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Make plans to attend Homecoming 2015, Oct. 9-10

Make plans to attend Homecoming 2015, Oct. 9-10

Posted on 31 August 2015 by

Homecoming 2015 is coming very soon, and  many exciting events planned. A schedule for Homecoming weekend is below.

Register online today and be sure to let us  know where you are staying!

Thursday, October 8

All Day – Alumni Care Package Deliveries – Bring a goody basket or snacks to deliver to the current student(s) living in your old dorm room or apartment.  Call the Office of Alumni Relations at 423-636-7303 for details prior to October 2.

Hotel Crawl – College staff will be stopping by the local hotels to welcome alumni back to Greeneville.

  • Noon – General Morgan Inn
  • 12:30 – Days Inn
  • 1:00 – Econo Lodge
  • 1:30 – Hampton Inn
  • 2:00 – Quality Inn
  • 2:30 – Knight’s Inn (formerly  Charray Inn)

*Be sure to let us know where you are staying.

6:00 pm – 1960’s Alumni Party – Hosted by Ann ‘Butch’ Van Buskirk ’61 at her home.  For address and directions, please contact the Alumni Office at 423-636-7303.

Friday, October 9

8 am – 4 pm – Registration – Living Room of Niswonger Commons

9:00 am – 4:30 pm – Memory Lane  – Living Room of Niswonger CommonsTake a walk down memory lane as the staff of the Museums of Tusculum display outfits, slide shows, pictures from TC’s past, yearbooks and newspapers.

10 am – Bright’s Zoo – $30 – Located in Limestone, TN, Bright’s Zoo is home to many rare species.  Transportation will be provided.  To learn more, visit   A boxed lunch will be provided.

11:30 am  – Lunch with students – $10 – Enjoy lunch with students on the terrace of the Thomas J. Garland Library.  Reservations required.

1 pm – Campus Tours – Revisit and Rediscover.  The tour will showcase our growing and changing campus, and offer you the chance to experience Tusculum with the President’s Society, a group of elite residential college students.  Tours will depart from Garland Library lobby.

1 pm – Golf Tournament – $50 – Enjoy some friendly competition on the Link Hills Golf Course.  Scramble format will be used with handicap system for a net division and gross division.  Registration is at noon pm with shotgun start at 1 pm.  Alumni, spouses, faculty, staff and friends are invited to participate.  Dinner will be provided for participants in the golf tournament as well as those who may want to join them following the tournament.  The cost for dinner will be $20 for those not participating in the tournament.  Reservations are required.

2 pm – Keeping your Keepsakes – no charge – Will take place in the Perk.  Fun make and take workshop.  Learn to care for family photographs, documents, and old books like family Bibles. Participants will take home an archival acid-free box for safe storage of family keepsakes.

6 pm – Dinner at Link Hills – $20 – Join us for a buffet dinner.  Reservations are required.

Evening – Individual Class Gatherings

8:30 pm – Bonfire – Enjoy the annual Homecoming Bonfire with current students.

Saturday, October 10

8 am – 10 am – Registration – Living Room of Niswonger Commons

8 am – Memorial Service – Garland Library Lobby – Join us in remembering alumni who have passed away since Homecoming 2014.

8:30 am – Alumni Breakfast – $15 –Chalmers Conference Center – Come enjoy breakfast with alumni and friends.

9:00 am –Sports Hall of Fame Induction – no charge – Chalmers – Come celebrate the newest sports hall of fame award honorees.

10 am – Alumni Awards and Alumni Meeting – Old Gym –no charge Celebrate the newest alumni, learn the latest about the alumni association, and hear an update on the College.

11 am – Class Photos – $10 – In front of Niswonger Commons

11 am – Student Support Services Luncheon – $3 – Alumni who were in the Student Support Services program or ARCHES are invited to a cookout and other festivities at the Patton House.

Noon – Homecoming Parade – Watch the 12th Annual Homecoming Parade along the route between the Charles Oliver Gray Complex and Pioneer Park.  The Golden Pioneers will serve as Grand Marshals.

12:30 pm – Tailgate – $10 – Enjoy a Tusculum College Pioneer Tailgate Party.

2:30 – Tusculum Pioneer Football vs. Wingate – Cheer on the Pioneers as they take on Wingate at Pioneer Field.  Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth preceding the game.

6 pm – Alumni and Friends Social Hour – General Morgan Inn

7 pm – Alumni and Friends Dinner – General Morgan Inn – $40 – Join us at the General Morgan Inn for dinner.  A cash bar will be available throughout the evening.

8 pm – Alumni and Friends Music and Fellowship – $10 (no dinner) DJ Donnie Bunch will provide music.

Sunday, October 11

Attend the church of your choice.  First Presbyterian Church of Greeneville (110 N. Main Street) is the mother church of the College.  Early service at 8:30 am, Sunday School at 9:30 am, the traditional service at 10:45 am.  Learn more at

1 pm – Tusculum Women’s Soccer hosts Coker at Pioneer Field.

4 pm – Tusculum Men’s Soccer hosts Coker at  Pioneer Field.


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Pioneer Club football tailgates scheduled

Pioneer Club football tailgates scheduled

Posted on 31 August 2015 by

The Pioneer Club, which provides scholarships for scholarships for student-athletes and program support for Pioneer Athletics, has announced its football tailgate schedule for each of the home games during the 2015 season. For more information about the Pioneer Club, contact Blake Cantrell in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 423.636.7303 or


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2015 Tusculum Sports Hall of Fame class announced

2015 Tusculum Sports Hall of Fame class announced

Posted on 31 August 2015 by

The 2015 Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame class has been announced and three new members will be inducted during Homecoming 2015.  This year’s inductee class includes two-time All-American and Academic All-America® tight end Dr. Jarrell NeSmith, 2008 All-American quarterback Corey Russell and Tusculum baseball’s all-time hits leader Josh Wolff.

The induction ceremonies will take place Saturday, October 10, during the College’s Homecoming festivities.  The ceremony is part of the alumni breakfast, which will be held at the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Student Commons on the Greeneville campus.

The 2015 induction class will also be honored prior to the homecoming football game against Wingate University.


Dr. Jarrell NeSmith ’09

Jarrell NeSmith

NeSmith becomes the first football tight end to be selected for induction to the Tusculum Sports Hall of Fame and is one of the most decorated student-athletes for his accomplishments on the field and in the classroom in the College’s history.

On the field, NeSmith was a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference (SAC) first team selection, where he amassed 1,670 career receiving yards, which are the ninth-most in school history and the most ever by a Tusculum tight end.  His 158 career receptions are eighth in the Pioneer record books, while his 12 career touchdown catches are tied for 10th.  Both are school records by a Tusculum tight end.

In 2009, he led the league in receiving yards per game, averaging 67.8 yards per contest. He posted 56 catches for 678 yards (fifth in Tusculum history) and three touchdowns. His 5.6 catches per game average tied for 43rd in the nation. He was named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Super Region 2 first team for a second straight year and was selected to the Associated Press Little All-America Team.  He was also selected to participate at the 2010 Valero Cactus Bowl, the NCAA Division II All-Star Game in Kingsville, Texas.

The Russellville, Alabama native was a consensus All-America choice in 2008 by Daktronics, and Don Hansen’s Football Gazette as he posted 67 receptions for 635 yards and seven touchdowns as Pioneers finished the season with a 9-4 record to capture the program’s second SAC football title, while advancing to the NCAA II Playoffs for the first time in school history.

NeSmith is a two-time Academic All-America® selection, including 2010 where he was a first team choice.

NeSmith was named the South Atlantic Conference Scholar Athlete for Football on three occasions, becoming the first three-time recipient of the award in conference history.

NeSmith is also a two-time recipient of the SAC Presidents Award earning the honor in 2008-2009 and again in 2009-2010, becoming the football player in the history of the award to earn the conference’s most prestigious honor twice. He was also a two-time Southeast Region representative for the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Scholar Athlete Award and was a national semifinalist for the 2009 American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team.

In 2009, he was named to the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Team and was one of only 16 national finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, one of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. NeSmith was the only NCAA Division II player amongst the honorees that included Campbell Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida and fellow Heisman Trophy candidate Colt McCoy of Texas.

NeSmith graduated from Tusculum in 2009 as a pre-medicine major with a 3.87 cumulative grade point average.  He was a member of the Tusculum President’s List, Dean’s List, Charles Oliver Gray List, South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the College’s Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

After graduating from Tusculum, he moved onto medical school and graduated from Lincoln Memorial University’s DeBusk College of Medicine in 2014 with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.  Dr. NeSmith is serving as a resident physician at the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in Spartanburg, S.C.

He is married to Dr. Brittany Bible NeSmith, a 2010 Tusculum College graduate.


Corey Russell ’09

Corey Russell

From 2005-2008, Russell accounted for one of the best playing careers ever by a Tusculum quarterback.  He led Tusculum to three straight winning seasons as a starter, including the 2008 campaign as the Pioneers captured the South Atlantic Conference Championship, while making their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs.

During his career, he guided Tusculum to 22 victories as the starting signal-caller, including a 21-14 record in his final three seasons combined.  His 11,315 career total offensive yards are the second-most in school history, third in the conference record book and 27th in NCAA II history.  He passed for 9,887 yards (second in Pioneer  history/fourth in SAC history), while also rushing for 1,428 yards, the fifth-most in program history and the most by a Tusculum quarterback.  Russell accounted for 103 career touchdowns (82 passing, 21 rushing), the second-most in Tusculum history and the third-most in SAC history.

The Speedwell, Tennessee native smashed the school record books in 2008 with the finest season ever posted by a Pioneer signal caller as he led Tusculum to a 9-4 record, a SAC title, advanced to the second round of the NCAA II Playoffs and ended the year with a No. 16 national ranking.

He was named to three All-America teams – Daktronics (second team),, and Don Hansen’s Football Gazette (third team) becoming the first Pioneer quarterback to garner All-Region or All-America honors. He was a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which recognizes the Division II National Player of the Year as he finished sixth in the national voting.

The 2008 South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Daktronics Region Player of the Year peppered his name throughout the Tusculum, SAC and NCAA II record books. Russell established 15 Tusculum records in 2008, including a pair of NCAA Division II bests. He recorded 300 or more total offensive yards on 11 occasions, which were the best in DII history. He recorded 674 total offensive plays for a new NCAA II record. The All-SAC first team selection established league single-season records in total offensive yards (4,907), passing yards (4,097) and touchdown passes (37). He also set Tusculum season records for completions (301) and pass attempts (505).

Russell was selected to play in the 2009 Valero Cactus Bowl, the NCAA II Senior All-Star game, which was held in Kingsville, Texas. In that game, he rushed and passed for a touchdown as he accounted for over 170 total offensive yards, splitting time at quarterback for the East squad.

For his efforts he was named the South Atlantic Conference Male Athlete of the Year and the Tusculum Male Athlete of the Year for the 2008-2009 academic term.

Russell graduated from Tusculum in 2009 and later earned his post-baccalaureate teacher certification from Lincoln Memorial University.  He currently teaches world history at his prep alma mater Cumberland Gap High School where he is also the head football coach.

He and his wife Paige Johnson, who is a medical laboratory scientist – microbiology at Parkwest Medical Center, reside in Speedwell.


Josh Wolff ’06

Josh Wolff

Wolff amassed one of the finest hitting careers ever by a Tusculum baseball player.

The Louisville, Kentucky product still owns 11 school records and is ranked in the top 10 of 19 statistical categories.  During his career he led the Pioneers to a 151-76-1 record (.664), which included two South Atlantic Conference championships in 2005 and 2006, two trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament (2003, 2005) and the 2005 SAC Tournament crown.

Wolff currently holds school career records for hits (262), at-bats (782), runs scored (180), games played (211), games started (205) and stolen bases (51).   He is also second all-time in career total bases (368) and career hit by pitch (29), and third in career triples (14).  For his career, he boasted a .335 batting average with 114 RBI and a .399 on-base percentage.

He recorded 20 doubles each in back-to-back campaigns in 2005 and 2006 which are tied for the fourth-most in a Tusculum single-season.

In 2003, he batted .324 as a freshman in his 54 contests (52 starts) in the outfield.  He recorded 56 hits with eight doubles two triples, four home runs and 35 RBI, while establishing a Tusculum single-season record when he was hit by a pitch 18 times.  The Pioneers posted a 34-21 record and advanced to the championship game of the SAC Tournament.  Tusculum’s strong postseason showing earned it an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in Lakeland, Florida, where the Pioneers finished third in the regional.

The 2004 campaign saw Wolff’s batting average slip to .291 in his 53 contests, as he led the team in triples (5) and went 19-for-19 in his stolen base attempts.  His 19 stolen bases are tied for the eighth most in Tusculum history.

Wolff and the Pioneers bounced back in 2005 with one of the best seasons in Tusculum baseball history.  The Pioneers rattled off a 44-17 record to capture the program’s first SAC baseball title.  He garnered All-SAC second team accolades while also being named the SAC Baseball Scholar Athlete of the Year.  Wolff batted a robust .362 with 71 hits, including 20 doubles (37th in NCAA II), three triples, one home run and 29 RBI.

Tusculum, who served as the host venue for the 2005 SAC Tournament, was upset in its opening game.  But the Pioneers rebounded by winning six straight elimination games, including a doubleheader against rival Carson-Newman in the championship to become the first team in league history to win the SAC Tournament title after losing its opening game.  The Pioneers earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and finished third once again at the South Regional in Lakeland, Florida.  The Pioneers ended the year with a No. 13 national ranking.

In 2006, Wolff and the Pioneers posted a second straight 40-win campaign as Tusculum went 40-14-1 and captured the SAC regular-season title for a second straight year.  Wolff earned a spot on the SAC All-Tournament Team as Tusculum went 1-2 in the conference postseason.  On the year, Wolff batted .357 with 80 hits, including 20 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 31 RBI as the Pioneers ended the season ranked 26th in NCAA II.

Wolff graduated from Tusculum in 2006 with a degree in history education.  He was a member of the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

Wolff is on faculty and serves as the head baseball coach at his prep alma mater at Butler Traditional High School in Louisville.  Previously, he also served as the head baseball coach at DuPont Manuel High School in Louisville.

He is married to the former Meghan Williams and they are the parents of one son, Easton.



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Support Tusculum through Amazon Smile

Support Tusculum through Amazon Smile

Posted on 31 August 2015 by

You can now support Tusculum College by shopping online at

Do you shop on Amazon? Support Tusculum College through Amazon Smile and a donation will be made to Tusculum College at no cost to you. Use your normal Amazon user ID and password. Make sure that Tusculum College appears at the top of your Amazon screen under ‘Supporting Charity.’

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Tusculum College. Bookmark the link and support the College every time you shop.



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Learn the latest happenings with your fellow alumni

Learn the latest happenings with your fellow alumni

Posted on 31 August 2015 by








John C. Pavlik ’74 recently retired from New Jersey state and local government where he served in administrative and financial positions. John earned a master’s degree in administration in 2001. He was recognized in 1997 by then New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman as well as the state’s Senate and General Assembly for being the first mayor in 50 years to merge two municipalities. He and his wife, Martha, are now living in Virginia on the eastern shore and enjoying the Chesapeake Bay. John writes he often reflects on his days on campus – Dean Hurley, Luther Lawson (economics) and good friends.



Ron Scalf ’92 has been named the member services director for the Savannah, GA, Tourism Leadership Council. He also just released his latest book, “Bristol Motor Speedway, Racin’ The Way It Was,” which is available on and at Barnes & Noble.


Ginger Morelock Frembling ’97 of Archdale, is the 4-H agent at Davidson County Cooperative Extension. Ginger’s husband Jeff is serving in the U.S. Army in logistics and is stationed at Fort Bragg. The couple have a two-year-old son, Willis. After earning a degree in museum studies at Tusculum, she earned a master’s degree in folk studies from Western Kentucky University.



Joy Frazier Herman ’03 purchased Interstate Graphics of Morristown, Inc., in May 2015. She was previously employed at Morrison Printing of Morristown and Courier Printing in Smyrna, TN. She joined with Interstate in 2012 and has become the company’s owner.



Kimberly McCuiston ’10 has joined the faculty of Francis Marion University as an assistant professor of education. She has a Ph.D. in education/literary studies from the University of Tennessee, an M.A. in curriculum and instruction from Tusculum College, a B.A. in English from Maryville College and an A.A. in elementary education from Pellissippi State Community College.


Melissa Batson ’14 of Greeneville, TN, has accepted the position of chief human resources officer for the Greeneville City School System. Melissa previously served as director of human resources for Signature HealthCARE of Greeneville. She began working in education in 2001 and served 14 years with the Greene County School System working with personnel, purchasing, certified payroll/human resources and in secretarial duties for the board of education. Melissa is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.







Jalen-Ryan Shuffler ’15 and Jenna Ruth Shaw were married on July 18 on Runion Farm in Limestone. Groomsmen included Taylor Foster ’14 and Tusculum student Nick Rodriquez. Following a wedding trip to Kiawah Island, S.C., the couple is living is living in Nashville. Jalen is employed by True Green of Nashville and she is a student at Belmont University.





Sarah (Chait) and John Clarke ’12 ’12 welcomed a baby girl, Anne Haines Clarke, on December 19, 2014.






Katejean “Kay” Allerton Borneman ’42 of Bend, OR, passed away March 12, 2015. Mrs. Bornerman earned a nursing degree from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City after graduating from Tusculum. She served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corp during World War II, and met her late husband, Don, while he was serving in the Merchant Marines during the latter part of the war. After the war, the couple moved to Oregon, where he eventually became a partner in a local grocery business. The couple loved to travel and had the opportunity to visit places around the globe including Antarctica, the Arctic, Africa and China.




Rev. Kenneth Verran ’52 of Greeneville, TN, passed away August 10, 2015. Rev. Verran was a retired U.S. Air Force chaplain and paratrooper, serving with the 11th A/B Division, U.S. Army, and in the 278th National Guard. He was also a retired United Methodist minister and educator, having served in the Greene County School System and as an adjunct professor for his Alma Mater. He had served as minister of New Ebenezer Presbyterian Church for the past 14 years. In addition to his degree from Tusculum, Rev. Verran also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees of divinity from Emory University, a master’s degree from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate from Greenwich University of Oxford in England. Survivors include his wife and Tusculum alumna Louise Mays Verran ’87.



Betty L. Calhoun Phaler ’72 of Blackwood, NJ, passed away on June 13, 2015. Mrs. Phaler was retired substitute teacher and school bus driver.




Dr. James T. “Jim” Davis of Kingsport, TN, passed away July 27, 2015. Dr. Davis was a professor at Tusculum in the 1990s, teaching primarily education and history courses. In addition to Tusculum, Dr. Davis taught at East Tennessee State University and in Virginia. He also served as an editor for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.



Louis DeBusk

The Tusculum College community suffered a tremendous loss August 6, 2015, with the passing of long-time volunteer assistant football coach Louis DeBusk. DeBusk, one of the most beloved members of the Tusculum athletic family, passed away in Bristol, TN, following a lengthy illness.

DeBusk, affectionately known by many as “Big Coach”, served the Tusculum football program for the last 17 years, assisting the Pioneers in a variety of roles.  Over the years, DeBusk has mentored and been a part of the lives of 627 different football players during his time with the Pioneers. He coordinated game-day preparations for the Pioneers, especially when Tusculum was on the road. He was responsible for transporting the vast amount of equipment needed on game day. He was usually the first to the game site and the last to leave. DeBusk was also responsible for leading the Pioneers onto the field before each home football game, toting the Tusculum flag from the back of his beloved golf cart, a tradition which has taken place for the last 17 seasons.
DeBusk’s eldest son, Frankie, is beginning his 18th season as head football coach and his ninth as athletic director at Tusculum. His younger son Doug ’95 is a member of the Tusculum Sports Hall of Fame following a stellar basketball career with the Pioneers in the 1990s. The coach, staff and players of the Pioneer football team have dedicated this season to the memory of “Big Coach.”


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Presentation by guitar virtuoso/inspirational speaker Aug. 24 to kick off Acts, Arts, Academia series

Presentation by guitar virtuoso/inspirational speaker Aug. 24 to kick off Acts, Arts, Academia series

Posted on 13 August 2015 by

World class guitar virtuoso and inspirational speaker Mike Rayburn will perform 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, in the Annie Hogan Byrd Auditorium.

A presentation by world-class guitarist and inspirational speaker Mike Rayburn on Aug. 24 will kick of the 2015-16 Acts, Arts, Academia performance and lecture series at Tusculum College.

Rayburn’s performance will be at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building. The Acts, Arts, Academia performance and lecture series is a program of Tusculum College Arts Outreach and supported by the late Dr. Sam Miller in memory of Agnes Ault Miller, Hearts for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission and Arts Outreach.

With his “What If …” keynote presentation, Rayburn challenges his audience to ask what is possible using his amazing guitar skills and humor to illustrate three tools that help people carry out innovative ideas and meet goals. Rayburn draws on his success as an entrepreneur and a performer to inspire others through his presentation.

Rayburn, who has received standing ovations each of the eight times he has performed at Carnegie Hall, is a certified speaking professional and  two-time TEDx presenter, has performed more than 4,000 presentations and his comedy remains in heavy rotation on Sirius/XM radio. He has been featured in USA Today, as well as Newsweek, Billboard, American Entertainment, Gig and Successful Meetings magazines. Admission for Rayburn’s presentation is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors above the age of 60 and $5 for children 12 years of age and younger.

This will be Rayburn’s third performance at Tusculum. The second presentation of the Acts, Arts, Academia series will also be by a performer who has proven popular with Tusculum and local audiences alike.

Well known Appalachian author Sharyn McCrumb will return to the Tusculum campus Tuesday, Sept. 22, to discuss her novel, “King’s Mountain,” which tells the story of the Revolutionary War battle and has received the Patricia Winn Award for Southern Fiction. McCrumb will speak in the Behan Arena Theatre.

Everyone’s favorite flying car will come to the stage for Theatre-at-Tusculum’s fall production of the musical, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Performances are scheduled for Nov. 13-15 and 19-22 in the Annie Hogan Byrd auditorium.

The Christmas season will be marked by performances by the Tusculum College Band Program and Community Chorus. The Band Program’s holiday concert will be on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the Annie Hogan Byrd auditorium. The Community Chorus will perform its first concert under new director Kathy May on Monday, Dec. 7.

Events for the spring 2016 semester begin in January with Central Ballet Theatre’s presentation of “Cinderella.” The performances are scheduled for Jan. 22-24 in the Annie Hogan Byrd auditorium.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Dr. David Scott will focus on lesser known Supreme Court cases that have made a significant impact in his presentation, “American Civil Rights and Liberties” in the Behan Arena Theatre.

Hilarity will reign in “The Odd Couple,” Theatre-at-Tusculum’s spring production. Performances will be Feb. 26-28 and March 3-6 in the Behan Arena Theatre.

The Tusculum Band will present its winter concert on Tuesday, March 1, in the Annie Hogan Byrd auditorium.

The FLY Dance Company will bring its brand of youthful, risk-taking, clever choreography to the stage on Sunday, March 20 in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd auditorium. A group rate will be available for dance schools on request.

During the 2016 Old Oak Festival, members of GLAWPIGT (Great Literature Alive, Well and Playing in Greeneville, Tennessee) will present a showcase of varied entertainment April 15-17.

The series will conclude with the spring concerts by the Tusculum Band Program and Community Chorus. The band will perform on Thursday, April 28, in the Annie Hogan Byrd auditorium. The Community Chorus will present its spring concert on Monday, May 2, also in the auditorium.

Admission to the events is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors above the age of 60 and $5 for children 12 years of age and under except for the “American Civil Rights and Liberties” presentation, which will have a $7 admission, the GLAWPIGT performances, which will have a $5 admission and the Band and Community Chorus concerts which have no admission charge.

For more information on any of these events, or to reserve tickets for the Mike Rayburn performance, call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620, or email The schedule can also be found at this link.




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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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