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LETU Belcher Center Director Cynthia Hellen to Retire Dec. 31



After 14 years of service to LeTourneau University, Cynthia Hellen, senior director of the S.E. Belcher Chapel and Performance Center, will retire at the end of December 2019. 

Hellen has been a part of the Belcher Center since its inception, building its reputation as the premiere entertainment venue in East Texas and beyond.

 “We have presented an average of 15 shows a season for the last 13 years, along with 20 or more rental events per year,” Hellen said. “A countless number of people have experienced a performance or other event at Belcher Center throughout the years, and there is no other venue like it.”

“The Belcher Center has become one of Longview’s most valuable treasures, and Cynthia deserves much credit,” said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford. “It is difficult today to imagine Longview without the beautiful Belcher Center, and it will be difficult for all of us to think of the Belcher without Cynthia. I will miss her daily presence on our campus.”

Hellen was an integral part of the Arts!Longview task force that secured the cultural district designation for Longview earlier this year.

“The Belcher Center is something very special that LeTourneau provides to the community; it is truly a ministry, and I know that my job here is exactly what I was supposed to be doing,” she said. “I have gotten to know so many people throughout my time here—even beyond the great people of Longview: agents, performers, tour directors, directors from other venues throughout the country. We have become a family, and that will be difficult to leave behind.”

Over the years, Hellen and her team have fine-tuned the inner workings of the Belcher Center to provide a world-class experience for guests.

“When shows or tours are here, we just want to make their time with us memorable and special; it also builds a good reputation for Belcher among performers and their managers, as well as the people in this region who attend the events,” Hellen said. “We have always said we are in the business of making memories, and we strive to make those great for all involved.”

“Our vision was to create a world-class chapel and performing arts center for East Texas,” said former LeTourneau University President Dr. Bud Austin. “Cynthia’s leadership has made our vision a reality.”

Although she is looking forward to retirement, Hellen is not looking forward to shutting her office door for the last time.

“I am usually one of the last to leave after a performance, and I can’t think about doing that for the last time just yet,” she said.  “I do plan to stay very involved in the local and state arts communities, though.”

Cody Bowen, who is currently assistant and technical director for the Belcher Center, will begin leading the Belcher Center on January 1, 2020.

A public reception honoring Hellen is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Belcher Center lobby.

LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, hybrid options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas and fully online programs. For additional information, visit

Categories: Belcher Center