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‘Tusculum Night at the Astros’ scheduled Aug. 25

‘Tusculum Night at the Astros’ scheduled Aug. 25

Posted on 23 July 2015 by


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Tusculum community mourns passing of beloved instructor

Tusculum community mourns passing of beloved instructor

Posted on 23 July 2015 by

Ruth G. Thomas, a beloved member of the Tusculum College community for many years, passed away on July 19 after several years of declining health.

Mrs. Thomas was an integral part of the Tusculum Fine Arts Department for more than two decades with her husband, Dr. Arnold Thomas, and those decades were marked by the success of the well-respected choral program the couple established, which touched the lives of many. She was a mentor, role model and friend to a multitude of Tusculum students.

As a team, the Thomases directed the Tusculum College Singers, creating three choirs from a small group of singers: the mixed chorus, men’s chorus and women’s chorus. Mrs. Thomas accompanied the men’s and mixed choruses on piano and directed the women’s chorus. According to former students, Ruth was always calm and cheerful – a trait which was needed during last-minute rehearsals before choir tours.

Teaching such classes as music theory and history, she also found time to teach piano in a studio at Tusculum. Her students found she had high expectations and helped them achieve results that they had not thought possible. Her attention to detail in playing music was not just valuable in regards to piano, but also one that benefited her students later in life.

She retired as a faculty member in 1988, but continued to teach students privately. She became a member of the Tusculum College Community Chorus after it was formed in the 1990s and continued until just a few years ago when her health began to decline.

In 2003, she and her husband were honored by the Tusculum Alumni Association with the National Faculty Award for their contributions to the College. Several former students returned to campus to take part of the celebration, joining members of the Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church Choir to sing in the Thomas’ honor. Although in failing health, Mr. Thomas was able to attend the celebration held during Homecoming. He passed away in 2008.

In 2012, Mrs. Thomas was presented with the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees, in recognition of what she has meant to the College over the years.

Dr. Kenneth Bowman '70, chair of the Tusculum Board of Trustees, left, and Dr. Nancy B. Moody, right, Tusculum's president, presented Distingyuished Service Awards to Dr. David Hendricksen, second from left, and Ruth Thomas, second from right, and Jim Winfree at the 2012 President's Dinner. Winfree was unable to attend due to a prior engagement.

Her love of music began early in life. Mrs. Thomas was born in Alton, Ill., just outside St. Louis, on June 21, 1920, to (ordained Presbyterian) Rev. Dr. Edward L. and Anna Catherine Gibson. The family, including Ruth’s younger brother, Bill, moved to Storm Lake in northwest Iowa. There she played violin in the orchestra in her teens and did “a lot of piano accompanying” before attending Buena Vista College in Storm Lake for two years. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1941 with a bachelor of music degree in piano. One of her teachers was Donald Swarthout. She credited her passion for music to her junior high orchestra director and her high school piano teacher.

After graduating, she taught music in grades 1-12 in Southerland, Iowa, and in Wisconsin for three years. She moved to New York City and worked as a file clerk during World War II. She was briefly married to a naval officer.

Following the war, she resumed her studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., just north of downtown Chicago, and studied with Louis Crowder. There she met fellow masters student and WWII Army officer veteran, Arnold Thomas, and the two of them hit it off as they finished their degrees. Mr. Thomas was hired by Lake Forest College in nearby Lake Forest into the music department and he later brought Ruth into the department where they remained for 16 years, marrying in 1951. Ruth directed a madrigal group from which she took great joy. Mr. Thomas completed his doctorate in music history in 1962, at Columbia University.

Weary of northern Illinois’ ice and snow (among other things), Dr. Thomas accepted a position in the music department at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles. After a near-fatal auto accident on the move to California in August of 1962, the family, now with three sons, Jerry, Arnie, Jr., and Bill continued to their new home and remained for two happy years. Mrs. Thomas was a stay-at-home mom in 1962-63. During their second year in California, Mrs. Thomas became organist at Pacoima Presbyterian Church, where her husband served as the choir director. The family enjoyed California, traveling to San Francisco, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks, where they camped at 7,000 feet and shared their food (involuntarily) with a large bear although the family was afraid Mrs. Thomas was about to tackle the bear singlehandedly,  she was so enraged. (She didn’t).
Concerned about his aging parents back in Indiana and turned off by the rat race of southern California freeways, Dr. Thomas reached out in 1964 and accepted the music department chairmanship at Tusculum College. He was soon promoted to Dean of the College in 1965, which he held for a year (turning down a push to become college president) during a period of much transition at the school. In those days, the “department” was located in the basement of the old college library. By 1965, the newly constructed Annie Hogan Byrd fine arts building was finished and the music, history, art and drama departments occupied the brand new facility, where Dr. Thomas was elevated to Chairman of the Fine Arts Department. In addition to her teaching duties, Mrs. Thomas was a member of the choir at First Presbyterian Church.

A lover of madrigal singing groups, in 1969, Mrs. Thomas organized the Greater Greeneville Choral with around 20 members. Starting with Tusculum students, she branched out into the community as well. The group presented Christmas and spring concerts for 26 years until 1995.

Her greatest joy was directing madrigal singers or community choral groups. For years, the Greeneville group would follow her home after the Christmas concert to a wonderful supper catered by the late Ann Gaut.

She also joined Mr. Thomas at Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church in the late 60s, where he directed the Chancel Choir and she accompanied and sang in the choir for over 30 years. She also in the Handbell Choir at the church and became organist for some 14 years.

Mrs. Thomas joined the Psi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society in the fall of 1969 and remained an active, viable member for a number of years. She was always willing to play the piano for the group on a minute’s notice, serve on committees, and assist her sisters in every way possible.

She served as president of the Tennessee Music Teacher’s Association from 1981-1983. She served as State Auditions Chairman for 25 years and held many positions within the state. She was a charter member of state Appalachian Music Association in Johnson City, which was formed in 1972. From this, the Smokey Mountain Music Association was formed in Greeneville. Despite her busy schedule, Mrs. Thomas also found time to participate in Greeneville’s Little Theatre production of “The Sound of Music”.

In 2010, she was presented with the Tennessee Music Teachers Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

Mrs. Thomas and her husband loved to travel, whether to Indiana to visit family or to the beach in South Carolina. In 1982, the couple took a on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe, and later traveled to Canada, New York, Texas and Colorado.

She was known as a consummately kind person who held her tongue with criticism – and yet fearlessly spoke up when she felt strongly about an issue. She was a compassionate mother to her sons, one of whom was lost in 1972 to cancer, an adoring wife, generous with compliments when deserved, the best listener, and a supremely thoughtful individual.

Survivors include: two sons, Jerry and Bill Thomas; daughter in law: Walker Thomas; and Bill and Walker’s daughters: Georgia and Tessa of Berryville, Virginia; a sister-in-law: Judy Gibson of Ithaca, New York; special nieces and nephews and their spouses: Anna Gibson, Deborah and Ron Jaworski, Steven Gibson, and Don and Linda Goffinet; Wesley Thomas, Larry Thomas, Pam and Bill Crowe; a special great neice: Julie Crowe; a special great nephew: Tom Crowe; and special cousins: Jack and Jim Haddan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a Tusculum College endowment fund, initiated by two of Arnie and Ruth Thomas’ former students. Ann and Bill Westervelt ’71’69 have established the Ruth and Arnold Thomas Endowed Music Fund. The Westervelts have generously agreed to match gifts to the endowment until fully endowed. The corpus will remain intact, with the earnings going to support the Tusculum Community Chorus or to a future Tusculum College choral group. Memorials to this endowment fund should be made to Tusculum College with the memo line indicating it is for the Ruth and Arnold Thomas Endowed Music Fund. Send contributions to Tusculum College, Office of Institutional Advancement, P.O. Box 5040, Greeneville, TN 37743.

Memorials may be made to the Tennessee Music Teachers Association Endowment Scholarship Fund in memory of Ruth G. Thomas, c/o Deane Gray,



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Watch the construction progress of the new science and math facility

Watch the construction progress of the new science and math facility

Posted on 29 June 2015 by

There is quite a bit of excitement on campus as the construction of the Dr. Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Mathematics is well underway!

At this point most of the foundations are in place and work is underway preparing for site utilities. The sewer connection has been made to existing service. The most visible element at this point is the block construction of the first of two elevators. Additionally, the steel package has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive in July.

According to David Martin, director of facilities, the project is on schedule and going well so far. If you are interested in watching construction progress for the Meen Center for Science and Math, you may do so via web cam feed on the Tusculum website

Work on the building began in early May. The projected date of completion is September 27, 2016.

Above is an artistic rendering of the new science and math facility.


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Alumna named new leader of Claiborne Economic Partnership

Alumna named new leader of Claiborne Economic Partnership

Posted on 29 June 2015 by








Hall named CEO of Claiborne Economic Partnership

Jennifer Hall '06

Jennifer Hall ’06 has been chosen to lead her native county’s efforts for economic advancement.

Hall was recently named the chief executive officer of the newly-formed Claiborne Economic Partnership. The Partnership is a combination of the Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce and the Claiborne County Economic Development Board.

Hall has deep roots in Claiborne County. She attended Claiborne County High School, where she played basketball all four years. She attended Walters State Community College for two years before earning her Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management from Tusculum.

After finishing her studies, she took a sales position at Rotech Healthcare, experience success during her five-year tenure there. Her latest position was as an account manager at SunCrest HomeHealth and Hospice.

She and her husband of 12 years, John, have two daughters, Jaycee and Julianna. They reside on a 20-acre farm in New Tazewell and are active in their church, where John serves as pastor.


Four Tusculum alumnae nominated for ATHENA Awards

Four Tusculum alumnae in the Greeneville, TN, area were nominated for the ATHENA Leadership Award. Nominated were Vicki Culbertson ’87 ’93, Paige Mengel ’88, Debbie Oldenberg ’99 and Dr. Linda Stroud ’89.  The award, backed by ATHENA International, recognizes the accomplishments of women leaders.

Vicki Culbertson worked for Doehler-Jarvis, ARC of Washington County, Elite Elevator/AmeriLift of Johnson City, Ameristar Manufacturing in Greeneville and Ecoquest International in Greeneville before accepting her current position as executive director of Greene County Habitat for Humanity in 2009. She and her husband, Tyre, were married for 21 years prior to his death in 2010.

Paige Mengel is a certified public accountant, certified global management accountant, certified power executive and certified utility accountant. She worked at Rodefer Moss & Co., CPAs, and the Greeneville Water Commission before accepting her current position as controller of the Greeneville Light & Power System. She is also the business coordinator for the newly-formed Greeneville Theatre Guild, and is active with Theatre-at-Tusculum and theatre groups in surrounding areas. She has been an active member of the Exchange Club. Her husband, Frank, is the technical director for Arts Outreach and a theater instruction at Tusculum.

Debbie Oldenberg attended Draughon’s Business College in Knoxville before earning her degree from Tusculum College. After a move to Wisconsin, she returned to Tennessee and joined Landair/Forward Air in 1998. She became executive assistant to Scott Niswonger in late 1989, and continues in that role with The Niswonger Group. She has held numerous leadership roles with the Greeneville Woman’s Club, including president, and is a member of the Holston United Methodist Home for Children Board of Trustees. She and her husband, Ken, have been married for 37 years and their son, Chris ’06 is a Tusculum alumnus.

Dr. Linda Stroud began her career with Greeneville City Schools as a speech and language pathologist in 1982. She also served as a social counselor for the Tennessee Department of Human Services, director and teacher of an Alternative Learning Program, director of the Family Resource Center, assistant principal of Greeneville Middle School, educational consultant for the Niswonger Foundation, and adjunct professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at ETSU. She became principal of Greeneville Middle School in 1999, Greeneville City Schools assistant director of schools for administration in 2007, principal of Greeneville High School in 2008 and director of schools for the Greeneville system in 2012. She retired in May. She is an active member of Tusculum Baptist Church.


Dr. John Roberts ’71 has joined the national executive search firm, Isaacson Miller as vice president. Dr. Roberts has been serving as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston. In his new position, Dr. Roberts will be based in firm’s Washington D.C. office. Prior to his tenure at the University of Houston, he served as dean of Arts and Humanities, as well as chair of the Department of African and African-American Studies at the Ohio State University. He was a professor in the Department of Folklore and Folklife and served as director of the Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2000, Dr. Roberts was appointed deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities by the Clinton White House and served in the position until 2002. He is also past president of the American Folklore Society and the Association of African and African-American Folklorists. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Folklife Center at the Smithsonian Institution and the Advisory Board of the Center for American Folklife at the Library of Congress.



Connie Lamb ’82 of Afton, TN, retired from service in the Federal Court Clerk’s Office in Greeneville, TN, at the end of April. Lamb began working in the Clerk’s Office in 1984 until a year and a half ago when she became the judicial assistant for U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman. Lamb had worked at two factories before pursuing her dream of a college education at Tusculum at the age of 28.


Tusculum alumnae Lee Anne Guinn Hall ’88 published in Silver Birch Press. The title of her work is “Meadow of Grace.” She is currently living in Knoxville.



Todd Brooks ’90 has been named athletic director at Berry College in Rome, GA. Brooks is returning to the position in which he served from 2002 to 2013. He has been serving as athletic director at Christopher Newport University for the past two years. During his previous tenure at Berry, Brooks oversaw the college’s transition from NAIA membership to NCAA Division III status. The college also doubled its varsity athletics from 10 to 21 sports during his tenure.


Randy Richards ’92 ’98 of Afton, TN, has been named the new principal at Baileyton Elementary School. Richards, who has been an educator for 20 years, has spent the last 18 years at Greeneville High School as a science teacher, coach, athletic director and most recently, assistant principal.


Jason Liggett ’96 of Los Angeles, CA, returned to his native Bristol, TN, for the inaugural Push! Film Festival. Liggett’s short film, “The 7th Man” was one of the featured projects for the new festival. “The 7th Man,” written and directed by Liggett, focuses on what happened just before the U.S. flag was raised during the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II through the eyes of famed Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, whose photo of the flag raising is one of the iconic images from the war. Liggett has two projects in the works, one of which was filmed in the region. Liggett’s film is available on his production company’s website,


Alan Cobble ’98 ’05 of Greeneville, TN, has been named principal at West Pines Elementary School in the Greene County School System. He had been serving as assistant principal at Mosheim Elementary School. He started his professional career as the director off the 21st Century Community Learning Center at McDonald Elementary School. He has taught at Doak Elementary School and Chuckey-Doak Middle School and has coached football and baseball.



John House ’00 of Limestone, TN, as been named the new girls’ basketball coach at West Greene High School. A Greene County native, he played basketball at Chuckey-Doak High School and later played baseball at Tusculum. He has served as an assistant coach at Chuckey-Doak. This will be his first head coaching position.

Bill Dunham ’01 of Church Hill, TN, has been named principal of Colonial Heights Middle School in the Sullivan County School System. Dunham has served as band director at Ketron and Lynn View middle schools as well as at Holston Middle School and at Ketron Intermediate School. He has worked as assistant principal at Colonial Heights Middle since 2008.

Tammy Swinney ’02 has been named assistant principal at Chuckey-Doak Middle School. She began her teaching career at Doak Elementary School and has taught math at both Doak and Chuckey-Doak Middle.

Jonathan Sitzlar ’03 of Maryville has been named director of the Facilities, Information, and Reservation Management Division, or FIRMD, in the Office of Assistant Manager for Administration in the U.S Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office. In his new position, Sitzlar directs a staff of 24 federal employees with responsibility for the development and execution of a variety of programs including reservation management and infrastructure and facility management on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation. Since 2009, Sitzlar has served as the supervisory property manager and contracting officer for the U.S. General Services Administration in Knoxville. He has also held positions with the Knoxville Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Tennessee. Sitzler is active in several community organizations including Helen Ross-McNabb Center, Combined Federal Campaign, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Blount County Historical Trust, Second Harvest Food Bank and Coats for the Cold Angel Tree.

Sarah Gray ’05 has been named assistant principal Mosheim Elementary School. She has taught at the school for 10 years as an instructor in the third and seventh grades. She has served as a district learning leader for the past three years.

Nick Darnell ’06 of Morristown, TN, has been selected as one of 18 teachers across the State of Tennessee  to serve on the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet.  The cabinet will meet quarterly with Governor Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share real-time information from the classroom, advise on policy considerations and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities. Directors of schools were asked to nominate one teacher from each of their districts, and 18 classroom teachers were selected from across the state based on the following criteria: focus on student achievement, encouragement of collaboration among colleagues, demonstration of leadership, a solutions-orientation and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The teacher cabinet includes a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience. Members represent each of the state’s three grand divisions as well as cities, suburbs and rural areas and have varying years of experience teaching first through 12th grades. Teachers will serve two-year terms on the cabinet. The first meeting is planned for July.

Cody Baugh ’07 of Greeneville, TN, has been named the head baseball coach at Greeneville High School. Baugh has been an assistant football coach at the high school and has been the head baseball coach at Greeneville Middle School since 2009.

Noelle Smith ’08 of Greeneville, TN, has been named assistant principal of Greeneville High School and will begin her duties in July. She taught social studies at South Greene High School for 12 and served as the high school instructional coach for the Greene County School System last year.  She has also served in many capacities with the Tennessee Department of Education to increase professional development opportunities for teachers across the state during the transition to the new Tennessee State Standards. As a classroom teacher, she earned two Teacher of the Year recognitions from two separate organizations in 2013: the Tennessee National History Day Teacher of the Year and Belz-Lipman Holocaust Educator of the Year. She has also coached cross country and sponsored a student government association. Smith is married to Dr. David Smith, director of student support services at Tusculum College. They have two children, Reagan and Emma Claire.

Robbie Mitchell ’09 started in a new job this month as executive director of academic strategies and operations for the Tennessee Department of Education after serving the Greeneville School System for 15 years.


Danielle Armstrong ’12, a Tennessee native, completed an Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction at the University of Central Florida in May 2015. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Studio Art from Tusculum. At UCF, she worked as an English Department graduate teaching assistant with the Literary Arts Partnership to provide creative writing classes to Orlando area youth and adults affected by mental illness. During the final year of her master’s program, she also helped to create and maintain a blog. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared (or is forthcoming) online and in print at bordercrossing, riverSedge, Scissors & Spackle, Paragraph Line, and Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. She works in Orlando as a technical writer.

Rashaad Carter ’12 has returned to the active roster for the Spokane Shock, an Arena Football League team. He had been sidelined for nearly two months after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. Prior to his injury, he had 51 receptions for 648 years and 11 touchdowns through the Shock’s first eight games.

Drew Baker ’13 is now working at Amazon in Chattanooga.  He was previously teaching English as a second language in China.  He began work at Amazon in October of last year.

Josh Davis ’13 of Morristown, TN, has completed his Masters in Business Entertainment at Full Sail University.

Matthew Moyer ’15 of Gray, TN, has accepted an interpretation job at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN.

David Nunez ’15 has been hired as the new Spanish teacher at West Greene High School in Greene County.

Mark Patterson ’15 has been named head of soccer program for Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville.





John Cage ’08 and Meghann Burton ’09 were married at Tusculum College on May 23, 2015. The couple are living in Englewood, TN.























Ralph E. Maines ’51 of Santa Clara, CA, passed away on June 12, 2015. Mr Maines had served as a special agent for the FBI and finished his career as director of security at NASA Ames. He was a veteran, having joined the U.S. Navy at 17 and was part of the invasion of Okinawa during World War II. Mr. Maines was a 356 Porsche enthusiast, volunteering at hundreds of Porsche club events and was always ready with tools-in-hand to help repair anyone’s356.  He was a faithful travel companion who loved the camaraderie of the Porsche clubs.



Dorothy “Dottie” Blair ’62 of Rock Hill, SC, formerly of Greeneville, TN, passed away May 22, 2015. She and husband, Marcus, served as missionaries in Haiti in the 1940s before settling in Tennessee, where Mr. Blair was involved with the Children’s Bible Mission and was known as “The Bible Story Man” in Greene County Schools in the 1950s and early 1960s. Meanwhile, Mrs. Blair returned to college and graduated from Tusculum with a degree in education. She began her career as a teacher at Mosheim High School and then began an 18-year career at Highland Elementary School in Greeneville, teaching third grade. After retirement, the Blairs moved to Waxhaw, NC, where they were very active with JAARS, an affiliate of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Mrs. Blair was involved in the creation and design of many of the exhibits at the Alphabet Museum at JAARS, where she gave tours when the museum opened. Mrs. Blair was a resident at Park Pointe Village in Rock Hill since 2001. She teaching, traveling and flowers. She had an avid interest in the wild flowers of East Tennessee and gave lectures about them. Mrs. Blair was a member of Westminister Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill and previously of First Baptist Church of Greeneville, where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir.

Charles S. Brooks ’63 of Greeneville,TN, passed away on July 11, 2015. Mr. Brooks was chairman of the board of McInturff, Milligan and Brooks, Inc. of Greeneville, and Bennett & Edwards in Kingsport, until his retirement in 2013. He had also served as president of the Reed Insurance Agency in Greeneville and as CEO of Corroon & Black of Greeneville, Kingsport and Knoxville. Prior to joining the Reed Agency, he had held positions with the Magnavox Company and the Equitable Life Insurance Company. A veteran, Mr. Brooks served in the U.S. Navy from 1956-58, which most of his active duty time spent on an aircraft carrier in the Far East.  He was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Greene County Partnership, and served on the Agents Advisory Counsel of USF&G Insurance Company, the Insurance Company of North America, The Royal Insurance Company and The Continental Insurance Company. Mr. Brooks was also a former member of the Advisory Panel for the Tennessee Public Service Commission. He was a former president of the Greeneville Jaycees, a director of the Exchange Club, president of Link Hills Country Club, a member of the East Tennessee State University Foundation board of directors, a member of the Greene County Bank board of directors, and a United Way volunteer. Mr. Brooks worked on various fundraising campaigns throughout the years for the Tusculum College Fund. He was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, where he served on the administrative board, the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee. His Sunday School class, D.&H. Brown, was always close to his heart. He was an avid golf and tennis player and a loyal fan of University of Tennessee football and NASCAR. Since his first strokes four years ago, he had participated daily in exercise classes at Silver Sneakers, where he enjoyed the friendships of many. His survivors include sisters and Tusculum alumnae Sara Brooks Cullison ’53 and Phyllis Brooks Stansfield ’62.



Mr. Ronald C. DiPietro ’71 of North East, MD, passed away December 28, 2014. Mr. DiPietro was a teacher for 31 years with the Cecil County Board of Education. He was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963-66. Mr. DiPietro was a longtime member of the North East Lions Club, North East VFW Post 6027 and the Elkton American Legion. He also enjoyed all sports, especially golf, football, ice hockey, baseball, basketball and boating.  Mr. Dipietro was an avid reader.

Barry Auerbacher ’75 of Neptune Township and Manchester, NJ, passed away on Thursday, July 2, 2015. A man of deep and abiding faith, Mr. Auerbacher was an avid organic gardener, a staunch Libertarian, a devoted husband and a dedicated, gentle, and loving father to his three children. He was also a fan of rock and roll and the New York Mets. He was always ready to help those needing a hand.



Tim McCoy ’80 of Blountville, TN, passed away on June 28, 2015, after fighting a valiant battle against cancer.  Mr. McCoy was serving as a member of the Tusculum College Alumni Executive Board at the time of his passing. He was a member of St. Dominic Catholic Church in Kingsport. Mr. McCoy was active throughout his life coaching youth sports and was passionate about improving the safety of the Indian Springs community. He recently began training and showing his Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Linda J. Babb ’88 of Johnson City, TN, passed away July 16, 2015. Mrs. Babb was a career educator, teaching students from pre-kindergarten through master’s degree post-graduate special education for more than 40 years. She taught in Sevier, Greene and Washington counties as well as in the Greeneville School System and at East Tennessee State University. She and her husband, Phil, also co-owned and operated Johnson Hardware in Chuckey, TN, for several years. Cooking for, and visiting with family, as well as chairing the initiative to preserve the Chuckey train depot became her focus during retirement. Due in large part to her efforts, the train depot is in its initial restoration phase and was relocated to historic Jonesborough as a museum to be dedicated later this year.


Joshua Mabe ’04 of Sneedville, TN, passed away June 6, 2015, in an accident on his family farm. Mr. Mabe was a sergeant in the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He had served as a patrolman for 10 years and had been named Trooper of the Year in 2008 in the Fall Branch district. In 2005 he had been selected to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Training Center as a state trooper cadet . He had also served as a deputy in the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. His survivors include his wife and Tusculum alumna Victoria ’06.


Leonard Bradley of Nasvhille, TN, passed away on June 22, 2015.  Mr. Bradley worked for 28 years in state government career as a senior policy assistant to three Tennessee governors, served as deputy commissioner of human services and vice chancellor of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. After retiring from state service in the mid-1990s, Bradley taught public policy and government for five years at Tusculum, where he also served as director of the Institute for Public Leadership and Policy. He later taught at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and retired from teaching in 2010.


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Tusculum named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service for ninth time

Tusculum named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service for ninth time

Posted on 01 June 2015 by

Tusculum College has been honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the ninth year in a row. The designation recognizes colleges and universities for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

Tusculum College was selected for the Honor Roll for its work in education, hunger, homelessness, environmental stewardship, economic empowerment and youth development in the East Tennessee region. Students have worked with Rural Resources, Greene County Habitat for Humanity, the Greeneville and Greene County school systems, the Boys and Girls Club, Opportunity House, the United Way of Greene County, the Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park and many other groups.

“Since 1794 Tusculum College has desired to teach its students to serve their communities and to develop strong values that included service to humankind,” said Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody.

She added that service projects and service learning experiences are part of the core of Tusculum College’s mission that includes the Civic Arts and service to others as part of its overall mission.

“I am delighted Tusculum has been honored with this distinction; service and civic engagement are an integral part of campus life and campus culture,” said Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum College.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

In addition, numerous projects have been completed by staff, faculty and other volunteer groups associated with Tusculum College.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country — a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.

The complete list of schools recognized is at


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Class of 65 members celebrate 50th reunion with activities at Commencement

Class of 65 members celebrate 50th reunion with activities at Commencement

Posted on 27 May 2015 by

Members of the Class of 1965, the newest Golden Pioneers, were welcomed back to campus to celebrate their 50th reunion on May 8-9 with special activities that included participation in the spring commencement ceremony.

Sixteen members of the Class of 1965 returned to campus for the festivities that began with a reception hosted by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody at the President’s House on the afternoon of Friday, May 8.

Returning were 1965 alumni Sanda Montgomery Abramson, Al Ballinger, Dixie Blake, Ray Collins, Shirley Duncan Cutshall, Dick Dufty, Elizabeth Ellis, Fred Johnson, Jim Kave, Charlie Kling, Fox Madsen, Glenn Miller, Lynn Nellius, Bob Pollock, Mort Plumb and Walter Shepherd.

Members of the Class of 1965 (and one from 1964) gather for a photo on the front steps of the President's House following the reception May 8.


During the reception, the alumni were able to reminisce and catch up with what has been happening in their classmates lives while enjoying hors d’oeuvres. A video presentation featuring photos of the class in the 1960s also gathered a crowd and sparked conversations about their classmates.

Following an update of the College from Dr. Moody, each of the members of the class were presented a medallion and pin by the President.

At the conclusion of the reception, the class members gathered for dinner at the Whistle Stop, a popular local restaurant located in the building that housed Dobson’s Grocery during the 1960s.

The activities for Saturday, May 9, began with a breakfast for the Golden Pioneers in the Pioneer Perk inside the Niswonger Commons. After enjoying the food and more fellowship, the class members donned their golden robes and wore their medallions to prepare for commencement.


The class of 1965 lead the procession into a packed Pioneer Arena for the spring commencement ceremony.

During the ceremony, the class members were recognized and asked to stand as their name was called with the crowd applauding the group.

Mort Plumb joined Class of 2015 member Ryan Barker on stage to present a combined class gift of $8, 513 to Dr. Moody. Gifts from the graduating seniors and the Class of 1965 were combined and will be used to start a scholarship for future Tusculum students.

The Class of 1965 have a history of making contributions to their Alma Mater. A gift from the class as seniors were the two brick entrance signs for the College, one near Gilland Street and the other in the side lawn of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building. The metal signage was replaced a few years through another class gift, but the plaque telling of the Class of 1965 gift is affixed to the brick of one of the signs.

Following the ceremony, the Golden Pioneers returned to the Perk for lunch before saying their farewells.

Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody accepts the class gift from Mort Plumb, 1965 Golden Pioneer Committee Chairman, and Ryan Barker, chair of the 2015 Graduate Philanthropy Council.


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Learn the latest news about Tusculum alumni

Learn the latest news about Tusculum alumni

Posted on 27 May 2015 by








Mike Fulkerson ’88 of Kingsport, TN, has been named principal of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in the Kingsport School System. He had served for six years as principal of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School and previously been an assistant principal at Dobyns-Bennett High School and an assistant to the principal, teacher, coach and athletic director at John Sevier Middle School. Mike chaired the initial Kingsport City Schools’ Coordinated School Health Advisory Council, has served as an examiner for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence and was named the school system’s 5th-8th Grade Teacher of the Year for 1997.


Marianne W. Lewis ’89 has been named the new dean of the Cass Business School at the City University London. Previously, she was a professor of management and associate dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati.



Willie Anderson ’94 was recognized with the Volunteer of the Year award during the Volunteer Spirit Award ceremony hosted by the Volunteer Center of Greeneville and Greene County. Willie volunteers at least 16 hours a week or more in programs that aid youth at Free Will Baptist Family Ministries. He spearheads and runs a life skills program, which provides tools for at-risk youth to become better equipped to become productive citizens in the community. Willie has also introduced a music program to the youth, helping them to learn self-discipline and time management skills. In addition, he organizes special events and graduations at Family Ministries. Willie also serves as a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County and with the Greeneville Lions Club.


Jessica Smith ’04 has been appointed as principal of Halls Middle School in the Knox County School System. Her previous position was as the interim principal at Carter Elementary School in the system. She has been with the school system since 2004 and has taught language arts at the middle school level and served as an assistant principal at that level.
Leah Walker ’04 is the new director of the Rogersville Heritage Association. Leah served as site manager for the Doak House Museum at her Alma Mater for the past seven years. She is a member of the board of directors for the Tennessee Association of Museums and chairman of the board of directors for the Northeast Tennessee Museums Association.


Jennifer Headrick ’05 of Maryville, TN, has been named special assistant to the director special assistant to the program director for PEAK Technical Institute’s Professional Household Management and Social Decorum. Jennifer recently served as the executive assistant to the founder of Blackberry Farm, where she managed both personal and professional communications and arrangements. She has also previously worked for Quintium Advisors, Blount County Library and Ruby Tuesday headquarters.


Tonia Hale ’07 has been named chief nursing officer at Danville Regional Medical Center in Danville, VA. She will begin her duties on June 8. Tonia has served in executive nursing positions at a number of hospitals. Most recently, she served as chief nursing officer for Tennova Lakeway Regional Hospital in Morristown, TN.


Anup Kaphle ’07 has been named senior world editor at BuzzFeed. Kaphle had served for the last four years at the foreign desk at The Washington Post.


Jennie Scott ’07 has been named to the 2015-16 Leadership Academy, a collaborative venture between the University of Tennessee and Knox County School System that prepares talented individuals to become new school principals through a full-time, intensive 15-month fellowship program. Jennie is an assistant principal at Adrian Burnett Elementary School and has previously served as an early literacy coach at Mount Olive Elementary School and in many roles at A.L. Lotts Elementary, including third grade teacher, professional learning community facilitator, first grade teacher, grade level chair and member of the leadership team. She has also served as a mentor for all new first grade teachers in the school system.



Tyler Bright ’13 has been promoted to business system analyst with Mountain States Health Alliance. He was previously employed with Mountain States as corporate business office follow-up representative.






Emma Eilene Kyker Grubbs ’48 of Auburn Hills, MI, passed away on January 5, 2015. Mrs. Grubbs was an elementary teacher for 19 years, teaching mostly fourth and fifth grade in the Pontiac, MI, school system. She was a charter member of Grace Brethren Church in Lakeland, FL. She enjoyed quilting, sewing, puzzles, playing pinochle and spending time with her family. Her survivors include sister and Tusculum alumna Mary Kyker ’48.



Homer H. Clevenger ’54 of Kingston, TN, passed away May 17, 2015. He had graduated from the Santa Clara University School of Law and was admitted to the California Bar in 1983 and the Tennessee Bar in 1994. During his career, Mr. Clevenger served as director of industrial relations for Kingsport Press in Kingsport, TN, vice president of industrial relations for Arcata National in New York City and vice president and general council for Ricoh Corporation in San Jose, CA. He was a veteran of the Air Force, having served as a radar technician from 1951-55. Mr. Clevenger was a member of the Kingston Rotary Club for many years. He enjoyed golf, private aviation, building and flying remote control plans, visiting Europe with his wife and boating with his grandchildren.


Dennis E. Crow ’89 of Elizabethton, TN, passed away on April 8, 2015. Mr. Crow was retired from Sprint after 25 years of service as an equipment supervisor. He was a veteran, having served in the Air Force in Germany.



Thomas J. Harville of Johnson City, TN, passed away on March 26, 2015. Mr. Harville was a career educator, serving in public schools in Carter County as well as an adjunct instructor for Tusculum College. He was one of the directors of the first team-teaching experiment in the southeastern United States and supervised the revision of the curriculum mapping at Elizabethton High School. He was a trustee of Thankful Baptist Church and awarded its “Man of the Year.” He received a lifelong achievement award from the black faculty of East Tennessee State University, was a News Channel 11 “Hometown Hero” and a member of the Elizabethton-Carter County Educators Hall of Fame. He served on the boards of the Washington and Carter counties chapters of the American Red Cross, the Broadside TV Commission, Senior Citizen Advisory, Watauga Mental Health, Housing Authority Commission and Pro-To-Club Inc.




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Margaret Simpson Gaut honored with Distinguished Service Award

Margaret Simpson Gaut honored with Distinguished Service Award

Posted on 18 May 2015 by

Tusculum College presented Margaret Simpson Gaut the Distinguished Service Award during the annual Tusculum College President’s Dinner on Friday, May 15. She was recognized for her service and support of Tusculum College.

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. In addition to the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, guests heard remarks from Ryan M. Barker, a 2015 graduate of the college and winner of this year’s Bruce G. Batts 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.

Gaut, a 1940 graduate of Tusculum College, has lived most of her life less than half a mile from Tusculum College. She grew up on the ancestral family farm in Tusculum, and her dedication to education and community has changed the lives of innumerable students and others fortunate enough to cross her path.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in home economics and went on to post graduate study at the University of Tennessee. While at Tusculum, she was a member of the Cicero Society. She spent a life dedicated to education in the East Tennessee region, retiring after serving 31 years with the educational systems of Bristol, Va. and Greeneville. She served at the state level on the Board of Tennessee Classroom Teachers and remains an active member of the Retired Teachers Association.

From her early youth Gaut was a dedicated member of Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where she began her career of teaching in Sunday school classes. She later became a member of the Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was active in its Sunday school program. She served as the Worship Committee Chairman and established and chaired the Heritage Ministry for the church.

Throughout her life, she maintained a connection with Tusculum College, supporting its students and programs, and serving as president of the Alumni Association. She remains an active member of the Alumni Executive Board. She has served on a presidential search committee and was a member of the External Relations Committee of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. She has served as a class representative and as a phonathon volunteer. In 2001, she received the Pioneer Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Association.

“With her commitment to education in the community and at Tusculum College, Mrs. Gaut has made a significant impact on the education of students, said Dr. Moody “She is an amazing person, and her legacy will continue to impact the lives of thousands of students for many, many years to come.”

In his remarks to guests, Barker talked about how his life had been changed at Tusculum College and how those he encountered during his time there has imprinted upon him the importance of working to improve the world around him.

Presented in memory of a beloved educator at Tusculum who helped define the college’s civic arts curricular focus, the Bruce G. Batts Award is presented to a student who clearly demonstrates the qualities that reflect the civic arts ideals. The Civic Arts embrace such things as active and empathetic listening, the ability to present one’s thoughts clearly in speaking or writing, the ability to analyze situations carefully and solve problems creatively, consistent use of the virtues embodied in the traditions for personal and public decision making and respect for one’s own cultural heritage, as well as those of others.

“This desire to influence my environment, to create the place I want to live in, is possibly the most distinguishing trait of my Tusculum experience. More than the experiences in and out of the classroom, the civic arts notion that one should create the environment he wants to live in is one of the strongest beliefs I have taken from Tusculum,” he said.

Barker graduated cum laude as a double major in history and English: creative writing. Coming to us from Laurens, S.C. Barker has repeatedly earned spots on both the Dean’s List and the Charles Oliver Gray List. He was named to the Alpha Chi National Honor Society for his academic achievement, one of the highest academic honors offered at Tusculum College.

Among his other successes, Barker served as the 2013-2014 president for Tusculum’s Student Government Association and as SGA Senior Senator. He presented three research papers at conferences, while also completing several internships. He has taken the initiative to study abroad with a class on Medieval Europe in 2013. He is the type of student who was fully engaged in the Tusculum College experience, enriching his academic and extracurricular success.

“I went out of my way to be active and involved in my time at Tusculum. As a result, Tusculum paid me back for my time and energy. I’m now getting ready to move to Charleston, South Carolina and enter a master’s program in history,” he added.

“This was an amazing night, featuring two particularly amazing people who, while graduating 75 years apart, both embody the civic arts and the desire to serve their communities, and who both credit Tusculum College in large degree with helping to develop these value systems,” said Dr. Moody.

Also recognized at the event were Dr. Angelo and Dr. Jeannette Volpe and Dr. Judy and Fred Domer, both of whom recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversaries. Dr. Angelo Volpe and Dr. Judy Domer are members of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. Dr. Domer graduated from Tusculum College in 1961.


Margaret Simpson Gaut (center) was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by Tusculum College at the annual President’s Dinner. At right is Dr. Ken Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees. At left is Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.


Ryan M. Barker, 2015 graduate of Tusculum College, spoke to guests at the Tusculum College President’s Dinner about the impact his college education had on his development into a civically engaged adult.


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More than 270 receive degrees Saturday during spring commencement

More than 270 receive degrees Saturday during spring commencement

Posted on 11 May 2015 by

Graduating from Tusculum College during spring commencement were 277 individuals in a ceremony held on Saturday, May. 9.

On Saturday 72 students earned Bachelor of Science degrees and 144 earned Bachelor of Arts degrees. In addition 46 graduates earned Master of Arts degrees and 15 received Master of Business Administration degrees.

Graduates included 14 who represented the first class at Tusculum to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and three representing the first class at Tusculum to graduate in the new criminal justice major.

Walking with this spring’s graduates were 16 representatives of the Tusculum College Class of 1965 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 Golden Pioneers, represented by Mort V. Plumb, and the Class of 2015, represented by Ryan Barker, creative writing and history major from Laurens, S.C., presented a check to Dr. Moody for $8,513 as a gift to the college.

The new graduates were addressed by Tusculum Chaplain Mark Stokes, who recognized the hard work of the path to graduation, saying “you have made a commitment and stuck with it to the point that you have forever changed the direction of your life for the better.” Adding, “I am confident that you learned to think critically, not to accept at face value everything you read, hear, or see. You demonstrated your ability to debate ideas and to see both sides of an argument before making judgment. These are a few of the qualities of an educated person.”

He told the group, “May you be fortunate enough to earn in the years ahead, and may you be wise enough to return some of your blessings to those who aspire to follow in your footsteps.”

Two student speakers addressed the graduates, representing the graduating class. Anjelica Bolden is a member of the very first nursing class to graduate at Tusculum College. She lives in New Tazewell with her husband, Brandon. Bolden’s goal is to become a registered nurse working with children, and she has accepted a position with the East Tennessee’s Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.

Bolden told the graduates while the journey was long, they have been rewarded. “We have made friendships that will last a lifetime and obtained an education that will set us up for success.” She talked about her path to becoming a nurse, learning to deal with the emotions of the health care experience, as well as the technical skills. “I have become what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

Also speaking was Steven Hutson, representing the Graduate and Professional Studies programs. Following his graduation from high school, Hutson briefly attended Walters State Community College before going into manufacturing where he experienced much success. Having been with Phoenix Closures, Inc. for 10 years, Hutson was informed that if he wished to achieve a manager’s position he would have to either have a degree or be actively working on one.

This incentive brought him to Tusculum College where he began classes in June 2010.  In December 2011 Hutson was promoted to plant manager.

His advice to graduates was to keep learning and sharing what they have learned with others. He said that education is the one thing that can never be taken away, and graduates should share what they know freely. “Having the opportunity to learn is a gift, and it’s never too late.”

Jo Ann Soderquist Kramer, the first woman to receive a master’s degree in aerospace engineering, was the keynote speaker. Kramer earned the aerospace engineering degree from The University of Virginia in 1967. She holds an undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar College, where she majored in physics.

Kramer’s mother, Mabel F. Soderquist, is a 1937 graduate of Tusculum College, and Kramer attended Tusculum as well.

She began her career as an aerospace engineer with Martin Marietta Corp. in Orlando, Fla., then with Lockheed Martin Corp. in Burlington, Vt. She retired in 2011 from her position as director of air and naval defense system programs for General Dynamics Corp. in Burlington.

Kramer is affiliated with Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Women in Defense. She has worked on the Board of Directors for Sweet Briar College and the North Country Federal Credit Union, and also served on the Sweet Briar College Alumnae Association Board.

Recently, Kramer served on the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors and has been a leading fundraiser for the College. With the school’s recent announcement of its closure, she is heading the efforts of the “Save Sweet Briar College” campaign.

In her career, she told the graduates, she had spent a good deal of time reflecting on what made a good leader and what skills the leaders she admired possessed. Among them, she said, were honesty and personal integrity, the ability to “cut to the chase” and speak clearly and that they were passionate about everything they did, both in and out of the realm of work.

Receiving the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award for the Residential College was Dr. Brian Pope, faculty moderator, chair of the psychology department and professor of psychology. Receiving the award for the Graduate and Professional Studies program was Dr. Jennifer Harper, associate professor of psychology.


Walking with this spring’s graduates were 16 representatives of the Tusculum College Class of 1965 who are celebrating their 50th anniversary year. Representatives walked in the procession, clothed in golden caps and gowns and were recognized during the ceremony.



Tusculum College graduation speakers representing the Class of 2015 included from left Anjelica Bolden, Jo Ann Soderquist Kramer and Steven Hutson.

Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody accepts the class gift from Mort Plumb, 1965 Golden Pioneer Committee Chairman, and Ryan Barker, chair of the 2015 Graduate Philanthropy Council.













Dr. Brian Pope, left, professor of psychology, left, and Dr. Jennifer Harper, right, assistant professor of psychology, received the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Awards. Dr. Lisa Johnson, associate vice president for student success, presented the awards.




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Pioneer Club campaign now underway

Pioneer Club campaign now underway

Posted on 06 May 2015 by

With a $60,000 goal, Tusculum College officially kicked off the 2015-16 Pioneer Club campaign with a motivational breakfast held at the Greeneville campus on Tuesday, May 5.

“Tusculum College appreciates all that you do to support Tusculum College athletics,” said Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, who welcomed the campaign volunteers. “What you do truly makes a difference with our students.”

Chairman of the Pioneer Club Campaign this year is Larry Coughlin, in his seventh year serving as leader of this effort. Coughlin announced the campaign goal, and the time frame of this year’s campaign, which will be four weeks, ending on June 2.

Coughlin has been actively involved with Tusculum College and its student-athletes and is respected in the Greeneville community as a member of Notre Dame Catholic Church and the Foundation Board of the Greeneville Exchange Club. He is a member of the Laughlin Health Care Foundation Board and on the Consumer Credit Union Board of Directors.

He and his wife, Donna, have for many years been dedicated to supporting Tusculum College student-athletes and their programs. In 2010, Coughlin was recognized with the Sports Benefactor Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions toward the Pioneer athletic programs.

Coughlin also announced team captains for this year’s efforts. Team captains include friends of the college Bland Justis and Dr. Craig Shepherd, as well as alumni Doug DeBusk, Justin Jeffers. Angelo Botta and Curtis Morrison.

The Pioneer Club is the college’s vehicle to provide athletic scholarships and program support to all athletic programs. The program began in 1991, and with the help and support of alumni and friends of the college, each year the goals have been met in both membership and dollars raised.

Athletics at Tusculum College are a big part of campus life; nearly 50 percent of the students are student-athletes.

Tusculum Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Frankie DeBusk was on hand at the kick-off event to encourage and thank the volunteers.

“Thank you for all you do. The money you raise helps every single one of our sports teams through scholarships and help for our budgets,” said DeBusk. “I truly believe we have a special place here, and your efforts go directly to support our student-athletes.”

Coughlin said volunteers will be making contacts in the community over the next four weeks to solicit support for Tusculum College athletics, and he is expecting the community to be receptive.

“What an exciting program to be a part of, and as a Pioneer Club member, you can help student-athletes enjoy the unique Tusculum College experience,” Coughlin added.

For more information on the Pioneer Club or to become a member, contact Tusculum College’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 423-636-7303.


Leadership for this year’s Tusculum College Pioneer Club Campaign includes from left, Angelo Botta, Chairman Larry Coughlin, Justin Jeffers, Curtis Morrison, Bland Justis and Dr. Craig Shepherd. Not pictured is Doug DeBusk.


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‘All Star Alumni Band,’ a highlight of Old Oak Festival 2015

‘All Star Alumni Band,’ a highlight of Old Oak Festival 2015

Posted on 27 April 2015 by

The Old Oak Festival 2015 had the best attendance of the event since its rebirth in 2012.

Friday and Saturday events enjoyed almost perfect spring weather except for a brief, passing shower Saturday afternoon, attracting people to campus to enjoy live music, browsing arts and crafts booths, visiting with local authors, seeing museum and gallery exhibits and seeing the work of student playwrights in the “5 x 10″ performances.

Saturday evening was capped with a “Tusculum Alumni All Star Band” performance. The Kevin Wilder Group, which features two alumni Darlene McCleish ’73 and Jon Moore ’02, started the performance. They were then joined onstage by Herb Rupert ’74 for a few numbers before members of the Shiloh band took the stage. Shiloh was a band that formed on campus in the 1970s and featured Kenneth “Shadow” Winterbauer ’73, Wayne Hensley ’70 and Rupert.  A special guest vocalist during their performance was Cynthia Andresen ’75. Then members of the Kevin Wilder Group rejoined those on stage and they were joined by the Tusculum College Band for a few numbers to end a memorable performance.


Members of the Shiloh band regrouped for a performance on Saturday and were joined by Cynthia Andresen '75 for one song. From left are Wayne Hensley '70, Kenneth "Shadow" Winterbauer '73, Andersen and Herb Rupert '74.

Rainy weather on Sunday resulted in the cancellation of outdoor activities, but arts and crafts vendors indoors remained open and the “5 x 10″ performance garnered a good crowd.

To see more photos of the festivities, please visit the Old Oak Festival Facebook page.


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‘Pack the Park for Education’ May 2 has activities for all ages

‘Pack the Park for Education’ May 2 has activities for all ages

Posted on 27 April 2015 by

Fun and entertainment for all ages is planned for “Pack the Park for Education” activities surrounding the Tusculum College Pioneer baseball game at Pioneer Park on Saturday, May 2.

While providing a fun weekend outing for local families is one reason for Tusculum College to sponsor “Pack the Park for Education,” its goal is to honor those who are dedicated to providing a quality education to the community’s young people. Last year’s event hosted the all-time record attendance with more than 1,730 participants.

The county school and city school with the highest attending number of students and staff who attend the game will receive $1,000. Through this event, Tusculum College hopes to express its appreciation to all those involved in the Greeneville and Greene County school systems whose efforts are preparing the leaders of tomorrow.


“What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, enjoying baseball, music, food and fun, while honoring a profession central to the local community, economic development and the future of the region, state and nation,” said Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody.

Additionally, Tusculum College is offering high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to learn about college life and options available to them in continuing their education during an open house.

Open House registration will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. An official welcoming program will be held from 12:30 – 12:45 p.m., followed by a financial aid session for parents and a discussion panel for students until 1:30 p.m. A parent discussion panel will take place from 1:30 – 2:45 p.m., while students participate in mock classes.

“A visit during Open House gives prospective students and their families a chance to get to know Tusculum College and our home in East Tennessee,” said Melissa Ripley, executive director of enrollment management operations and residential admission at the college.

A campus tour will begin at 3 p.m., with tours ending at the Pioneer Park baseball stadium, where the Pack the Park event will take place from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Genuine country band Austin Baze features the duo Brian Buckner and Nick Gunter. Michelle Leigh is an up-and-coming southern-rock performer who has toured with the “Young Guns of Country.” Local band Step Cousins mixes past and present country and has played in the popular Dogwood Park Concert Series.

A “fun zone” for kids and those young at heart will feature inflatables, corn hole, face and body painting and other free activities outside Pioneer Park during the event.

Concessions will be available and an area will be open to all who want to bring a blanket or chairs to tailgate prior to the baseball game against Bluefield State.

Admission to the baseball game will be free to all students, teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians and maintenance personnel, school board members, etc. Throughout the game, local educators will be honored in a variety of ways.

In addition, a fireworks display will immediately follow the game to conclude the day’s festivities.


Last year's Pack the Park attracted more than 1,700 people for the fun and activities.



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