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Class of 1966 celebrate 50th reunion during commencement weekend

Class of 1966 celebrate 50th reunion during commencement weekend

Posted on 23 May 2016 by

Members of the Class of 1966 and their spouses gather for a group photo with Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody following the reception on May 6.

Members of the Class of 1966 were in the spotlight during the weekend of of Spring Commencement, May 6 and 7, as they reunited on campus to celebrate their 50th anniversary year.

Seventeen members of the Class of 1966 returned to campus to mark this significant milestone.

During a reception for the class members at the President’s House, each was presented a commemorative medallion by Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.

A welcome surprise for the class members was the arrival of Dr. Douglas Trout at the reception. Dr. Trout was serving as president of Tusculum during 1966, and members of the Class of 1966 had voted that year to make him an honorary member of their class.  Dr. Trout participated in the activities as a member of the class.

Following the reception, the members broke bread together at a Brumley’s Restaurant at the General Morgan Inn in downtown Greeneville.

Activities started early for the newest Golden Pioneers on Saturday with a breakfast in the Pioneer Perk coffee house on campus prior to the commencement ceremony.

Following breakfast, the class members donned their gold robes and mortar boards along with their medallions and posed for a few photos before lining up in the hallway to be part of the processional in the morning Commencement ceremony.

Members of the Golden Pioneers pose with Dr. Moody and Dr. Trout.

The Golden Pioneers led the graduating students into Pioneer Arena and sat in the front row in front of the stage. During the ceremony, Dr. Moody recognized each by name, and the group was applauded by the soon-to-be graduates and the audience. A presentation was also made to Dr. Moody during the ceremony of the combined class gift of $50,818.32 from the members of the Class of 1966 and the graduating seniors. The funds are to be used in the creation of an endowed Tusculum First scholarship to benefit future students.

Following the ceremony, the Golden Pioneers returned to the Perk for lunch and more fellowship.

Presenting the class gift to Dr. Moody were, left, Michael Fernando, representing the Class of 2016, and Bruce Howell, representing the Class of 1966.

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Alumnus Justin Reed’s essay selected as one of nation’s best of 2016

Alumnus Justin Reed’s essay selected as one of nation’s best of 2016

Posted on 23 May 2016 by

Justin Phillip Reed '13

Justin Phillip Reed’s essay, “Killing Like They Do in the Movies,” has been selected for Best American Essays 2016, edited by Pulitzer Prize nominee Jonathan Franzen.

Justin is a 2013 graduate of Tusculum and a South Carolina native. He is the author of the “YesYes Books” chapbook and “A History of Flamboyance.”

The full publication of Best American Essays 2016 is available for pre-order on, and Justin’s essay can be read at…/killing-like-they-do-in-the-movies.

His poems will also appear in future editions of “Boston Review,” “Vinyl Poetry,” “joINT,” “PLUCK!,” “Muzzle” and in other publications. His work has been anthologized in the “Best Undergraduate Writing,” section of “plain china” and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

While earning his bachelor’s degree in English at Tusculum, Justin served as assistant managing editor of “The Tusculum Review.” He currently lives in Saint Louis, MO, where he is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the writing program at Washington University.










Dana Matlock ’89 of Oak Ridge, TN, was selected as one of the “Teachers of the Year” in the Morgan County School System. Matlock has taught at Sunbright School for 21 years



Joseph Elphingstone ’15 has completed his graduate program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the University of Southern California. Elphingstone is a native of Calhoun, GA, and played tennis while at Tusculum.


Emee Herbert

Emee Herbert ’15 has participated in the LPGA Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va., her first LPGA event. The native of Johns Creek, GA, played two seasons for the Pioneers, earning South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2012 and was named conference Player of the Year in 2013. She holds the Tusculum career record with a stroke average of 76.81 in 43 rounds, which is also good for second-best in conference history. Herbert completed her collegiate career at NCAA Division I Coastal Carolina University, where she was named All-Big South.






Estelle Burrows Thornley ’42 of Selbyville, DE, and formerly of Fair Lawn, NJ, passed away March 31, 2016. Mrs. Thornley was a retired computer programmer with the Ridgewood School District in New Jersey. She was a member of Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church in Ocean View, DE.


Mary Mitchell Yowell ’44 of Bealeton, Va, passed away October 13, 2015. Mrs. Yowell worked in Oak Ridge, TN, on the Manhatten Project during World War II as a librarian. She later taught in Rappahannock and Faquier counties in Virginia, finishing her career at Margaret M. Pierce Elementary.


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New academic programming, track and field program approved at Tusculum College Board of Trustees meeting

New academic programming, track and field program approved at Tusculum College Board of Trustees meeting

Posted on 19 May 2016 by

The Tusculum College Board of Trustees approved the addition of several new degree programs and a track and field program at its spring meeting, held May 13-14 on the Greeneville campus. With the addition of men’s and women’s track and field teams, the number of NCAA sports offered at Tusculum increases to 18.

The Board gave full approval to a Bachelor of Science in health care administration degree program. A Bachelor of Science in computer science, a Bachelor of Science in information technology and a Master of Accountancy were preliminarily approved pending development of the curriculum. Also approved was the development of a minor in web design.

The new programs will be initiated between now and 2019.

“As an institution it is important that we continue to be responsive to the students we serve as well as the communities around us,” said Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board and 1970 alumnus of the college. “Changing, and particularly adding degree programs, allows us to serve the needs of students today and into the future.”

The Board also received a report on the recent Mock Disaster Scenario conducted on campus in March. The simulation was a tornado which had collapsed Katherine Hall at approximately 2 a.m. during an academic day. Participants included: Greene County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Tusculum Volunteer Fire Department, Greeneville Police Department, Greeneville Fire Department, Greene County EMS, Greene County 911, Laughlin Memorial Hospital, and Takoma Regional Hospital. Tusculum College provided volunteers from employees and students to act as casualties.

The intent of the drill was to test Tusculum’s ability to initially respond to a natural disaster and communicate with local emergency responders in order to provide emergency care to the Tusculum community. Specifically, the college tested its ability to initially respond to a catastrophic emergency, its ability to handle a large number of casualties and displaced persons and its ability to perform long-term recovery operations and continue business operations.

The initial assessment immediately following the event from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency was that the Tusculum College initial response and Emergency Operations Center performance was “excellent.”

As a result of recent state legislation, the Board reviewed its policies on guns on campus. As a result, both the faculty and student handbooks will be amended to state that the “Board of Trustees of Tusculum College has determined that Tusculum College and all of its property is a weapon-free school,” as described in Tennessee Code Annotated. “No person, except a person who is a sworn peace officer, is allowed to carry a firearm on any property owned or operated by Tusculum College.”

According to Jon Gresham, director of campus safety for Tusculum College, while new wording was adopted, the intent and extent of the policy remains consistent with the policy that had been in operation prior to recent legislation.

The Board also recommended preliminary approval of the 2016-2017 operating budget. The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees will be October 2016.


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Dr. Morris Katz honored with Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Morris Katz honored with Distinguished Service Award

Posted on 16 May 2016 by

Dr. Morris E. Katz '37, right, was presented the Distinguished Service Award in absentia during the President's Dinner on May 13. The photo above was made of Dr. Katz and Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody when she visited with him a few years ago in Florida.

Dr. Morris E. Katz, a 1937 graduate of Tusculum College and long-time friend of the college, was presented in absentia the Distinguished Service Award during the annual Tusculum College President’s Dinner on Friday, May 13.

Dr. Katz was recognized for his service and support of Tusculum College. The award was presented via video link. Dr. Katz accepted the award surrounded by friends and family. Dr. Katz is a native of Athol, Massachusetts, who now resides in Sarasota, Florida. Tusculum President Dr. Nancy B. Moody and Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees and 1970 alumnus of the college, presented the award.

The Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual or individuals who have a history of outstanding support of Tusculum College. The award is presented at the President’s Dinner, which honors the college’s major donors.

“It gives me great pleasure to pay tribute to a son of Tusculum College, an excellent student and athlete; a man very dedicated to his family and also dedicated to improving the human condition and making the world a better place; to a very humble person who has loved and celebrated life for 101 years and is dedicated to providing others the opportunity for an education, the gift of a lifetime,” said Dr. Moody.

While a student at Tusculum, Dr. Katz excelled in the pre-med program and was a member of the Outing Club, as well as a member of the cross country and swimming teams. He also served as president of his senior class.

Following his time at Tusculum, Dr. Katz interned for a year at W.W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Conn.  Through the support of Tusculum College President, The Reverend Dr. Charles Anderson, Morris was admitted to and subsequently graduated from the University of the Oklahoma School of Medicine in 1941.

As a Major in the Medical Corps, Dr. Morris Katz began service as a Battalion Surgeon in the 28th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, seeing action in the European Theater in World War II.  Upon his discharge in 1945, Dr. Katz received additional training at Beth-Israel Hospital and the Boston City Hospital.  In July 1950, he opened a practice in Norwich, Connecticut, where his specialty was eye-ear-nose and throat.

Board certified in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, Dr. Katz served the community for approximately 46 years until his retirement in 1987.  His professional memberships included the New London County Medical Association, the Connecticut State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Dr. Katz retired to Florida where he served as a medical volunteer for the Senior Friendship Center until recently. In memory of his wife, Freda, Dr. Katz established The Morris E. and Freda Hillson Katz Endowed Scholarship Fund in 1996. Freda was born in 1914 in Malden, Massachusetts and passed away in 1994. With gifts and a generous planned gift by Dr. Katz, this scholarship seeks to support able and deserving pre-medical students and other science majors.

“With his commitment to education and health care in the community and at Tusculum College,” said Dr. Bowman, “Dr. Katz has made a significant impact. His legacy will continue to impact the lives of students for many, many years to come.”

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Nearly 300 receive degrees Saturday at Tusculum College

Nearly 300 receive degrees Saturday at Tusculum College

Posted on 09 May 2016 by

Graduating from Tusculum College during spring commencement were 295 individuals in two ceremonies held on Saturday, May. 7.

On Saturday 102 students earned Bachelor of Science degrees and 134 earned Bachelor of Arts degrees. In addition 41 graduates earned Master of Arts degrees and 18 received Master of Business Administration degrees.

Walking with this spring’s graduates were 17 representatives of the Tusculum College Class of 1966 who are celebrating their 50th anniversary year. Representatives walked in the procession, clothed in golden caps and gowns and were recognized during the ceremony by Dr. Moody.

The new graduates were addressed by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, who recognized the hard work of the path to graduation, saying “Commencement is an occasion of celebration and completion. It is a culmination event for the graduates.” Adding, “Today is a testament to your efforts, to your persistence. Each of you made sacrifices, made adjustments and made some tough decisions along the way.”

She told the group, that while there was no doubt they were thinking about the many people in their lives who have stood by them on this journey, that graduation day was a moment to celebrate the completion of a goal they had worked hard to attain. “Relish the victory that you claim today.”

The Golden Pioneers, represented by Bruce C. Howell, of  Hackettstown, N.J. and the Class of 2016, represented Michael Fernando, a business major from Sri Lanka, presented a check to Dr. Moody for $50,818 as a gift to the college to be used to endow the Tusculum First Scholarship.

Commencement speakers David Baker, at left, and Nicholas Wasylyk

The new graduates were addressed by Dr. David Baker, senior vice president of field services for the DIRECTV Group, Inc. and a member of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. Dr. Baker shared with the graduates in both ceremonies things he has learned in the more than three decades of his career.

Among his advice, he told graduates to never pass up a chance to help someone or to say something nice. Adding, that this is the base level for building relationships, which are critical throughout life in all capacities.  He also told the audience to always be positive, and when in doubt to smile. “It is easy to go negative,” he said, “Be openly and visibly positive.”

Afternoon Commencement Speaker John Shaw, Jr.

He stressed the importance of communication skills and creative thinking, which he said are skills that grow in value as one progresses in his career.

“One of the best things you can take into a career is a strong set of personal values. With that, you can work your way through some very difficult and complex situations.”

Speaking at the morning ceremony was Nicholas Wasylyk, a pre-med major from Ontario, Canada. Wasylyk has been a member of the Pioneer Football team and president of the Science Club. He has been a member of the President’s Society and Alpha Chi Honor Society and spent countless hours helping other students as a Tusculum College tutor.

Wasylyk told the group to cherish the wonderful memories made with friends, faculty and family. “It is an honor to receive a degree from Tusculum College. We are all now staring at an open door, and all we have to do is run head-first through it. We have the key to our future – knowledge.”

Speaking during the afternoon ceremony was John Shaw, Jr., who received his Master in Business Administration. John also received his undergraduate degree at Tusculum in 1997. He is a project manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge. John has been married to his wife, Brenda, for 33 years and they have two daughters, Shanna and Aleia.

His advice to graduates was to find new opportunities to put new skills and knowledge to work. “The important thing is finding your passion,” he said.  “In life, control is an illusion. Treasure and relish each moment.”

Beth Brimer, at left, accepted the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award for the traditional program for her late husband, Bill Brimer. At right is Dr. Michael Dillon, dean of the School of Business, who received the award for the Graduate and Professional Studies program.

Also during the ceremony, members of the Tusculum College faculty were recognized. Receiving the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award for the Residential College was the late Bill Brimer, accepted on his behalf by his wife, Beth. Receiving the award for the Graduate and Professional Studies program was Dr. Michael Dillon, dean of the School of Business.


After receiving their degrees, students at Tusculum College “walk the gauntlet,” receiving congratulations from the faculty.

Left front, Dr. Nancy B. Moody welcomes back former Tusculum College President Douglas Trout, right front, along with members of the graduating class of 1967. Celebrating their 50th reunion year, the Golden Pioneers walked with the graduates at the Spring Commencement ceremony.


Members of the Golden Pioneers pose with Dr. Moody and Dr. Trout.

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Class of 1966 to be special guests on campus during Spring Commencement weekend

Class of 1966 to be special guests on campus during Spring Commencement weekend

Posted on 29 April 2016 by

Members of the Class of 1966 will be in the spotlight next weekend as they reunite on campus to celebrate their 50th anniversary year.

Special events are planned on both May 6 and 7 to bring the newest Golden Pioneers back together on campus to mark this milestone for the Class of 1966.

The Golden Pioneer celebrations occur during the spring commencement weekend and include recognition and social celebration, that includes a reception at the President’s House.

Donning a golden cap and gown, each participant is presenting a commemorative medallion and be recognized by for their dedication and loyalty to the College for the past 50 years. The class members participate in the Commencement processional and will be recognized during the ceremony from the podium.

Below is the agenda for the Golden Pioneers for May 2016 Commencement:


Friday, May 6

3 – 5 p.m. – Tours of Tusculum

5 to 6 p.m. – Reception with Dr. Nancy B. Moody and Mr. Tom F. Moody at the President’s house with Medallion Ceremony

6:30 p.m. – Dinner at The Brumley’s Restaurant in the General Morgan Inn (Dutch Treat)


Saturday, May 7

8:30 a.m. – Breakfast in the Pioneer Perk, Niswonger Commons

10 a.m. – Commencement Ceremony, Pioneer Arena, Niswonger Commons

Following Commencement – Golden Pioneer Luncheon in the Pioneer Perk

Members of the Class of 1966 can register for these events by visiting this page.


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Tusculum event coming to D.C. area soon

Tusculum event coming to D.C. area soon

Posted on 29 April 2016 by

If you will be in the Washington, D. C. area next week, make plans to attend the upcoming alumni event on Tuesday, May 3. Alumni are invited to visit with Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody and learn about all the exciting developments at the College, including the construction progress for the new center for science and math (above).

Alumni will gather at 7 p.m at The Atrium inside the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA 2202).  Meals will be Dutch treat. Please RSVP to the Office of Alumni Relations at 423.636.7303, 800.729.0256 ext. 5303 or

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Tusculum alum referees in NCAA women’s basketball championship

Tusculum alum referees in NCAA women’s basketball championship

Posted on 27 April 2016 by

Beverly Roberts

When the University of Connecticut defeated Syracuse University, on Tuesday, April 5, during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship game, a Tusculum College alumna was right in the middle of the action.

Beverly Roberts ’90 was selected to serve as one of the game officials at this year’s Women’s Final Four, held in Indianapolis. Roberts was one of the three referees working the national title game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, shown on ESPN.

Serving as referee in big games is not new for the Kingsport native. She officiated the 2008 NCAA Final Four in Tampa, FL, and has worked in 10 consecutive NCAA tournaments. This was her first national championship game. Roberts officiates women’s games in the Big Ten, Big 12, Missouri Valley Conference, Southeastern Conference and Conference USA.

Officiating runs in the family. Beverly’s father, Garry Roberts, is a basketball official in the South Atlantic Conference.










Rev. Don Wright ’53 has just finished serving as temporary pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn, MI. He has filled in for more than a year as the church searched for a new pastor. Don is Pastor Emeritus of this church and this was his third time to minister to the congregation. With his 57 years of service, the Presbytery continues to use his service to assist churches in need. Don met his wife Dorothy (Jaynes) ’54 at Tusculum and they married on his graduation day. The Wrights live near their daughter Debbie. Their oldest son, Alan, owns a software company in California; their middle son Doug is compliance officer for an investment company, and their youngest son Dean is vice president of MGM.



Brian Click ’99 of Greeneville, TN, has realized a longtime dream with the opening of Cornerstone Wealth Management Group with partner Chris O’Dell. The new business will offer such services as comprehensive financial management, from 401(k)s, IRAs and retirement preparation to college planning and investments, as well as some insurance services. Click has been a certified financial planner for 17 years. As part of the new business, the partners took a vacant building that had been the location of a popular locally owned store, renovating it and returning it to useful life in the community.



Jeremy Parrott ’00 has been named the new head coach of the Bearden Bulldogs boy’s basketball program in Knoxville, TN. Jeremy had taught  history and driver’s education courses at Cherokee High School in Rogersville, TN, as well as served 15 years as the head boy’s basketball coach there. He is the longest tenured head basketball coach and his teams have recorded the most consecutive winning seasons in school history. Jeremy has served as the chairman of the Basketball Coaches for the Intermountain Athletic Conference since 2006. He was voted Coach of the Year in District II AAA in 2006-07 and was chosen Lakeway Area Coach of the Year in 2011-12. That year, his team made it to the state tournament, the only team to ever do so at Cherokee.






Elizabeth Taylor Duggins ’41 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 17, 2016. Mrs. Duggins was a lifelong resident of Greeneville and Tusculum and a retired educator who served both the Greeneville and Greene County school systems. Mrs. Duggins began her career working in a two-room school in the Sinking Springs community. She was known as a champion of troubled students and a favorite English teacher and counselor to generations. Always ready to listen with equal measures of caring and humor, Mrs. Duggins was sought out both by students and parents as well as other adults who showed up at her back door under the cover of darkness looking for a sympathetic ear and wise council. She could not get enough of the beauty of Greene County and the Unaka Mountains, and after she gave up driving was always ready for a ride in the countryside or nearby mountains. Her survivors include sister and Tusculum alumna Marjorie Bright ’59.



Delia Swain Acuff ’60 of Greeneville, TN, passed away March 31, 2016. Mrs. Acuff was retired teacher and principal of Greeneville Middle School. She was a member of Tusculum Baptist Church. Mrs. Acuff was a member of the Retired Teachers Association and the Greene County Democrat Party. She had a desire to travel, having visited all 50 states. She also traveled around the world. In the 1970s, she went India and Poland, trips that were sponsored by the State of Tennessee.Mrs. Acuff devoted her time to the Alliance for Mental Health and was affiliated with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) and TAMI (Tennessee Alliance on Mental Health). She was instrumental in establishing the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greene County. In addition to traveling, she also enjoyed her flower gardens, sewing, politics and cats.


Tony M. Seay Jr. ’66 of Mosheim, TN, passed away on April 24, 2016. Mr. Seay was a career educator, having taught at Mosheim Elementary School.


The Rev. Dr. Roy E. Blakeburn ’84 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 14, 2016. Dr. Blakeburn served 54 years as an ordained Cumberland Presbyterian minister, with 35 of those years in Greeneville. He also served churches in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee. Dr. Blakeburn served the church in other capacities including associate secretary of the Board of Home Missions, General Assembly commissioner, moderator of the General Assembly, stated clerk of the General Assembly and co-chair of the Committee to Revise the Confession of Faith of 1984. Dr. Blakeburn was the author of two study books: “The Presence, the People, and the Journey,” and “The Holy Spirit Comes Through the Word,” as well as several articles for “The Cumberland Presbyterian” magazine and the “Missionary Messenger.” He published two books of his selected sermons: “God, Gabriel and the Cannonball” and “Faithful Living Outside the Box.”



Sherri Lee Taylor ’99 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 4, 2016. Ms. Taylor worked for the U.S. Postal Service. She was a member of First Christian Church and a member of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 1653.



William Thomas “Bill” Brimer of Chuckey, TN, who was a professor of mathematics at Tusculum, passed away of pancreatic cancer on April 8, 2016, at his home surrounded by loved ones. Mr. Brimer formerly taught and coached wrestling, football and track at Greeneville High School, Tennessee High School and Morristown West High School. He also served as the minister of music at Tusculum Baptist Church, where he was a member.  His final days included visits from hundreds of friends, family, wrestlers, former students, and colleagues thanking him for the impact of his humble, yet powerful influence upon their lives. In keeping with his life’s work, among his last words were; “Keep making a difference in people’s lives.”


Loyce “Sue” C. Raber of Colonial Heights, TN, passed away on April 5, 2016, after an an extended illness. Mrs. Raber was the wife of Dr. Donald R. Raber H’13, who serves on the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mrs. Raber had lived in Kingsport since 1981. She was a loving homemaker and long term officer of Aldebaran Financial. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Loyce and August Ritzler Scholarship Fund, Tusculum College, 60 Shiloh Road, Greeneville, Tennessee 37743, which the Rabers established and named in honor of Mrs. Raber’s parents.

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Students contribute ‘Up to Us’ prize money to College

Students contribute ‘Up to Us’ prize money to College

Posted on 27 April 2016 by

A team of students from Tusculum College was awarded fifth place in the fourth annual Up to Us campus competition. The group of seniors has decided to contribute the prize money the team received to the College

During the annual School of Business Banquet in late April, the team members presented more than $2,000 to Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody as a contribution to the Tusculum First Scholarship. The Tusculum First Scholarship was established by the 2015 graduating seniors as their class gift to help future students achieve their educational goals as others had helped them achieve their goals. The class of 2016 also donated its class gift to the Tusculum First Scholarship.

The team members included Michael Fernando, Haylee Reed, Leon Seiz, David Siegle and Jonas Winklemann.

Members of the Up to Us team present Dr. Nancy B. Moody,Tusculum president, with its prize money during the School of Business Banquet on April 26.

Up to Us is a project coordinated by Net Impact, working in partnership with the Peter. G. Petersen Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. The organization provides an opportunity to college students to educate their peers on issues stemming from the national debt, giving students the chance to speak up and make an impact on the nation’s long-term fiscal and economic health.

During the 2016 Up to Us campaign, 230 students on 53 teams in 28 states worked on their individual campuses to engage other students in understanding the national debt through in-person outreach, events and activities on campus.

“It’s been a rewarding experience,” said Michael Fernando, a senior Tusculum College student from Sri Lanka majoring in accounting, general management and economics and international business, who headed the effort at Tusculum College. “After we were invited to participate in Up to Us, such a prestigious competition, I knew we would have to give it all we had. We had a great team, and I am glad that we were as successful as we were.”

According to Fernando, Tusculum College participated in the campaign from October 22, 2015 through February 21, 2016, launching weeks of creative, non-partisan and thought-provoking campus campaigns to raise awareness of the impact of America’s long-term national debt.

The Tusculum College team led some innovative campaign strategies, including a TED Talk style forum regarding the national debt, he said. Students participated in the project “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees,” during which they made signs detailing how they cared about the national debt and hung them around trees on the Greeneville campus and even made special announcements during a basketball game.

As part of their award, the team will also be awarded a cash prize, which they have chosen to donate to Tusculum College. The team leaders from the top 10 teams have also been invited to Washington, D.C. to attend the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2016 Fiscal Summit; they will meet with economists and national political leaders to discuss the national debt and its impact on millennials. Fernando also traveled to the University of California, Berkeley to the Clinton Global Initiative University conference in early April where the winning teams were recognized by former President Bill Clinton.

Teams from the 2016 Up to Us campaign were assessed by a panel of judges that included several elite business executives and Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation.

For more information on the Up to Us initiative, visit


By Madilyn Elliott, senior journalism and professional writing major from Hampton

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Spring Commencement will be Saturday, May 7

Spring Commencement will be Saturday, May 7

Posted on 13 April 2016 by

May 7 will mark a milestone for about 350 Tusculum College students who will reach the successful completion of their educational journey by earning degrees during the Spring Commencement Ceremony that day.

Two ceremonies are planned and both will take place in the Pioneer Arena of the Niswonger Commons. The first will be at 10 a.m. and will include students earning degrees from the Traditional College program. The second will be at 2 p.m. and include students earning Master’s degrees and the students earning degrees from the Graduate and Professional Studies bachelor’s programs.

Tusculum College applauds the graduates for their hard-earned achievements and is preparing for May 7 as a day of celebration for the newest alumni and their families. The College is busy making preparations to make the day a memorable one and you can help.

Family members are asked to carpool if possible rather than bring multiple cars to the ceremony to help lessen congestion on campus. As you arrive on campus, security personnel will direct you to a parking area and shuttles will provided from outer lots to the Niswonger Commons.

If you are any of your family members or guests requires special handicapped seating accommodations, please contact Bobbie Greenway at 423-636-7300 ext. 5154 so your needs can be addressed. There will be handicapped parking available in the large parking lot at the Niswonger Commons. Please let the security personnel directing traffic and parking know that you need handicapped parking if it is needed and they will direct you to the lot. Please note that Tusculum will not be able to provide wheelchairs. Those with special seating accommodations are asked to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.

You can also help by helping your graduate be at the Pioneer Arena in time for graduation practice. For the morning ceremony, practice begins at 8:45 a.m. and it begins 12:45 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony. Graduates who arrive prior to the practice times are asked to report to the cafeteria.

Graduates are not allowed to have personnel items such as purses and cameras with them during the ceremony. You can assist them by obtaining these items from them prior to graduation practice and holding them.  Prior to the practice is a good time for this and other communication between you and your graduate because after graduation practice, the graduates go to the cafeteria where they placed in order for the procession and for the ceremony. It is easier for the College staff getting the graduates in line if they stay inside the cafeteria during this period.

The Pioneer Arena will open for guest seating after completion of the rehearsal. Guests are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.

No tickets are required for graduation and there is no limit on the number of guests per graduate. However, to help provide seating for all, guests are asked to not hold seats for others in the last 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.

Programs will be placed on the seat of each graduate and they will be distributed to guests at the Pioneer Arena primary entrances. The program will also posted on the Tusculum web site following the ceremony. For graduates unable to attend the ceremony, diplomas will be mailed to the graduates’ home addresses after Commencement Day provided all academic and financial obligations are satisfied.

To help preserve the prestigious decorum of the commencement ceremony, guests are asked to observe the following:

  • As a courtesy to other attendees, please consider making alternative arrangements for very young children.  Due to fire marshal regulations, no baby carriers or strollers will be allowed in the auditorium.
  • Cell phones are to be turned off or switched to the silent operating mode during the ceremony.  Do not speak on a cell phone or carry on a conversation during the ceremony as this prevents others from hearing and enjoying the ceremony.
  • Commencement is both a joyous and solemn event.  Please express your excitement in ways that will not prevent others from hearing the speaker and enjoying the ceremony.  Use of air horns, yelling or stomping are disruptive.
  • Please refrain from taking pictures until after your graduate receives his or her diploma.  This will allow the ceremony to flow smoothly and reduce the distractions and disturbances to other audience members as they try to see and hear ongoing presentations.
  • As a courtesy to and out of respect for your fellow graduates, you and your family are requested to remain in the auditorium until the conclusion of the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the faculty traditionally forms a gauntlet and applauds the graduates as they recess from the auditorium.  We ask that your family and friends be respectful of this tradition and remain in the auditorium until the graduates have exited the auditorium.


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Music lineup announced for Old Oak Festival, April 15-17

Music lineup announced for Old Oak Festival, April 15-17

Posted on 31 March 2016 by

The Carson Peters Band will be returning to the Old Oak Festival.

Fiddlin’ Carson Peters returns again to headline the Old Oak Festival, along with the Smoky Mountain Bluegrass band and a host of regional talent as the event will once again be held on the Tusculum College campus, April 15-17.

The Old Oak Festival features a wide variety of music, food and fun, spanning across three days and featuring something for everyone, be it live music, theater, arts and crafts or fabulous festival food.

Throughout the weekend on stage, the festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to regionally-known vocalists and musicians. Musicians kicking off the show on Friday include Bean Tree Remedy featuring Ashley Bean, Dave Nunez and the Perfect World Band, Mike Joy, My New Favorites and Prism – a tribute to Pink Floyd. Friday night will also feature Jack & Michael on the Terrace entertaining for an alumni event.

On Saturday, expect good old fashion fun from Shiloh and the Tusculum College Band closing out the night, but also plan to get to the festival early to hear the Stem Winder, the Thursday Night Boys, Jake Keasly & Friends, the Dandy Lions, Absinthe Gray, Jimmie D and the House Rockers and the Madisons.

The Carson Peters Band will be on the main stage on Saturday as well. Additionally on Saturday, some favorite features will be back, including the “Conduct Us” session with the Tusculum College Band, where anyone can step up and take over the conductor’s baton.

Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Band

Sunday’s artists include Jim and Curtis Moneyhun, Steve Brown, the Tusculum College Handbell Choir, the Matthew Hurd Band and the regional favorite, the Smoky Mountain Bluegrass band.

“The musical acts this year will provide a wide variety to suit all musical tastes, with some top rate performances on all three days,” said David Price, festival coordinator and director of music for Tusculum College.

A new feature for the Old Oak Festival this year will be horse and carriage rides, sponsored by Tymley Travel, and a lineup of 10 workshops designed for high school students, through which five participants will be awarded a $500 scholarship.

The high school workshops will be offered in morning and afternoon shifts, from 9-11 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. The morning workshops will consist of an educational wetland tour and nature writing, contemporary poetry, drawing, playwriting, and music theory and songwriting. Acting, brief essay or prose poem, tree identification, photo manipulation and songwriting will be offered in the afternoon.

Another returning favorite is Joyce Carroll, puppet master. Carroll will be a puppet troubadour, appearing through the festival with spontaneous performances.

As part of the entertainment, there will be three performances during the festival of GLAWPIGT (Great Literature Alive and Well and Playing in Greeneville, Tennessee) Showcase, presented by the group comprised of local students under the direction of Arts Outreach Director Marilyn duBrisk. Show times are Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Performances will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building.

Sponsors of the event include Artistic Printers, Fatz Cafe, The Greeneville Sun, Radio Greeneville and Wayne Thomas.

There is no fee to attend the festival, other than the admission fee to the GLAWPIGT performances. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m. Author Row and the food vendors will remain open until 9 p.m. On Saturday, hours will be from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.  for art vendors and 9 p.m. for the rest of the festival. Sunday hours are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Price at 423-636-7303.

Coolers and alcohol are prohibited during the festival.

For updates and more information, visit the website at or on facebook.

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Meen Center construction moving into new phase

Meen Center construction moving into new phase

Posted on 30 March 2016 by

The construction of the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math is moving into a new phase.

With concreting completed and the majority of the roofing done as well, construction of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math at Tusculum College moves into a new phase with permanent power being set and water proofing, windows and brick beginning.

According to David Martin, director of facilities for Tusculum College, the building is now “dried in” and exterior framing complete.  “Interior framing is at 80 percent and will be completed by early April,” said Martin.

It is expected that the construction will be completed by the end of the year and will be ready for utilization when students return for spring semester 2017.

The Meen Center for Science and Math will be a four-story structure of approximately 100,000 square feet. Interiors include wings for biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and environmental science. There will also be lab space and research areas for both faculty and students.

The ground floor features the environmental science wing with a loading dock, as well as large general classroom spaces and classrooms equipped for distance learning programs. A large lecture hall will be included on the ground floor. Space is also allocated to house the Bachelor of Science degree program in nursing and at least one other graduate level health-related program.

Windows have started to be installed as exterior framing is nearing completion.













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