President’s Welcome Message:
I don’t believe in accidents. I believe in Divine Providence. If you’re reading my words right now, it’s no accident. God is calling you to look and discern and pray and to say, ‘Maybe I’m supposed to be here. Maybe I’m supposed to be contributing in some way to what God is calling this place to be!’ And I’m hoping that you’re going to come and join us!
Belmont Abbey College is a special place. Our commitment as a Catholic college is a guarantee to people of all faiths of how they will be treated because of what we believe. And although each of us has our own flaws and weaknesses, we are committed to meet each person as Christ, in persona Christi. This is the Benedictine way. By praying, working, listening, and welcoming, the Monks teach us about the Rule of St. Benedict and the way of love. We are called to seek the Truth so that we may know, do, and accept God’s will in all things.
That is the nature of virtue, the habit of doing good. This journey of excellence begins anew each day with our simple morning offering and dedication to carry out the small, practical, tasks of our daily lives with love.
I believe that God is calling the entire Belmont Abbey family to be truly excellent so that in all things God may be glorified. Your reading this page is no accident, so I invite you to visit us and experience first-hand Belmont Abbey’s 137 year tradition of hospitality, personal attention and teaching excellence.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Dr. William K. Thierfelder
Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., a native of Richmond, Virginia, was professed as a monk of Belmont Abbey in 1975. He was ordained in 1980 by The Most Reverend Michael Begley, Bishop of Charlotte. He served at St. Michael Church in Gastonia, NC from 1979-1982, and has assisted in various pastoral and educational ministries in the Diocese of Charlotte. In November of 1999, Abbot Placid was elected the 8th Abbot of Belmont Abbey.
Abbot Placid is the Chancellor of Belmont Abbey College, and has previously served the college as an assistant professor in the Theology Department, as Vice President for Academic Affairs, and as interim President.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Bellarmine College in Louisville, KY in 1974. He earned the S.T.B. degree in Theology from the International Benedictine College of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome in 1978, and a doctorate in Theology and Patristic Sciences from the Pontifical Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” also in Rome.
Mr. Allan Mark, CPA is the Chief Financial Officer at Belmont Abbey College. He has 14 years of combined experience in auditing, financial reporting and education.
Mr. Mark began his career in finance as a Staff Auditor for Deloitte & Touche, LLP in 2005 where he analyzed client operations and transactions. He previously served as an Internal Auditor for Motorsports Authentics. Most recently, Mr. Mark spent seven years as an SEC Financial Reporting Analyst at Sonic Automotive Inc. specializing in SEC filings and fixed asset project tracking. Prior to entering the financial industry, he spent six years teaching Mathematics at Gaston County Schools.
Mr. Mark earned a Master of Accountancy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as a B.A. in Science from Canisius College. He lives near Charlotte, NC with his wife Susie and their son.
Dr. Travis Feezell, Provost at Belmont Abbey College, brought almost three decades of experience in higher education to the position, including service as an academic administrator, faculty member, athletic director and baseball coach.
From 2017 to 2020, Dr. Feezell served as President of Hastings College. There he led the Hastings 2.0 project, a comprehensive series of changes in calendar, curriculum, technology and student development. From 2014 through 2017, he was Provost and Chief Academic Officer at the University of the Ozarks where he served as chair of a successful strategic planning process as well as co-leading the Enrollment Management Team to oversee increases in enrollment and retention. In addition, he initiated academic and governance changes at the four-year liberal arts institution.
Before joining the University of the Ozarks, he served as a tenured professor and administrator at Belmont Abbey from 2008 to 2014, He was also awarded the Belmont Abbey College Spirit of St. Benedict Award in 2012, the highest award for service to the college, and the Adrian Faculty Excellence Award in 2011.
Feezell received a doctorate in education from the University of Idaho in 2005. Additionally, he received his master’s degree in medieval British studies from the University of Wales-Cardiff in 1992. He earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Wyoming. He taught at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and was the director of athletics at Macalester College in Minnesota. He also served as a faculty member, chair of the Department of Sports Studies, director of athletics and head baseball coach at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. A former Rhodes Scholar national finalist, Feezell often speaks and writes on issues of sport and higher education in America.
Philip Brach, Vice President of College Relations, has held several posts in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors. As Vice President of College Relations, he oversees all external relations and resource development for the College.
Prior to joining Belmont Abbey, Philip was one of the founders of the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America (CUA) and served as Assistant Dean for seven years. Also, while at CUA Philip taught courses in leadership, entrepreneurship and philanthropic management.
Philip began his career with Mobil Oil in their Los Angeles downstream operations. In 1995, he became a marketing strategy consultant for Ernst and Young. Philip left Ernst and Young in 1996 to help found the SQAD Company, of which he then became the Vice President and CFO. During his time there, he was awarded three patents for innovative marketing inventions.
Philip sold his stake in the SQAD Company and turned his skills and energy towards the non-profit sector. He became the Director of Operations for the Midtown Center for Boys. His role later expanded to his being the Executive Director of the entire Midtown Educational Foundation, a Chicago-based non-profit organization. The Foundation sponsors programs to help inner-city youth achieve academic excellence and develop strong moral character.
In 2004, Philip returned to his high school alma mater, St. John’s College High School, in Washington, D.C., where he served as Vice President. In this capacity, he oversaw all fundraising, alumni relations and external communications. He also directed the production of all external communications, including the publishing of an award-winning alumni magazine.
After seven years at St. John’s, he took a year sabbatical working as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. After spending time as the Director of Development for the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University of Maryland, he left to help found the Busch School of Business.
Philip, the father of nine children, resides in Belmont, North Carolina with his wife Liz.