Christian recording artists Rebecca St. James and Jonny Diaz will perform in Rome on Tuesday, June 1, as part of the festivities marking the transition of Shorter College to Shorter University. The concert will begin at 6 p.m. at the Rome City Auditorium, 601 Broad St., with In Pursuit, a local band that includes Shorter student Drew Carroll, as the opening act. Diaz will take the stage at 6:30 p.m., followed by featured artist Rebecca St. James at 8 p.m.

Advance tickets for the event are $5 for students and $8 for adults. All tickets will be $10 at the door; however, seating is limited and admission is not guaranteed. For tickets, purchase online at or call the Shorter College Box Office at 706-233-7288.

`Shorter College is proud to present this exciting concert of contemporary Christian music as part of our university celebration,` said Dawn Tolbert, vice president for public relations. `God has truly blessed Shorter throughout its 137-year history, and we wanted the celebration of the next chapter of our journey to include a special time of praise and worship. In addition, it is a way for the Rome community and Northwest Georgia to celebrate the launch of Shorter University along with us.`

St. James has been recognized by “Christianity Today” magazine as one of the top 50 “Up and Coming Evangelical Leaders 40 and Under.” In 2007, she was named “Favorite Female Artist” in contemporary Christian music for the seventh consecutive year by the readers of “CCM Magazine.” She has received Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified gold album awards for her groundbreaking album titled “God” and her Grammy Award-winning project “Pray.” A gifted songwriter, St. James has a signature blend of modern pop/rock sensibilities and lyrics of unwavering devotion that have blazed the way to 17 Top 10 singles, nine of which have reached No. 1. In addition, she is a passionate spokesperson for the child-relief work of Compassion International, and more than 30,000 of the world’s most needy children have found sponsorship through her worldwide concerts. St. James is also a best-selling author with more than a half-dozen books to her credit.

In March 2010, Diaz was nominated as New Artist of the Year for the upcoming 41st GMA Dove Awards. His 2009 CD, “More Beautiful You,” is his first as a signed artist with INO Records, which is home to such artists as MercyMe, Caedmon’s Call, and The Fray. Diaz’ descriptive and intelligent pop effort reveals lyrics, melodies and instrumentation that go far deeper than the stereotypical pop hit. With all songs written or co-written by Diaz, “More Beautiful You” captivatingly illuminates the singer’s passion for reaching his generation with the message of God’s love, forgiveness and grace.

In addition to the concert, Shorter will host a full day of events to mark the launch of Shorter University. Those events include a 10 a.m. sign unveiling and dedication ceremony at the main entrance to the Rome campus and open houses from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the main Rome campus, the Robert H. Ledbetter College of Business facilities in the MidTown Crossing Shopping Center, and the School of Nursing in the Coosa Medical Building, 20 Riverbend Dr. SW (in Riverbend Mall).

Also offered that evening will be Shorter University Night with the Rome Braves at State Mutual Stadium. Shorter President Dr. Harold E. Newman will throw out the first pitch for the 7 p.m. game in which the Rome Braves take on the Augusta Sand Gnats. For tickets to the game, visit or call 706-378-5144.

In November 2008, Shorter College announced its intent to change its legal designation to Shorter University. The transition builds on the college’s reputation for providing excellent academic experiences within a caring, Christian environment, according to Dr. Newman.

“Our aim is to create a Christian university where students will receive a top quality education in an environment that enables spiritual growth and helps develop future Christian leaders,” he said. “University status reflects what Shorter has become through the extraordinary growth and success of recent years. Achieving recognition as a regional teaching university and as a Christ-centered community are central pillars of our plans for the future growth and development of Shorter.”

Today, Shorter enrolls more than 3,000 students who study on four campuses in Rome, North Atlanta, Lawrenceville and Riverdale. The status change will enable Shorter to better respond to market forces within the state of Georgia and within the higher education community at large, Dr. Newman said. “Becoming Shorter University positions us for future growth. It does not, however, change the nature of Shorter. We remain committed to providing a high quality educational experience in a Christian environment that features personal interactions with faculty, a strong focus on students, and excellence in all areas.”

Founded in 1873, Shorter College is a Christian college committed to excellence in education. Since 2003, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Shorter among the South’s best baccalaureate colleges, and The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its lists of best value and best Southeastern colleges. The college offers traditional bachelor’s degree programs in 48 major areas as well as undergraduate degree programs for working adults, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Education and the Master of Arts in Leadership. Online courses are also available. For more information, visit

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