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Alumni Paul Lawless reflects on Tusculum in the ’70s

Alumni Paul Lawless reflects on Tusculum in the ’70s

Posted on 23 November 2015 by

During his visit at Homecoming 2015, Tusculum College alumni Paul “Rooster” Lawless ’70 graciously provided a “look back” at Tusculum College. In his reflections, he has, in great detail, described Tusculum’s physical qualities that differ from today. He also shared personal experiences.

Paul Lawless graduated in 1970. He describes his experience as viewing Tusculum in two pieces: the first few weeks and the rest of his four years. This is due to the first few weeks being filled with freshman hazing. The freshmen were “Rats,” while the upper classmen held the title of “Sir.” Following his third year, hazing had dwindled away due to the death of a student, not at Tusculum, involved in hazing.

“Survival at Tusculum was a tiny, square wooden building, the kind college students might try to cram into just to see if 50 people would fit inside, jammed cheek to jowl,” said Lawless. He goes on to describe Tusculum’s post office as a building that only held mail boxes for upper classman while the rest of the student body waited in lines extending out of the building to receive mail.

Paul Lawless and his wife, Martha, attend the keepsake preservation workshop during Homecoming.

The Quad during this time was an oval loop of asphalt that circled the middle ground between Haynes Hall, Craig, Rankin and the gym. Thinking of the quad, Lawless remembers it as Rankin’s front yard. The stairs in Rankin were a hangout for the mischievous. The metal furniture was not so popular during this time. “If you were foolish enough to sit on the metal furniture on the front porch of Rankin Hall, someone would notice you, fill a waste paper basket with water, and remind you of how foolish you were,” explained Lawless.


Excerpt by Kayla Freeman, freshman business major from Charleston, S.C.



You can read more of “Rooster’s” memories in the upcoming issue of Tusculum magazine.


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Check out the latest news about your fellow alumni

Check out the latest news about your fellow alumni

Posted on 23 November 2015 by








Fessor McCoy ’83 of Goldsboro, NC, and his wife Angela have been recognized by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for outstanding state government service. Their commendation states that the couple “exemplifies the act of compassion on a consistent basis in their day-to-day activities, at work and at home.” The McCoys work for the Department of Health and Human Services at O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center in Goldsboro as home life program managers. They are responsible for the care and well being of residents who are medically fragile, with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. “The McCoys give the residents special attention and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect at all times, in life and in death,” the commendation also states. As part of their job responsibilities, the McCoys arrange memorial services when residents they serve pass away. Noting the difficulties surrounding the loss of a loved one, the commendation states that the “McCoys rise to the challenge and find ways to truly celebrate the lives of the residents with their O’Berry Center family and often with the residents’ natural families.” The  commendation noted that the McCoys have attended 21 funeral services for residents in the past six years in their own personal time due to their love of their O’Berry Center family and assisted with the services at the request of families. Fessor often writes poems reflective of the residents’ lives that echo the impact they made in the lives of others.



Dr. Jonathan Feathers ’01 of Johnson City, TN, has published his first book, “New Wine into Old Wineskins.” The book is available through and is available on in paperback and as an e-book.



Brooke Compton Davis ’09 of Greeneville, TN, has been promoted to the position of assistant finance director for the Town of Greeneville. Under her leadership as accountant during the past three years, the town has received zero findings on its yearly financial audits. She also recently earned the designation of Certified Municipal Finance Officer.






Nancy Brooks Wood ’72 of McKenzie, TN, passed away October 27, 2015. Mrs. Wood was a medical biller for Shannondale Health Care Center in Knoxville. In 1985, she married Rev. Kevin L. Wood and was a faithful partner in the ministry of the churches where he served. In their 30 years of marriage, they ministered to churches in Greeneville; Louisville, Ky; Edmond, OK; Fairfield, IL, Knoxville and in McKenzie at the McKenzie Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She was loved and respected by the members of each church she served and was best known for her beautiful smile and caring heart.



Darren Keith Ellenburg ’96 of Chuckey, TN, passed away unexpectedly on October 28, 2015. Mr. Ellenburg was a paramedic/EMT instructor and coordinator, professor and paramedic program director at Northeast State Community College. He was past president of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Education Association and past chairman of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board. Mr. Ellenburg was an avid Tennessee Vols fan.



Jerry Ray Hux Jr. ’12 of Parrottsville, TN, passed away on November 9, 2015. Mr. Hux was a veteran.

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Dr. Ron May to continue as vice president of academic affairs

Dr. Ron May to continue as vice president of academic affairs

Posted on 20 November 2015 by

Dr. Ron May, vice president of academic affairs at Tusculum College, has extended his tenure to serve through the 2016-17 academic year. Dr. May had originally accepted an invitation to serve Tusculum College through June 30, 2016.

Dr. May, a 1968 graduate of the college, has had a distinguished career in higher education, retiring in June 2014 as president of Ancilla College in Donaldson, Ind. In his career he has taught public school, as well as served as a college professor, department head, dean, vice president and twice as a college president, at Ancilla and at Louisburg College in Louisburg, N.C.

Dr. Ron May

“Tusculum is in the process of transformation in our academic program, and we are delighted that we will continue to have the leadership of Dr. May as we move forward with a number of significant changes approved by the Board of Trustees in the past year,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “His professional background provides a vast experience in higher education administration and will be invaluable as we move forward. We look forward to the continued service and presence of Dr. May and his wife, Joan.”

While his primary responsibilities include leading the academic programs of the college, Dr. May also holds faculty rank as professor of education.

In his career, Dr. May has been recognized by numerous organizations, including by the Leadership Marshall County program with their Leader of the Year Award in 2011. He served Tusculum College as dean of faculty from 1985 to 1988. He also served for a time as the president of the Tusculum College Alumni Association.

Dr. May earned a Doctorate of Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from East Tennessee State University and an Associate of Science from Vincennes University.

He returned to serve as interim vice president of academic affairs in June 2014. He previously served Tusculum College as dean of faculty from 1985 to 1988.

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New science and math building coontinues to take shape

New science and math building coontinues to take shape

Posted on 18 November 2015 by

The Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math continues to take shape as upper decks were poured in November, from the lab section through the lecture hall and to the north retaining wall. Concreting should reach the half way point this week, said David Martin, director of facilities at Tusculum College.

Additionally, Martin said that two-thirds of the building has the steel work completed.

The other trades, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, fire protection and metal framing will be completed soon.

Work on the roof trusses will start the Monday after Thanksgiving with roof blocking, HVAC curbs and roofing following immediately

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.


Sections of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math on the Tusculum College campus are reaching structural completion.

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Tusculum to begin offering associate degree in general studies

Tusculum to begin offering associate degree in general studies

Posted on 30 October 2015 by

Tusculum College will begin offering an associate degree program for the first time in fall of 2016, and enrollment in the program is now open.

“Tusculum College is continually serving the region by providing degree programs that meet the educational goals of the students we serve,” said Dr. Ron May, vice president for academic affairs. “By adding an associate degree program, we are recognizing that many of our students are first-generation college students and the idea of a four-year degree may be intimidating. This new program gives students a milestone for measuring their success. We certainly hope they will consider continuing on to complete a four-year degree program.”

The program, which will be offered in both the residential and the Graduate and Professional Studies programs, will offer students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts in general studies degree, which may also be applied to any four-year program.

Students in the program will take all general education courses, as well as a minimum of 19 hours of elective courses that can be concentrated in a major area or taken in a variety of major areas as a way of exploration of potential career paths.

“The associate degree can introduce students to the college process and academic coursework,” said Dr. May. “When they complete the program, they may choose to enter the employment market or apply their associate degree toward a four-year program. We are very excited about giving prospective students another option to begin their journey into higher education.”

Students enrolled in the associate degree program will have the same benefits and eligibilities as those enrolled in four-year programs, including access to athletics, student support services, tutoring and financial aid. All veteran’s benefits, including the Yellow Ribbon Program, may be used toward the associate degree.

“Students interested in starting our associate degree program will apply in the same manner as any of our other programs,” said LeAnn Hughes, vice president for marketing and enrollment management. “This program is another offering we have that extends our spectrum of academic programs. Students may choose this option, a four year program and later an advanced degree. All of our counselors are happy to meet with prospective students and provide guidance about which options are best for their goals.”

In addition to federal financial aid options, the Hope Scholarship, as well as Tennessee Promise funding, may be used toward the Tusculum College associate degree program.

Hughes added that this is also a way to make a student’s choice of education affordable. “Students who wish to attend Tusculum College may now do so in the associate degree program and apply Tennessee Promise dollars toward that degree.”

Anyone interested in enrolling in the Associate of Arts in general studies program should contact the Tusculum College Office of Admission at 800-729-0256 or visit

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Campus community mourns loss of beloved Chaplain Mark Stokes

Campus community mourns loss of beloved Chaplain Mark Stokes

Posted on 27 October 2015 by

Mark Stokes was known for his quick wit and good nature. A trustee has reflected that "just seeing his warm smile, genuine greeting and interest in you is God’s message to all of us. Thank you Mark for living God’s message of loving others."

The Tusculum College community suffered the loss of one of its most respected and beloved members with the passing of Chaplain Mark Stokes on the evening of October 13.

Both Mark and his wife, Jeanne, are among the most well known and respected representatives of Tusculum College in the community at large. In his 26 years at Tusculum, Mark provided leadership in a variety of areas at Tusculum including admission, student affairs, development and facilities management and had been commissioned as chaplain in February 2014. Jeanne Stokes joined Tusculum more than 20 years ago and serves as the director of the TRIO Programs.

“Mark Stokes made an incredible impact on Tusculum College, this community and the lives of all those with whom he came into contact,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum. “Mark’s faith served as a beacon for others and his smile a light of friendship.  He was solid, quick with a laugh and worked as hard as he could to get the things done he was asked to do. He was part of the ‘Over the Hill’ gang who came to breathe life back into Tusculum College when it needed it badly and was the last of those to remain here.

“In his more than 25 years at the College, Mark was a chameleon, doing whatever task was needed to be done to advance the College as long as it was moral, ethical and legal. He was beloved by all and made a special place in his heart for students. As chaplain he became known for having an open door to our students, providing an ear when they were in times of trouble, indecision or crisis. He and Jeanne on several occasions opened their home to students in need. He was so well suited in his final role at the college, as chaplain and liaison for community relations. It just suited him. He was a true representative of Tusculum College. He was the kind of person that just cannot be replaced.”

Stokes came to Tusculum in 1989 as vice president of enrollment management, heading Tusculum’s admission efforts. Through the years, he also headed student affairs, institutional advancement, facilities management and served as vice president of administration, overseeing such diverse areas as the museums, information systems and building projects.

In addition, Stokes served Tusculum as its primary liaison with the Presbyterian Church USA for many years. He attended meetings of the Holston Presbytery and Presbytery of East Tennessee as Tusculum’s representative, served on committees of both presbyteries and helped coordinate College Days for both presbyteries, in which representatives from Tusculum would speak about the College during church services. He coordinated the annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series for many years. He also coordinated the updating and renewal of covenants between the College and the Holston Presbytery, the Presbytery of East Tennessee and the Synod of Living Waters.

Mark Stokes was recognized for 25 years of service of Tusculum College in 2014. He is wearing a stole that was made for him to celebrate his commissioning as chaplain.

After the retirement of long-time chaplain Dr. Steve Weisz, Stokes assumed responsibility for weekly chapel services and special services for Christmas and Easter as part of his duties as then director of church and community relations. He also began three years of study to be commissioned as a Ruling Elder (formerly known as a Lay Pastor) in Holston Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church (USA). After commissioning as a Ruling Elder, he was commissioned as chaplain at Tusculum in February 2014 and again during the Tusculum College Sunday service at First Presbyterian Church of Greeneville the following April.

Stokes was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church in Greeneville, serving in important leadership roles there as well including elder, teacher and choir member.

He was also well known in the community for his significant roles in the Kiwanis Club of Greeneville, as a member of the Green Coat Committee of the Greene County Partnership and other community organizations. Stokes served twice as president of the Greeneville Kiwanis Club and was a former Lt. Governor of the Kiwanis division of which the local club is part.

A memorial service for Stokes on campus is being planned and will be announced once details are confirmed.

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Homecoming 2015 brings around 200 alumni back to campus

Homecoming 2015 brings around 200 alumni back to campus

Posted on 27 October 2015 by

Around 200 alumni returned to campus for Homecoming 2015 for two fun-filled days of activities October 9 and 10.

Homecoming activities began Friday morning with a “Memory Lane” display of photos, yearbooks and items from days of Tusculum past organized by the Museums of Tusculum that was visited by a number of alumni as they registered for activities.

Members of the winning team in the Gross Division of the golf tournament were Bill Smith, left, and Eldon Duncan. Not available for the photo were Bob Bowers and Jack Kilday.

A group of alumni also visited Bright’s Zoo, a local attraction owned and operated by two Tusculum alumni that features a number of endangered species. Other alumni enjoyed a “lunch with students” sharing stories of their time at Tusculum with current students and in turn, learning about today’s student experience at Tusculum from some of the leaders on campus.

Although the weather had looked threatening during the morning, skies cleared and those competing in the annual golf tournament had ideal conditions for an afternoon on the links.

The Museums of Tusculum also had two events during the afternoon – Kathy Cuff, college archivist, shared a wealth of information about preserving keepsakes during a workshop in the Perk. A reception was held in the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library for a student exhibit that examines life on campus through the decades.

The Net Division winners in the golf tournament were Bob Pollock, Kathy Fuzer, and Richard Winant.

Saturday morning began with a memorial service, remembering the more than 40 alumni who had passed away since Homecoming 2014. Following a breakfast for alumni, the three newest inductees into the Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame were recognized – Dr. Jarrell NeSmith’09,Corey Russell ’09 and Josh Wolff ’06. NeSmith and Russell were recognized for their outstanding careers on the gridiron while Wolff was honored for his achievements on the baseball diamond.

Recognition of four deserving individuals highlighted the annual Alumni Association meeting. Santo Cicirello ’63 was recognized with the Pioneer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. In presenting the award, Dr. Larry Brotherton ’70 described Cicirello as a “champion” of his Alma Mater. Cicirello serves on the Alumni Executive Board and is chairman of the Council on Church Relations for the College. He is passionate in his desire to see a chapel built on campus that would give students of all faiths a quiet place for meditation and reflection and encourages other alumni to give their loose change for the chapel.

The newest inductees into the Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame were honored Saturday morning. From left are Josh Wolff '06 (baseball), Corey Russell '09 (football) and Dr. Jarrell NeSmith '09 (football).

The Frontier Award, which recognizes a successful alumni who has graduated within the past 15 years, was presented to Marcus Holland ’05. Holland is a district manager for Walgreen’s and is now serving in western North Carolina. Holland has shared his inspiring story with Tusculum students, encouraging them to persevere to achieve their dreams.

The National Alumni Recognition Award was presented to Suzanne Richey ’14, director of college communications at Tusculum, not only for her excellence in promoting the College to the community at large but also her encouragement and mentoring of students who intern or have work study in her office.

Santo Cicirello '63 accepts the Pioneer Award from Dr. Larry Brotherton '70 during the Alumni Association meeting.

Dr. Melinda Dukes, professor of psychology, was presented the National Living Faculty Award. Dr. Dukes has been a part of the Tusculum College community since 1989. She was involved in the creation of the Civic Arts curriculum and has served in a variety of academic leadership positions, including as the vice president of academic affairs, before her return to the classroom this year.

The Alumni Association meeting also marked the conclusion of Lynn Battle ’62′s successful term as president. At the end of the meeting, Battle passed the gavel to Angelo Botta ’75, the incoming president.

The award winners were among the participants in the Homecoming Parade. The Golden Pioneer Class of 1965 served as marshals for the parade, which featured the student Homecoming Court, student organizations and the Tusculum Marching Band.

Bob Pollock '65 presented the Frontier Award to Marcus Holland '05.

Scrumptious barbecue and all the fixings were enjoyed during the Pioneer Pete Tailgate prior to the exciting football game. Alumni, students and community members also had the opportunity to sign a steel beam that was placed a week later at the topmost point of the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math. The Pioneers defeated nationally ranked foe Lenoir-Rhyne to complete an enjoyable afternoon.

Homecoming activities wound down with dinner, music and fellowship Saturday evening at the General Morgan Inn.

Make plans now to join in the fun next year – Homecoming 2016 will be October 21-22.


Suzanne Richey '14, director of college communications, is presented the National Alumni Recognition Award by Lynn Battle '62.








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Tusculum benefactor Verna June Meen remembered for ‘pioneering’ life

Tusculum benefactor Verna June Meen remembered for ‘pioneering’ life

Posted on 27 October 2015 by

In 2013, Verna June Meen was presented with the Distinguished Service Award during the President's Dinner. Presenting the award were Dr. Kenneth Bowman '70, chair of the College's Board of Trustees, and Dr. Nancy B. Moody, Tusculum's president.

One of Tusculum College’s most recent benefactors, Verna June Meen, passed away Saturday, Oct. 24, after a sudden illness.

Two weeks ago, Meen had attended a “topping out” ceremony for the new Center for Science and Math, which is named for her and her husband, and signed a steel beam that is now part of the framework for the highest point of the four-story building under construction.

Although coming late in her life, her relationship with Tusculum College was a natural as  Meen was a true “pioneer” throughout her life. Meen was born in Wolcottsville, Ind., with a strong sense of how education could change a person’s life. At a time when few women attended college, she set her sights on an accounting degree at Indiana University. With $80 and a merit scholarship, Meen set out to finance her education and worked her way through school, earning top marks. She worked hard, eventually graduating in two and two-thirds year.

Following graduation, Meen was highly recruited, receiving three job offers before earning her degree. Of the offers, she was most interested in one from Eastman Chemical Company, which she knew to be a good company. She looked up Kingsport on a map, accepted the position and found herself transplanted to East Tennessee as the very first female accountant at Eastman. She also purchased land, designed the house she would live in until her death and paid for its construction. Meen was independent and a woman of her own means.

She met Dr. Ronald Meen, a graduate of Toronto University, early in their years at Eastman. Dr. Meen was an organic dye chemist who courted her for years. She turned down his proposals of marriage, as she did not want to burden him with the responsibility of caring for her mother. However, shortly after the passing of her mother, Dr. Meen presented her a ring and asked her again. Not long thereafter she agreed and they were married. The two shared a life together that included summer trips to Canada, his home country, reading on the back deck and taking boat rides on Muskoka Lake. She also took care of his mother in her later years, initially staying with her in Canada before bringing her to Tennessee where she cared care for her in her home. Their marriage lasted until his death in 2008.

Meen signs the steel beam during the "topping out" ceremony for the new Center for Science and Math.

In her later years, Meen was a significant philanthropist, providing generous support to many non-profits in East Tennessee as well as Tusculum. Meen wanted to contribute to Tusculum as a way to honor her husband and provide educational opportunities for others, and the Ronald H. and Verna June Center for Math and Science will open in September 2016. She also established the Verna June Meen Endowed Scholarship Fund to be used primarily for female accounting majors and the Ronald H. Meen Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry. With her generosity, she became one of Tusculum’s benefactors, a term used to describe those who have given a total of $1 million or more to the College.


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Annual Tusculum/Carson-Newman Blood Bowl set for week of Nov. 9

Annual Tusculum/Carson-Newman Blood Bowl set for week of Nov. 9

Posted on 27 October 2015 by

Fans of the Tusculum Pioneers and Carson-Newman Eagles can support their team while aiding the East Tennessee Medic Regional Blood Center by participating in the 13th Annual Blood Drive Bowl in November.

The Blood Drive Bowl is part of the festivities leading up to the Saturday, Nov.14, game at Carson-Newman, where the two teams face-off at Burke Tarr Stadium in Jefferson City, TN. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. Tusculum has been the top donor in eight of the previous 12 drives.

There will be several opportunities to donate blood.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, Tusculum students, faculty, staff and fans may donate on the Knoxville campus from 2 – 6 p.m. Blood donations will also be taken at the following locations: Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Tusculum College Greeneville campus from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Tusculum College Morristown site at 420 West Morris Blvd., from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Donors should bring a valid driver’s license or other official photo ID in order to give blood. Medical prescreening and a free cholesterol test (no fasting necessary) will be provided at the sites. One donation a year exempts donors and their IRS dependents from paying blood supplier processing fees at any U.S. hospital.

The winning school will be announced at halftime of the Saturday football game. Tusculum leads the Blood Drive Bowl series 8-4.  The Pioneers won the inaugural title in 2003, again in 2005, and five consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012) and again last year 2014. Carson-Newman has captured bragging rights four times (2004, 2006, 2007, and 2013).

For more information, contact the MEDIC Regional Blood Center at (865) 524-3074(865) 524-3074 or at


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Alumnus returns to campus to encourage psychology majors about graduate school

Alumnus returns to campus to encourage psychology majors about graduate school

Posted on 27 October 2015 by








Robert Arrowood speaks to psychology majors about his experiences in graduate school and how Tusculum prepared him for continuing his education.

Many alumni were back on campus during the recent Homecoming festivities and graduate Robert Arrowood ’14 took time to encourage students currently in the Tusculum College Psychology Department. Arrowood spoke to students in the current program at the invitation of the psychology faculty.

Arrowood is a currently graduate student working under Dr. Ralph W. Hood, Jr. in the Psychology of Religion Lab at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He received his Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Tusculum College and is currently working on his Master of Science in research psychology.

During his visit he talked with students about his research, including work in Terror Management Theory, in which he seeks to examine the interaction between death awareness and religious orientation to affect worldview defense. Additionally, he seeks to examine death awareness’s influence on larger aspects such as optimism, sexual interest and cognitive resources. He also has broader interests in social psychology and successful teaching practices.

While on campus for Homecoming, Arrowood was also one of the alumni who joined the Tusculum Marching Band for the Homecoming parade and performance during the game.

Additionally, Arrowood encouraged students to stay with the Tusculum College program, which he said prepared students exceptionally for the graduate school experience. He encouraged them to take a variety of courses and to start right aware exploring which fields hold the greatest interest for them as a career path.

Upon completion of his master’s degree, Arrowood seeks to further his graduate education in a doctoral program in social psychology.



Alumnus Tommy Turner ’76 of Georgia recently visited campus for the first time since leaving college. While vacationing with his wife in the East Tennessee area, Tommy decided to look up classmate and alumnus Larry Bible ’75. Both returned to campus to visit and recall memories from their time here. At right are Turner and Bible in front of Rankin Hall.



Dr. Gerald Miller ’85 retired from the Greene County School System and State of Tennessee in June after serving as an educator and administrator. In July, he accepted a position as principal of Glade Creek Elementary School in Alleghany County in North Carolina. Gerald’s son, Holden, graduated from high school in May and is now a freshman at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.



Libby Housewright ’05 has joined Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson City, TN, as a sixth grade teacher. She previously taught at Alpha Elementary School in Hamblen County.



Jessica Lee ’12 will graduate with her doctorate in physical therapy in December from East Tennessee State University.





Melina Villarreal Adkins ’07 of Bradenton, FL, welcomed the birth of a baby boy, Bronson James Adkins, on June 26, 2015.






Harold J. Waddle ’50 of Tusculum, TN, passed away October 22, 2015. Mr. Waddle was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After his military service, he became an educator. He served as principal and teacher at Midway School for a year and taught two years at Baileyton High School. Mr. Waddle’s career path then changed as he took a position at Magnavox, where he worked 30 years before his retirement. He served two terms on the Greene County Quarterly Court (now known as the County Commission). Mr. Waddle was an active member of the First Christian Church for many years and had served as an elder and Sunday school teacher. In recent years, he had attended Central Christian Church and Greenwood United Methodist Church. A sports enthusiast, he was a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers and the St. Louis Cardinals. For 25 years, he served as a high school basketball referee and was coordinator of the East Tennessee District for several years. His survivors include Tusculum alumni brother, the Rev. Richard Waddle ’57 and sister Marjorie Waddle Kruckeburg ’53.


Mrs. Beverly Hague McLaren ’55 of Edinboro, PA, passed away on August 14, 2015. She had been a longtime resident of Knoxville and Kingsport, TN, and later of Cocoa Beach, FL. Mrs. McLaren was employed for 20 years by the Department of Employment Security of the State of Tennessee at its Bristol office. She had retired in 1998. Her survivors include her husband of 61 years, Kenneth McLaren ’54.



Frank Wolpert ’61 of Social Circle, GA, passed away October 25, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He was a long-time resident of New Jersey. He had served as CEO of Premier Packaging Consultants, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ.


Donald Lee Carter ’63 of Greeneville, TN, passed away October 18, 2015. A veteran, Mr. Carter had served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He had been retired for several years after having been involved in various businesses in Florida and in Greene County, including the former Towne Gate Motors in Greeneville, where he served as sales manager. Survivors include granddaughter and Tusculum alumna Jessica Wilhoit ’04.



Edith Greta Cockrum ’82 of Afton, TN, passed away October 10, 2015. She had returned to school later in life. Mrs. Cockrum was a member of First Baptist Church, where she was involved with the Women’s Missionary Union. She taught Bible study and served as voluntary missionary in Africa, where she was also involved in drought- and hunger-relief efforts and teaching literacy.



Dr. Josephine Boyd Bradley of Atlanta, GA, passed away on September 15, 2015. Born in Greenbsoro, NC, she was the first African-American to integrate Greensboro High School and graduated with honors. After earning her doctorate in African-American Studies from Emory University, she went on to a distinguished professional life as a writer, board member, department head and educator for six institutions of higher education, including Tusculum. She loved traveling, reading and writing.
Dr. Carol Hartman of Greeneville, TN, passed away October 5, 2015. Dr. Hartman had served as a teacher and principal in the Union, Grainger, Kingsport and Greeneville City School Systems. She had retired as a professor at Tusculum, where she taught in the School of Education. During her career, she had also been. affiliated with United Methodist Holston Home for Children. Dr. Hartman was a member of Hardin’s Chapel United Methodist Church. She was the first woman to be installed as a member of the Rotary Club in Greeneville. She had been a member of the Greene County Democrat Women’s Club, and in past years was a member of several professional organizations.


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Tusculum holds “topping out” ceremony for Meen Center for Science and Math

Tusculum holds “topping out” ceremony for Meen Center for Science and Math

Posted on 15 October 2015 by

A milestone in the construction of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math at Tusculum College was celebrated Oct.15 in a “topping out” ceremony.

The ceremony culminated in the placement of two beams at the topmost point of the building. One of the beams was signed during the ceremony by Verna June Meen, who gave a $3.875 million towards the building’s construction and Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the college.

Verna June Meen, a significant donor to the construction of the new Center for Science and Math at Tusculum College, signs the topping beam.

“These kinds of accomplishments take teams of people to bring about,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody. “This building will be here for years to come and have an immeasurable impact. What we are doing will change lives.”

Attending the brief ceremony were Tusculum students, faculty, staff and members of the college’s Board of Trustees, as well co-workers of Dr. Ronald H. Meen at Eastman Chemical during his career there.

Attached to the steel beams were steel plates containing signatures of Tusculum students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees, as well as community members. The plates were available for faculty, staff and trustees to sign at a campus event last week. Students, alumni and community members were able to sign a plate during the Homecoming football game on Oct. 10, and students were provided an opportunity to sign it earlier this week as well.

The beams also contain two quotes. “Sit Lux,” the college’s motto that is part of the Tusculum seal, was painted on the smaller beam. A Latin phrase, it can be translated as “let there be light” or “be the light.”

The larger beam contains the quote, “Join hands and heart in our mission to develop educated citizens distinguished by academic excellence, public service, and qualities of Judeo-Christian character,” from the Rev. Dr. Angus Shaw, a life trustee of the college.

Also affixed to the beam were an American flag and a cedar tree, which reflect long-standing traditions of topping out ceremonies that have their origins in early northern Europe. The placing of the tree on the beam can be traced back to Scandinavia and has come to represent good fortune for the occupants of the building. In America, it also can be traced back to an acknowledgment of a Native American belief that no structure should be taller than a tree.

The placement of the flag is an American tradition that dates back more than a century. When steel framing became popular, the flags were placed to show patriotism, to represent the American dream, to thank American soldiers and to acknowledge a foundational product made in the U.S.A.

The topping beam for the Dr. Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math at Tusculum College was capped off with a cedar tree and an American flag.

The two beams were placed at the center of the building and provide the framing for one of the architectural design features of the building, an arched entryway. Work continues on the steel framing of the building by the contractors, Rentenbach Constructors Incorporated. Construction on the building began in early May. The construction progress can be viewed on the Tusculum College web site at

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 will feature 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.

The building’s construction is part of the Tusculum First Campaign, which seeks to provide students with the best possible living and learning communities, innovative and responsive academic programs, and expanded opportunities for students to become engaged as global citizens. For more information on how to contribute to the campaign, contact Heather Patchett, vice president for Institutional Advancement, directly by calling 423-636-7303 or 1-800-729-0256 ext. 5303 or by emailing

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Tusculum announces Greeneville campus arboretum

Tusculum announces Greeneville campus arboretum

Posted on 09 October 2015 by

The Greeneville campus of Tusculum College will offer the community its first official arboretum, after recently receiving certification for a Level 1 Arboretum from Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

The announcement was made on Thursday, Oct. 8, at a ceremony in which the college was presented its official Tennessee Urban Forestry Council arboretum designation sign. The sign was presented by Tom Simpson, regional urban forester with the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

According to Kim Carter, science laboratory assistant and instructor at Tusculum, an arboretum is a garden devoted to trees. Arboretums are classified into four levels by the number of different species featured in the arboretum.

A Level 1 arboretum, Tusculum College’s arboretum features more than 30 species of trees, most of which are indigenous to the area. Featured will be the historic Tusculum Old Oak tree, which measures 102 feet in height and has a 124-foot average spread. Among the other trees featured are dogwood, pecan, hawthorn, blackgum, maple, beech, sycamore, mulberry and Japanese Zelkova.

The arboretum is being coordinated by the college’s science department and will be used primarily by students of the natural sciences, but will be open to the public and area school programs through a self-guided walking tour.

“Each tree chosen to be housed in this arboretum has signage indicating the scientific name and the common name,” said Carter, and a campus map has been developed to indicate the location of each featured tree.

There are more than 35 existing arboreta in the East Tennessee area, including the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Cherokee Trail in Chattanooga. According to Carter, the college hopes to promote and preserve the natural environment that has existed in the area for hundreds of years.

“The arboretum will hopefully keep us mindful of the great resource we have on this campus and provide a way to share that with the community,” said Dr. Melissa Keller, assistant professor of biology. “Our educational programs utilize our outdoor environment in numerous other ways, and this project has been a meaningful community service experience.”

“Visitors for years to come will have a wonderful opportunity to learn about trees, enjoy the beauty and appreciate their many differences,” said Jill Smith, Tennessee Urban Forestry Council arboretum Certification coordinator.

Members of the Arboretum Application Committee include Carter, Melissa Keller, chair of the science department and assistant professor of biology, Dr. Michael Bodary, assistant professor of English, former faculty member Aurora Pope, Jeff Hayes, of facilities management, Wayne Thomas, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Ron May, vice president of Academic Affairs and Suzanne Richey, director of College Communications.

For more information on the arboretum, contact Carter at


On Thursday it was announced that Tusculum College has been named a Level 1 Arboretum. From left are Dr. Melissa Keller, associate professor of biology, Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, Tom Simpson, regional urban forester with the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and Kim Carter, science laboratory assistant and instructor.

Tree tours were given on the Tusculum College campus on Thursday of the more than 30 trees designated as part of the arboretum. Tour participants inspect a sycamore tree near Virginia Hall.

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