Scholarship for preservation studies awarded

Photo Provided Derrick Smith, from left, a Building Preservation/Restoration associate professor at Belmont College, congratulates Patrick Abboud, BPR student and recipient of the 2024 Senter Scholarship, along with Roberta Mertz and BPR Director Emeritus Dave Mertz.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Belmont College announced a new scholarship opportunity for Building Preservation/Restoration students.

The Senter Scholarship has been established by Director Emeritus Dave and Roberta Mertz in memory of Cathie/Chris Senter’s dedication to the BPR program and community. Senter died in 2023.

This scholarship will be awarded to a non-traditional student who displays excellence in the BPR program.

Senter was a 2007 Belmont BPR graduate and came back to work at the college as a BPR instructor from 2010-17.

He was instrumental in having his students participate in many community projects, including restoration work at The Capitol Theatre, Stifel Fine Arts Center and the Blue Church, all in Wheeling, as well as work at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pennsylvania, to name a few.

According to Dave Mertz, “Chris came to Belmont as a student in the BPR program having already worked in the field for over a decade in an architectural firm that focused on historic preservation. His attention to detail and love for historic buildings rubbed off on fellow classmates. After graduating, he transferred and pursued an architecture degree at Ball State.

“Little did he know at the time that he would be lured back to Belmont, this time as a faculty member,” Mertz continued. “During his time instructing at Belmont, Chris was a student favorite. Having been a student in the program himself, he had a unique perspective to help and encourage students’ pursuit of their own career paths. Eventually, the draw to return to private practice was too great and he moved to Columbus to practice architecture once again, using the lessons learned as a student and faculty member at Belmont to serve his firm and clients well.”

Patrick Abboud, a first-year BPR student from St. Clairsville has been awarded the 2024 Senter Scholarship.

“This scholarship was created to honor Chris’ commitment to historic preservation and his role as a faculty member in the BPR department where he went above and beyond in his commitment to helping students achieve their dreams,” said Mertz.


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