More than 200 alumni and friends of Tusculum College enjoyed four days of reminiscing about times past and making new memories during Homecoming 2013 this past weekend, Sept. 26-29.
Highlights of the weekend included the groundbreaking for the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math (please see related article on the website), the golf tournament, the annual Alumni Association meeting, the Homecoming parade and the Saturday evening dinner featuring music by Shiloh, a band that formed on the Tusculum campus in the 1970s.
The Alumni Association meeting featured the presentation of awards for which alumni make nominations.
Mitch Robinson ’04, who is president of Coffman Oil in Morristown, TN, was presented the Pioneer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. “This year’s recipient has served the College faithfully, and has been called a one-man word-of-mouth promotion in the Morristown area,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, Tusculum’s president, in presenting the award. Robinson is a vocal supporter of the Graduate and Professional Studies program and its benefits to adult learners. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Council and has visited the residential campus to speak with student business leaders and to high school students at the former Junior Conference held on campus.
Wayne Thomas, associate professor of English, was recognized with the National Alumni Living Faculty Award. Kenneth Hill ’12 and Abby Wolfenbarger Hill ’12, alumni of the Creative Writing program at Tusculum, presented award, saying they were pleased to be able to honor Thomas not only for the knowledge and skills he is able to teach his students, but also for his belief in their abilities and his support of them in their education.
Dr. Dan Donaldson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Greeneville, was presented with the National Alumni Recognition Award. Dr. Ken Bowman ’70, chair of the Board of Trustees, said he was honored to be able to recognize Donaldson, a fellow member of the Board. “He has committed himself to the work of the College, giving of his time, expertise and resources wherever he is needed,” Dr. Bowman said, noting his efforts to improve and strengthen the relationship between Tusculum and First Presbyterian, the mother church of the College.
Dr. Craig Shepherd was presented the Sports Benefactor Award by Joe Vogt ’53, a Life Trustee of the college and also a
past recipient of the award. Dr. Shepherd is “unfailing in his support of the Tusculum College Athletics Department” Vogt said, and “exemplified the Civic Arts at the core of Tusculum’s mission through his service in the community.” A member of the Pioneer Club for many years, he served three terms as chair of the group and served in leadership of professional and community civic organizations.
A special announcement of the new Joseph L. Stallard ’56 Endowed Scholarship Fund was also made during the meeting by Dr. Moody. Calling it a “momentous announcement,” Dr. Moody noted the importance of scholarships in enabling first-generation college students, who make up about half of the residential college’s enrollment, to continue their education. The scholarship has been established by Pat Hash Stallard to honor her husband his life-long interest in his Alma Mater. Stallard is a charter member of the College’s Sports Hall of Fame for his participation in basketball. He has received both the Sports Benefactor Award and the Pioneer Award from the Alumni Association. He has served as the president of the Alumni Association. The Stallard Scholarship will be awarded to members of the College’s men’s or women’s basketball team. If no basketball player is deemed eligible, another college athlete may be selected.
The annual golf tournament was held under a cloudless, sunny sky Friday afternoon at Link Hills Country Club. The winning team in the Net division was Roger Abramson ’64, Cody Greene ’08, Glenn Vicary ’10 and Richard Winant ’69. The Gross division winners were Derek Cantrell ’13, Ben Raby, Brice Stefanick and Barry Wilson.
Friday afternoon also featured a workshop by Kim Lapsley Muir ’68 who shared her expertise in the acting business and gave tips to those who want to get started in a professional acting career.
The Homecoming parade preceded the football tailgate party Saturday afternoon and featured the Tusculum College Marching Band, the Homecoming Court, the alumni award winners, the Tusculum Cheerleading Squad, the East Tennessee Twirling Academy and members of the Metro Knoxville Buffalo Soldiers. Members of the Class of 1963 served as grand marshals of the parade.
During halftime of the football game, Steven Hollingshead and Ashley Sarmiento were crowned as Homecoming King and Queen. Hollingshead, a senior from Memphis, TN, is majoring in political science and business administration. An active student on campus, he has served as president of the Student Government Association and the Black Student Union and been a director in the Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. He has also been involved in the Help Me Help You small business program and in several other community organizations.
Sarmiento is a senior from Centerville, Ohio, with a double major in mathematics and mathematics education. She has excelled in the classroom and as a member of the Pioneer volleyball team. Active on campus, she serves as a peer tutor, president of Pioneer Student Athletic Advisory Council and an organizer of the Tusculum College Make-A-Wish Annual 5K race. Sarmiento is an Academic All-American honoree and has received the Student of the Block award. Also during half-time, she was presented the 2013 South Atlantic Conference President’s Award, the highest honor the conference presents a student-athlete.
Saturday’s activities were capped with a dinner at the Event Center featuring a performance by the original Shiloh members – Herb Rupert ’74, Wayne Hensley ’70, Bobby B.B. Brown and Ken “Shadow” Winterbauer ’73 for an all-alumni show. Shadow’s wife Gail joined the group for back-up vocals and flute solos.
Homecoming concluded with a pancake breakfast on Sunday followed by a Chapel and Memorial Service, which included a special time of remembrance of the alumni who have passed away since Homecoming 2012.
To see more photos of Homecoming, please visit Tusculum’s Facebook page.