens University Sports Complex

2229 Tyvola Rd, Charlotte, NC 28210 (MAP)

Four times a year we meet at the Queens University Sports Complex. The dates for the venue change are shown in the Senior Scholars Scrolling Calendar. A reminder is given at the prior meeting and highlighted in the weekly email. This location is significantly smaller (estimated capacity is 75% of that at PUMC) than PUMC, so plan to come early to be assured of a seat.