Archive | February, 2010

Theology of William Sloane Coffin explored during fourth session of lecture series

Posted on 26 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The role of social activism within the Christian faith and the relationship between suffering and experiencing God’s grace were among the ideas explored during the fourth session of the annual Theologian-in-Residence series at Tusculum College on Tuesday.

Dr. Al Staggs, who has led the 2010 lecture series, performed his one-man drama, “William Sloane Coffin: A Priestly Prophet,” at the beginning of the session attended by approximately 130 people. The Theologian-in-Residence lecture series is co-sponsored annually by the Holston Presbytery and Tusculum College.

This was the first time that Dr. Staggs had performed the drama, which focuses on William Sloane Coffin’s service as pastor of the influential Riverside Church in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s.

In the play, Dr. Staggs devoted time to Coffin’s views of grace and how his own suffering and difficult times brought him a fuller realization and understanding of God’s grace that was also beneficial in making him more empathetic as a pastor to what people in his congregation were facing.

The play also focused on Coffin’s ideas about social activism and a Christian’s responsibility to be concerned with others and to work to make the world a better place for every one, including combating economic and political “structural evil.” While Dr. Coffin felt that a personal relationship with God was very important in an individual’s life, he also believed that relationship should lead an individual to see the world from a different perspective and be concerned for others and their situations.

“What amazed me about William Sloane Coffin was that he could speak prophetically and pastorally in the same sermon,” Dr. Stagg said. “While he might be speaking of political issues, he also had a word of grace, if only a sentence or two, that could be applied to any circumstance.”

Expressed in the play was Coffin’s view that a pastor is called to be a priest and a prophet and that one of his objectives in each sermon was to include words about God’s grace to provide hope and comfort for parishioners who were facing difficulties in their life. On the prophetic side, Coffin believed that a pastor needed to thoroughly study and know the Scriptures and be able to apply the Scriptures to current societal issues in sermons.

Coffin once said that he spent one hour in preparation for each minute of his sermons, which were about 20 minutes long. Coffin’s economy of words was part of the key to his profundity, Dr. Staggs noted.

In his research to prepare the drama, Dr. Staggs said he read Coffin’s sermons and found himself marking statements in each sermon that he wanted to use in the play. “It was a real dilemma to reduce it down to fit into an hour or an hour and 15 minutes,” he continued. “There were so many gems of wisdom.”

Coffin took courageous steps, becoming a leader in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements in the 1960s and 1970s and later the movement against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Dr. Staggs said, but it was not out of a desire to be controversial.

In addressing social and political topics, Coffin was “astonishingly Biblical,” Dr. Staggs continued. “He never presented a true topical sermon. He used the text from the lectionary and would work miracles, making it relevant for the current time.”

During the play, advice that Coffin was given to “be conservative in the interpretation of Scripture, but be liberal in the application of it,” was shared.

Coffin, who passed away in 2006, is missed, Dr. Staggs said, because he was a nationally known figure who presented a Christian voice and perspective in the media that was different to the more prominently presented views of conservative fundamentalists.

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Homecoming 2010 set for October 8 and 9

Posted on 25 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

postitnoteMark your calendars – dates have now been set for Homecoming 2010!

Homecoming will be Friday and Saturday, October 8 and 9, the second weekend of the month. The theme for this year’s activities will be “A Tapestry of Pioneer Leadership.”

The Homecoming festivities will include a very special event in the life of Tusculum College – the inauguration of its first female president, Dr. Nancy B. Moody. The inauguration will take place on Friday, October 8, and will include participation by a number of alumni in a ceremony full of pomp and circumstance. The preceding days will also be filled with inaugural activities. Announcements of these events will be made as plans are completed in the coming months.

Continue to watch this space as events for Friday and Saturday are finalized and announced. The time for the football game has not been announced, but the opponent will be South Atlantic Conference foe Newberry College.

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Tusculum College Baseball Alumni Weekend set for March 12-14

Posted on 25 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

pioneerparkBaseball alumni are invited to return to their Alma Mater for fun and fellowship during the Tusculum College Baseball Alumni Weekend March 12-14.

The weekend will begin with a 7 p.m. Tusculum Baseball game against Carson-Newman College at Pioneer Park on Friday, March 12.

On Saturday, March 13, a Pioneer Club Tailgate Party will be held at Pioneer Park at noon, prior to the 1 p.m. star of a doubleheader, also against Carson-Newman.  Cost for the Tailgate is $10 for non Pioneer Club, Pioneer Level or higher members.

A golf tournament to benefit the baseball program will be held on Sunday, March 14. The event, which begins at 8 a.m., will be held at Nolichucky View Golf Course, with a portion of the $75 entry fee benefiting the Pioneer Baseball program.  A gift receipt will be provided following the tournament, as the benefit portion of the fee will be tax deductible.

All Tusculum Baseball Alumni are encouraged to attend any or all of the events, but registration is required.  Email bsell@tusculum.edu or call 423-636-7303 and provide the following information:

*  Attending Pioneer Club Tailgate Party on Saturday, March 13 – yes/no
*  Participating in the golf tournament on Sunday, March 14 – yes/no
*  If participating in the golf tournament – individual or team
*  If playing with a team please be prepared to provide names of all players
*  Baseball cap size if playing in tournament

Please send payment including Tailgate ($10) and/or golf tournament registration ($75) fees to: Institutional Advancement – TC Baseball Alumni Weekend, P.O. Box 5040, Greeneville, TN 37743. Checks should be made payable to Tusculum College, noting in the memo “baseball.” Those registering by phone may also pay with Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

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Hennessen presented Pioneer Award

Posted on 25 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

henesseen2Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody and Susan Vance, interim vice president for Institutional Advancement, recently visited with Dr. John (Jack) Hennessen ’45, and his wife, Yolanda in their Signal Mountain home in Tennessee.

While there, a ceremony was held with the Hennessens’ family and friends in which Jack received the 2009 Pioneer Award, awarded to him by the Tusculum College Alumni Association during this year’s Homecoming festivities.  The Pioneer Award is the highest honor presented by the Alumni Association to an alumnus or alumna. The award was announced during the Annual Alumni Association meeting at Homecoming last year and accepted on Dr. Hennessen’s behalf by Jane Shanks Pilloni ’59 because he was not able attend.

The Hennessens were unable to attend the event; however, the framed certificate representing the award was brought to them by the College representatives.

Hennessen is a 1945 graduate of Tusculum College and a former Board of Trustee member.  The Hennessens have long been supporters of the College and its students, and they have endowed a scholarship for pre-med students.  In addition, Jack’s class ring is now part of the collections room in the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library. Hennessen states that he owes a great deal to Tusculum College, not least because the four years he spent here helped him to make the decision to become a physician.

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Class Notes – catch up with the latest about your fellow alumni!

Class Notes – catch up with the latest about your fellow alumni!

Posted on 24 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

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40s
Dr. Jack Hennessen ’45 and his wife, Yola, have settled in Alexian Village at Signal Mountain, TN.

60s
Linda E. Moore Gudzunas ’66 of Yorba Linda, CA, is enjoying her third year of retirement. She has been married for 40 years and has four “beautiful grandchildren.”

00s
Bryan Thiry ’09 was recently awarded one of five scholarships offered by Lockheed Martin to attend its Information Networking Institute and to participate in a summer internship program with the global security company. Thiry is currently a first-year graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is seeking a master’s degree in information technology-information security.
“I’m interested in the prospect of supporting the information security and assurance efforts of the world’s largest defense contractor. Lockheed Martin provides the opportunity to apply my area of study to aid in real, large-scale security efforts,” said Thiry.

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Brad and Angela (Massengill) Whitfield ’96 ’97 of Toccoa, GA, announce the birth of a son, William Baylor, on June 8, 2009, weighing 4 lbs. and 9 oz. Baylor has two sisters, Emma and Erin.
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30s
Eunice Marie Parsons Vittoria ’38 of Abbeville, AL, passed away January 16, 2010. She was a retired librarian/cataloger.

50s
Richard W. Ayers ‘51 of Chuckey, TN, passed away February 10, 2010. Mr. Ayers was retired from Signal Knitting, where he was the personnel director. He was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, where he served as an usher. Mr. Ayers was a 50-year member of the Lodge No. 688, F&AM, of Kingsport. A veteran, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. While in the Army, he won the U.S. Army Boxing Championship of the Alaskan Theatre. Mr. Ayers also played professional baseball in Helena, AK, and Kingsport. His survivors include his wife of 61 years and Tusculum alumna Mary Lou Nottingham Ayers ’51.

Frank C. Holtham ’51 of Mahwah, NJ, and Englewood, FL, passed away January 29, 2010. A veteran, Mr. Holtham served in the U.S. Army’s Signal Intelligence Branch during the Korean War. After his military service, he earned a master’s of business administration degree and was recruited to Ford Motor Company as a division manager. He opened Glen Motors, Inc., in 1958, the first of 11 automobile franchises he owned and operated during his lifetime. Mr. Holtham was past president of the Toyota Dealer Council and a member of the National Automobile Dealer Association and NJ Car. He received numerous parts and service excellence awards and the Presidents Award from Toyota in 2000. He was given a 40-year Toyota Commemorative Plaque in 2008, making him one of New Jersey’s oldest standing dealers. Mr. Holtham enjoyed golf and was an active member of the Apple Ridge Country Club in Mahwah, the Venice Golf and Country Club in Florida and the Rutland Golf and Country Club in Vermont.

60s
Linda Crosson Wallen ‘69 of Galloway, NJ, passed away on August 2, 2009, after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Mrs. Wallen was an elementary school teacher. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Wallen ‘68. During her time at Tusculum, Mrs. Wallen was a cheerleader. Mr. Wallen is a charter member of the Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame, recognized for his excellence on the basketball court.

70s
Jane Carol Voss H’78, wife of past Tusculum President Dr. Tom Voss, passed away February 6, 2010. Mrs. Voss died after a long illness initiated by an incurable brain tumor, which had debilitated her for nearly two decades. In the last years of her life, she received care in a long-term facility in North Carolina. Dr. Voss served as president of Tusculum College from 1972-78 and Mrs. Voss continued to have many friends in the community after they moved away. Dr. Voss stated that his wife “often said she had her happiest adult days during her years living in Greeneville, where her last two children, Kari and Michael, were born, where she received an honorary doctorate from Tusculum College, and where her closest friends still remain.” Correspondence may be directed to Dr. Voss and the family at P.O. Box 6381, 909 Third Ave., New York, NY 10510-6381.

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Tusculum College partnership with submarine featured in documentary

Posted on 24 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The USS Greeneville, the nuclear-powered submarine named after the Town of Greeneville, will be featured in a one-hour show March 4, at 7 p.m. on CBS (Channel 11 on local Comcast).

As part of the feature, Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody, as well as Board of Trustee members Scott Niswonger ’87 H ’06 and Sam Doak ’49 were interviewed about the College’s relationship with the ship.

Since its christening, Tusculum College has partnered with the crew members, offering an annual scholarship to crewmen and/or members of their family. To date, three people benefiting from that relationship have become Tusculum College alumni and one more has applied to attend next year.

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Yard sale fundraiser for Haiti will be Feb. 27; event sponsored by campus safety

Posted on 24 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

yardsale_graphicIn an effort to support the American Red Cross and its relief efforts in Haiti, Campus Security is sponsoring a fundraiser yard sale at Tusculum College on Saturday, February 27.

Alumni in the region are invited to the event, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Pioneer Gym in the Niswonger Commons.

Members of the campus community have donated items for the sale, which is being coordinated by Campus Safety along with assistance from Student Affairs, the Center for Civic Advancement and the Bonner Leaders. Campus Safety Officer Josh Jordan has spearheaded the effort.

All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the American Red Cross’ Haiti relief efforts and remaining items after the sale will be donated to local charities.

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Alumna’s work featured as part of ‘Celebrate Black America’ exhibit at Niswonger Performing Arts Center

Posted on 24 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

rahmpaintingThree paintings by Wanda Rahm ‘05, administrative assistant at the Center for Civic Advancement, are featured in “Celebrate Black America,” an exhibit now on display in the lobby of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in downtown Greeneville.

Rahm is among the 18 artists to contribute work to the exhibit, which was the idea of James-Ben Stockton, director of James-Ben: Studio & Gallery Art Center, who asked artists to create works honoring the contributions of African Americans to the nation.

Stockton, who was raised in Greene County, was inspired to plan the exhibit after learning the role that Greene County played in extending the country’s freedoms to former slaves and their descendents. An early and influential emancipation newspaper was printed in Greeneville, and Presbyterians and Quakers in the area were active participants in the Underground Railroad. Tusculum College also played a role as the first ordained African-American minister in the Presbyterian Church was a product of its predecessor, Greeneville College.

The exhibit is open from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with additional evening viewings when evening events are scheduled in the auditorium. The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located adjacent to Greeneville High School on Tusculum Boulevard.

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Thomas J. Garland returns to Board of Trustees

Posted on 24 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

garlandThomas J. Garland H’86 was named to the Tusculum College Board of Trustees on Friday, February 5. This will be a return for Garland, who previously served as a Trustee and former chairman of the Board.

Garland was born in Kingsport, was educated in the Kingsport and Oak Ridge school systems and graduated from East Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree.  He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952-56.

Garland served as a Republican Tennessee Senator from 1964 through 1985, 17 of those years as Senate minority leader.

He was honored with the ETSU Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1973.

His positions in business, education and government have included chairmanship of the board of Commerce Union Bank, chancellorship of the Tennessee Board of Regents and the interim presidency of Tusculum College (1999-2000), where he served as a member of the Board of Trustees and a former Chairman of the Board.

In 1986 he received an honorary doctor of law degree from Tusculum College and has received the College’s Distinguished Service Award.

He has also served on numerous civic and corporate boards and served as senior advisor to the Niswonger Foundation, as chairman of the Tusculum Institute for Public Leadership and Policy and as director of Atmos Energy Corporation.

Garland has served on the Tennessee Ethics Committee and has previously served as its chairman.

The renovated Tusculum College library, the Thomas J. Garland Library, was named for Garland in 2008 in recognition to the service, dedication and support Garland has provided to the institution throughout his life.

He and his wife, Pat, reside near Tusculum College. They have been Greeneville residents for many years. The Garlands have four children and seven grandchildren.

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Diversity Fair on Sunday, Feb. 28, to highlight cultural richness

Posted on 24 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

A Diversity Fair at Tusculum College this Sunday, Feb. 28, will highlight the cultural richness of the college campus and this area.

The Diversity Fair will begin at 3 p.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum campus. The public is invited to attend the Diversity Fair, and community groups and organizations are also invited to participate in the event.

Students in a service-learning class at Tusculum are coordinating and hosting the event. Diversity has been part of the class’ focus. The students are working with the George Clem Multicultural Association in hosting the event.

Planned are presentations, skits and display tables focusing on different facets of diversity such as various cultural and religious groups. There will also be children’s activities during the Diversity Fair.

Community groups and organizations are also invited to participate in the Diversity Fair by setting up an exhibit or display. Campus student organizations have also been invited to set up displays.

“We want people to learn about different religions and cultures and also gain a better understanding of the uniqueness and richness of the diversity here,” said Robin Fife, assistant professor of social science and instructor of the course.

For more information about participating in the Diversity Fair, please contact Fife at 423-636-7300 ext. 5777 or at 423-552-0178.

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Dr. Greg Hawkins named Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs

Posted on 24 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

greghawkinsDr. Greg Hawkins has been named assistant vice president for academic affairs at Tusculum College.

According to Dr. Kim Estep, provost and vice president of academics, in this position, Hawkins will coordinate strategic planning and assessment activities of the College, coordinate accreditation activities, manage institutional data reporting and analysis and gather data to support the development of new academic programs.

He will also coordinate grant writing to support new and existing academic programs. Hawkins will oversee the Office of Institutional Research and play a fundamental role in enhancing the College’s ability to develop sound policies and data-driven decisions in support of the institution’s mission and strategic goals, said Estep.

“Dr. Hawkins skill sets compliment the mission and the direction that Tusculum College is going in concert with the strategic plan approved in May 2009,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “We are very pleased to have him join us in moving the College forward.”

Hawkins is currently the associate director for institutional assessment and effectiveness at Clemson University, where he was integral in the development of a new institution-wide institutional effectiveness reporting process. In addition, he has been involved in the design and implementation of special research projects, retention analyses, student engagement and academic progress data analyses, and success and equity issues.

Prior to his current position, Hawkins served as the director of the Jim Self Center on the Future for the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs at Clemson University. In that role, he developed and managed grants, contracts and endowments, supervised research activities and programs administered by the center, supervised staff and led strategic planning for the center.

Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in natural resource policy, as well as a master’s of science degree in natural resource management and a bachelor’s of science in parks, recreation and tourism management from Clemson University. He has taught courses, including research methods for social sciences, recreation resource policy and introduction to environmental science and policy at Clemson.

He has authored numerous research reports, technical reports and manuals and has given presentations at a number of national and regional conferences, including a presentation on “Online Assessment Management Systems: Best Practices and Biggest Challenges for Effective Implementation” at the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges’ annual meeting this past December. He has authored or co-authored fourteen grants totaling more than $4 million to support youth, environmental, and education projects.

He and his wife, Melissa, have two children, Savannah, 10, and Joshua, 8.

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Diversity Fair at Tusculum College on Sunday, Feb. 28, to highlight cultural richness

Posted on 23 February 2010 by eestes@tusculum.edu

A Diversity Fair at Tusculum College this Sunday, Feb. 28, will highlight the cultural richness of the college campus and this area.

The Diversity Fair will begin at 3 p.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum campus. The public is invited to attend the Diversity Fair, and community groups and organizations are also invited to participate in the event.

Students in a service-learning class at Tusculum are coordinating and hosting the event. Diversity has been part of the class’ focus. The students are working with the George Clem Multicultural Association in hosting the event.

Planned are presentations, skits and display tables focusing on different facets of diversity such as various cultural and religious groups. There will also be children’s activities during the Diversity Fair.

Community groups and organizations are also invited to participate in the Diversity Fair by setting up an exhibit or display. Campus student organizations have also been invited to set up displays.

“We want people to learn about different religions and cultures and also gain a better understanding of the uniqueness and richness of the diversity here,” said Robin Fife, assistant professor of social science and instructor of the course.

For more information about participating in the Diversity Fair, please contact Fife at 423-636-7300 ext. 5777 or at 423-552-0178.

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