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Belmont College to merge with Watkins College of Art

Jan 29, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville's Belmont University on Tuesday announced plans to merge with the city's Watkins College of Art, with Watkins students starting classes at Belmont beginning in August.

The Watkins merger follows Belmont's 2018 merger with the O'More College of Design, previously based in Franklin. That merger strengthened Belmont’s fine arts portfolio while adding new programs in fashion and interior design, according to a news release from Belmont.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said in the release that the Watkins merger will allow Belmont to "accelerate and elevate art education in the Southeast and beyond.”

J. Kline, president of Watkins College of Art, said in the release that the agreement “secures the legacy and mission of Watkins for generations to come.”

The merger will broaden academic and career opportunities for both student bodies, Kline said.

The current Watkins College of Art property will be sold with the proceeds going toward an endowment to support scholarships for Watkins students, according to the release.

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