Belmont College Bestows Emeritus Status Upon Longtime Program Director

Belmont College honors Building Preservation/Restoration Program Director David Mertz with Emeritus Designation.

St. Clairsville, OH (August 17, 2023) — In recognition of his dedication and commitment to Belmont College, Mr. David Mertz has been awarded the notable designation of Director Emeritus.

Mertz retired from Belmont in May 2023 with more than 34 years of service to the College.  He most recently served as Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR) Program Director and Professor. Mertz joined the Belmont College staff in 1989 as an instructor/advisor and later became Program Chair of the BPR Program in 1999.

The Emeritus designation at Belmont was established to award an honorary title for retired faculty and staff in recognition of meritorious service to students and the College. This designation distinguishes those individuals whose professional responsibilities have shown outstanding job performance and service to the College Community.

According to Dr. Paul Gasparro, President, “For more than three decades, Dave has supported Belmont College and enriched the lives of countless students.”

Gasparro continued, “Dave deserves high recognition for his devotion to our institution. The BPR program would not have been the success it has been over the years without Dave’s leadership. It is an honor to have him as a part of the Belmont College Community and recognize him for the influence he has had on the College and his student’s lives and careers.”

In 1989, Belmont launched its Historic BPR program, which earned national recognition and draws students from across the country. Upon its approval by the Ohio Board of Regents, Belmont’s program became the only two-year degree-granting program of its type in the United States.

Mertz was instrumental in developing the program, which is now known on an international scale.

Thanks to Mertz, in 2005 and again in 2022, the College played host to the International Preservation Trades Workshop, sponsored by the Preservation Trades Network, welcoming historic preservation professionals from around the world to Belmont County.

Additionally, he received many prestigious awards and accolades in his field while at Belmont. Mertz served two-terms as president of the National Council for Preservation Education and four years as President Emeritus. Mertz is the 2014 recipient of the Preservation Trades Network James Askins Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in developing and advocating for traditional trades education in America. He also received the 2017 James Marston Fitch Award for Outstanding Achievements as a Preservation Educator.

Mertz has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in architecture from Kansas State University, as well as a certificate in Regional Community Planning.

During his time at Belmont, Mertz participated in and led various committees that resulted in College milestones, such as acquiring community college status, the transition from quarters to semesters, and the College name change from Belmont Technical College to Belmont College.

“Around Belmont College, David Mertz and the Building Preservation/Restoration program have been synonymous for as long as it has been in operation. And that is a tribute,” said Mrs. Elizabeth Gates, Board of Trustees Chairwoman.

She continued, “I want to recognize the dedication Dave showed to the students and to the BPR program. I want to recognize the dedication Dave has had to our college community. Because to me, the real heroism that Dave exemplified was being prepared for class day after day, improving the BPR program, month after month, sustaining the quality of the program year after year, creating that collage of the life of a community college professor that aspires to excite their students to a pathway to a career. And doing this well over and over again.”

Mertz plans to move to Kent, Ohio, with his wife Roberta.

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