Belmont University has sold the campus of Watkins College of Art in MetroCenter. The $22.5 million sale to a residential developer will establish an endowment to provide scholarships for visual art students.
The proceeds should produce $800,000 a year to fund merit-based scholarships “upon maturation,” according to a release from Belmont.
Last year, Belmont announced a merger with Watkins, which had been struggling financially. Several students and faculty protested the move based mostly on Belmont’s religious requirements. But the school’s new leadership is framing the merger as a “game changer.”
“We believe the sale of this property will create one of the nation’s largest arts endowments to be used exclusively for student scholarships,” Watkins College of Art Dean James Pierce says in a statement. “Having such scholarships available to aspiring artists will propel our program into being a clear leader in art and graphic design education.”