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Alumni events scheduled in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York

Alumni events scheduled in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York

Posted on 22 March 2017 by

Make plans to join Tusculum representatives as they come to your area to learn more about the latest news at your Alma Mater, as well as catching up and networking with fellow alumni in your area. Representatives will be visiting Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City and Albany in June.

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Tusculum receives century-old gift

Tusculum receives century-old gift

Posted on 22 March 2017 by

While the yearbook changed names to "Tusculana" later, "The Seal" was the record of the 1916-17 academic year and did feature the familiar Tusculum seal on the cover and this decorative cover page.

Jennie L. Bailey, daughter of alumna Lela Willis Witcher, stopped by Tusculum’s Office of Alumni Relations recently with a treasure from 100 years ago.

Bailey was bringing a gift from her family to present to Tusculum, a 1917 yearbook. Known as the “The Seal,” the yearbook showcases Tusculum as it was 100 years ago and her students during the 1916-17 academic year.

The yearbook features photos of the students in each class, academic and extracurricular clubs, events on campus and athletics. ­­Student life at Tusculum was quite active as the bad roads of the era left the campus isolated from nearby communities. Students had to rely on themselves for amusement outside their studies. Dancing was poplar and parties for various classes and student groups featured charades, trivia contests and other games popular in the era. Fall mountain day, in which the entire student body traveled to the Smokies for an outing, was a highlight of the year. There were boys’ and girls’ glee clubs, literary societies, debating clubs and student dramatic productions.

Tusculum in 1917 was smaller than the campus of today. The primary buildings on campus were McCormick Hall, Old College (now the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library), the Garland Library (then known as Carnegie Hall), Craig Hall (now Welty-Craig Hall), Virginia Hall and the newbie on campus, Haynes Hall. Built in 1914 to help address a housing shortage, Haynes Hall was serving as residence hall for female students and housed the Home Economics Department. An outdoor stage, constructed in 1915 behind the Library, was used for commencement, theatrical productions, musical performances and other events to take advantage of the beautiful scenery on campus and help relieve overcrowding that sometimes occurred when these events were held in the chapel inside McCormick Hall.

Behind Haynes Hall and along the southern boundary of campus was the College Farm. A gift from Tusculum Benefactor Nettie McCormick allowed for the purchase in 1915 of 75 acres bordering campus on the south and southeast for the purpose of establishing a working farm. The farm was to provide needed foodstuffs and revenues for Tusculum as well as provide a means for students to earn financial aid by working on the farm. In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, wheat was sown on the farm in large scale to produce as much food as possible. The farm proved to be unprofitable for Tusculum and the land was leased out to a local farmer in 1919.

Dr. Charles Oliver Gray, one of the most influential president's in Tusculum's rich history, was leading the institution through a challenging time as the country entered World War I.

During the 1916-17 academic year, patriotism was strong on campus and within a month of war being declared in April 1917, a third of the male students had left to either enter the armed forces, to go to work in munitions factories or back home to help raise foodstuffs on their family farm. Several faculty members left as well to enter military service. Serving in the war were 43 Tusculum undergraduate students, 18 alumni and seven faculty members. Due to the war, the May 2017 commencement was a scaled down event without much of the pageantry that typically accompanied the celebration.

Five Tusculum students gave their lives in the conflict, and in 1921, a flag base and staff was erected and dedicated on campus to the students who made the supreme sacrifice in the war. Five oak trees were also planted in front of the library in their memory. The flagpole and its base were rebuilt in the 1960s with the memorial plaques retained from its predecessor.

In the patriotic fervor of the era, one of the Tusculum’s most enduring and recognizable symbols was also built, the Arch. Constructed at the end of the sidewalk leading directly out from the front entrance of McCormick Hall, the Arch was built by one of Tennessee’s foremost stonemasons, J.T. Ponder.

















Pam Bird Johnson ’95 will be one of the competitors in the annual Tri-Cities Dancing with the Stars event in June, a fundraising event for Steppenstone Youth Treatment Services. Johnson works in her family business, Roberts Furniture in Greeneville and also travels the NHRA drag racing circuit with her husband, Allen Johnson ’81 and his Marathon Petroleum Pro Stock Race Team.

Dr. Sharon Cannon ’96 of Chattanooga, TN, has published a book, “Women of the Bible: the good, the band & ugly … then and now.” The book is available on Sharon is the owner of Cannon Public Relations.

Robbi Stivers ’98 of Knoxville, TN, has accepted the position of vice president for business and finance at California State University, Chico. He will begin his new position on May 1. Stivers has been serving as executive director of the Office of Capital Projects since 2011 at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and earlier served as director of the Office of Capital Projects Division of Real Property and Space Administration. In his role as lead liaison for University of Tennessee statewide operations, he interacted with executive-level administrators and senior public officials as the chief official overseeing facility-related operations, acquisitions, leases, capital projects and budgets. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee in 2000, he spent 15 years in the financial services industry, most recently as senior vice president and commercial loan manager at First Tennessee Bank. In his new position, Stivers will manage several departments including Financial Services, Human Resources, Facilities Management and Services, Planning Design and Construction, University Police Department and other offices that are integral to the successful management of the campus.

Dwayne Collins ’99 of Morristown, TN, has been appointed to a new leadership position within the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security. Collins will be assisting Department Commissioner David W. Purkey with special departmental projects implementing high priority statewide initiatives. Collins had been serving as a supervisory agent for the Bureau of Operations. Collins began his public safety career as a law enforcement officer with the Morristown Police Department. He progressed through the ranks, leading him to the Office of Homeland Security. As the Homeland Security Supervisory Agent for the Bureau of Operations, Collins supervised agents in East, Middle and West Tennessee. The Operations Bureau conducts partnership programs with state and federal law enforcement agencies, enhancing security measures. Collins is also an adjunct instructor for the Criminal Justice Department at Walters State Community College.



Dr. Jonathan Feathers ’01 of Johnson City, TN, has published his second book, “So Tell Me: A Primer for Vocational Ministry Applicants.” It is available through and on in paperback, hardcover and as an e-book. Jonathan can be reached at

John Cage ’08 of Spring Hill, TN, has been appointed financial aid director at Columbia State Community College.  In his new position, Cage will be responsible for the customer service environment, ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations and providing overall leadership and innovation in implementing financial aid policies, procedures and programs. Cage previously worked in financial aid at his Alma Matrer, Hiwassee College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.



Sean Cotten ’11, who is also Tusculum’s all-time home run leader, was a member of the winning pit crew at the 2017 Daytona 500.

Amber Jeffers ’11 was recognized as WJHL-TV’s “Educator of the Week” for the week of March 6. Amber is in her sixth year of teaching at Ottway Elementary School in Greene County. Four of those years have been in first grade, another in kindergarten and she helped in fifth and sixth grade. Amber attributes her success as a teacher to making the students feel cared for from day one.

Joseph Elphingstone ’15 has been accepted to medical school at the Medical College of Georgia.





Priscilla Watts Foulk ’50 of Rolling Hills, CA, passed away February 22, 2017. While at Tusculum, Mrs. Foulk’s talent and national ranking in tennis enabled her to play on the men’s tennis team because at the there was no women’s team. After graduating from Tusculum, she joined the U.S. Air Force and served in Europe, Asia, Hawaii and Florida, rising to the rank of major. Earning a master’s degree in education, Mrs. Foulk settled in southern California in 1960 and worked as a special education teacher in the Palos Verdes Unified School District for 29 years before retiring in 1989. She served on the Board of Directors of the Watts-Campbell Company of Newark, NJ; was an avid gardener, and for many years was the hospitality chairman of the South Bay Geranium Society. Mrs. Foulk enjoyed playing tennis and golf, upholstering and refinishing furniture, and completing sewing and needlepoint projects. She also traveled extensively.

Mary Louise Jordan Maxwell ’50 of Kingsport, TN, passed away March 18, 2017. Mrs. Maxwell was a retired teacher in the Sullivan County School System, having taught many people from different walks of life for more than 30 years. She was a member of the Sullivan County Retired Teachers Association and the Long Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. Maxwell was also an avid gardener and a very talented china painter.

Jerry Lee Roberts ’67 of Greeneville, TN, passed away March 6, 2017.  Mr. Roberts was retired from General Telephone Electronic Data Services of Tampa, FL. After retirement, Mr. Roberts returned to his hometown of Greeneville. He was a member of Hartman’s Chapel United Methodist Church, where he had held numerous offices including Sunday school class teacher, trustee and church treasurer. His survivors include his wife of almost 49 years, Linda Banks Roberts ’67 and sister-in-law Barbara Banks Davenport ’64.

Arthur Jocher ’73 of Blythe, GA, passed away on December 12, 2016. Mr. Jocher was a licensed physical therapist and at one time was the director of physical therapy at Lakewood Hospital. He had a private practice on Long Beach Island with his former wife, Barbara Block. While practicing physical therapy in Sarasota, FL, before moving to Georgia, he also had a flight school training helicopter pilots.  A veteran, Mr. Jocher served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot with the rank of chief warrant officer and was awarded the Air Merdal for Meritorious Achievement from 1968-1970.

Betty Smith Bigham ’89 of Athens, TN, passed away on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. Mrs. Bigham gave back to the community as a librarian, teacher and active leader of the Junior Beta Club at Mountain View Elementary School and McMinn Central High School for more than 30 years. She was an active member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Etowah for more than 40 years. Mrs. Bigham enjoyed mentoring children of all ages, especially her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.



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Old Oak Festival returns to Tusculum College April 21-23

Old Oak Festival returns to Tusculum College April 21-23

Posted on 21 March 2017 by

The Old Oak Festival will return to Tusculum College campus Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23.

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

Throughout the weekend on stage, the festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz featuring local vocalists and instrumentalists.

There are limited spaces still available for artisan and crafter booths. Deadline for reserving a booth is March 31, or until all spaces are filled.

“This year’s festival is looking to be bigger and better, with great arts and crafts, performances and opportunities to enjoy a variety of fine arts experiences,” said David Price, director of Music and Band programs at Tusculum College.

This year’s special events will include an art show at Allison Gallery, student theater productions, literary readings, a student day on Friday and the return of the Lego construction contest.

While the list of musical performers is not complete, currently several bands have announced plans to perform and include the Brother Boys, My New Favorites, Shiloh, Ashley Bean, Sigean, the Dread Scots, Poplar Hill Reunion, the Tusculum Jazz Band, the Tusculum Marching Band, the Tusculum Concert Band, the Tusculum Handbell Choir and the Bluegrass Outlaws.

There will also be jam sessions during the festival and visitors are encouraged to bring their instrument and join for a weekend of fun with other musicians.

Workshops for high school students will be held on Friday and include sessions on the Math and Science of Tree Identification, Contemporary Poetry, Instrumental Master Class (Band), Vocal Master Class, Introduction to Programming with Python, Drawing, the Brief Essay or Prose Poem, Medieval Siege Warfare, Songwriting, Playwriting, Political Jeopardy, Flash Fiction, SM-Art! Sensational Mathematical Art, as well as Animation.

Workshops are presented by faculty of Tusculum and other experts in the field.

There is no charge for students to participate in the workshop sessions and lunch will be provided.  Students need to register by Wednesday, April 12. To reserve a spot, contact Kelsey Trom, assistant professor of English at or (423) 636-7420 ext. 5420.

Other special events planned for this year’s festival include an art show at Allison Gallery, student theater productions and literary readings.

There is no fee to attend the festival. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Entertainment and food continues into the evening, with the final performers ending at 10 p.m.

Service animals are welcome; however, no pets allowed. Coolers, firearms and alcohol are also prohibited on the Tusculum campus property during the festival. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged.

For updates and more information, visit the website at or on facebook. For more information on registering as a vendor or performer or volunteering at the festival, contact Price at 423-636-7303.


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Tusculum students to present at regional honors conference

Tusculum students to present at regional honors conference

Posted on 15 March 2017 by

Four Tusculum students have been selected to present at the 2017 Southern Regional Honors Council Conference to be held in Asheville, North Carolina, March 30-April 1.

“We are proud of and very excited for our stellar honors students who have been accepted to present at such as prestigious honors conference in Asheville,” said Dr. Troy Goodale, associate professor of political science and faculty liaison to the Tusculum Honors Program.  “These are exciting times for the Tusculum Honors Program, and moving forward we anticipate taking advantage of more opportunities to highlight and showcase the undergraduate research that many of our best students are producing.”

Students Macy French, a senior English major from Kingsport; Hannah Arnett, a senior museum studies major from Butler; Shannele Sunderland, a senior sports science major from Austin, Texas; and Darian Tipton, a senior mathematics major from Shelbyville, will each represent Tusculum by presenting original research at the conference.

French will present, “Ethics of Persona,” which deals with the controversial question of pseudonyms writers may use when submitting literary work for publication.

“I’m thrilled to represent Tusculum, as well as the Honors Program, at this event. It will be a great opportunity to network with other honors students from around the region and gain valuable experience giving a presentation on this level,” said French.

Arnett’s presentation is about ethical implications in public history, and how public historians—museum professionals, specifically—can create open, inclusive dialogue about the past.

“People think about history differently, and they have their own unique, preconceived notions about the past that aren’t always accurate, or even true,” said Arnett. “I hope to offer some suggestions as to why these differences exist, and how professionals can better act as mediators between diverse public understanding and academic reality.”

Sunderland’s project focuses on the risk factors of anterior cruciate ligament tears and risk factors including, gender, sport played, location and field conditions.

“The Honors Program has given me the opportunity to complete research projects beyond what we are offered in our other classes,” said Sunderland. “I will have the opportunity to present in front of a large audience, and I am excited for this as it will push me outside of my comfort zone.”

Tipton will present on tutoring techniques of peer tutors that are currently being utilized in order to establish a standard for best practices.

Excited about the opportunity to present, Tipton said, “The Honors Program has provided me with both a sense of community and a sense of direction, which I believe directly contributed to me remaining in college even when that seemed improbable.”

Meagan Stark, director of the Honors Program, said everyone involved is incredibly proud of the quality of scholarly work our honors students are capable of producing.

“Their invitation to present research at SRHC indicates that our honors students are academically competitive inside and outside the institution,” she said.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Diving into Diversity: Opportunities and Obligations in Honors Education.”

According to Stark, Tusculum’s focus on civic engagement places the school’s honors students in an exceptional position to speak to the obligations honors students have as informed citizens and engaged leaders.  “All of their projects demonstrate a desire to expand our understanding of the world for the betterment of all.”

The host institution for the 2017 conference is the University of North Carolina – Asheville.

Back from left are Dr. Troy Goodale, faculty liaison and Meagan Stark, director of the Tusculum Honors Program. From left, seated, are Shannele Sunderland, Macy French, Darian Tipton and Hannah Arnett. The students have been selected to present at an upcoming regional honors conference.



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Tusculum President Dr. Nancy Moody announces retirement

Tusculum President Dr. Nancy Moody announces retirement

Posted on 28 February 2017 by

Dr. Nancy B. Moody, the first female to serve as president of Tusculum College, will retire at the end of 2017.

Dr. Moody submitted her letter of intent to the Tusculum Board of Trustees during their February meeting. She will continue to serve until December 31. She has served as president of Tusculum College since 2009.

Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the board and 1970 alumnus of the college, said that a presidential search committee is being formed and will be chaired by Dr. Greg Nelson, a Tusculum College trustee. The Board will also be interviewing search firms for possible use in the search for a new president.

In her letter, Dr. Moody stated, “I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve as the 27th president, and first female president, of this historic institution. In the last 7.5 years, the most memorable events for me have been the relationships that I have had the good fortune of developing with students, the Board of Trustees, alumni, members of the local community, faculty and staff, and particularly with donors, most notably Verna June Meen.

“Verna June came to love Tusculum and her interactions at events with members of the Board and others.  She expressed on more than one occasion, how proud she was to have provided support to Tusculum College for the Meen Center for Science and Math and for two endowments, one to fund scholarships and one to fund an endowed professorship in Chemistry.”

Dr. Bowman said, “It was eight years ago that Dr. Moody began the interview process for the presidency at Tusculum College.  During her tenure, she has led the college into a new era of growth and expansion, in terms of bricks and mortar, academic programs and fiscal responsibility.”

He added that one of the highlights of her term has been the construction of the Meen Center, the larger of the two academic building constructed in approximately 50 years on the Tusculum campus. The Thomas G. Garland Library renovation was the first in 2008. Dr. Moody shepherded the state-of-the-art 100,000-square foot Meen Center project every step of the way, from the initial approval to the funding and finally to overseeing the construction of this state-of-the-art facility which was occupied by students and faculty last month.

Dr. Nancy B. Moody

He added, since assuming the college presidency as the first female in Tusculum’s history to hold the position, Dr. Moody has faced several challenges.

“During her first full year at Tusculum College, we had a very successful review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Since that time, we have added new academic programs including criminal justice, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, an MBA program, the first associate degree program with more academic programs slated to begin this fall including a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, a bachelor’s degree in talent development and a Master of Accountancy degree, all of which have been or will be reviewed and approved by SACSCOC.  We have also added new athletic programs in men’s and women’s lacrosse, track and field and STUNT, which will begin this fall.”

He continued, “Dr. Moody has embraced the opportunity to encourage faculty, staff, students and volunteers to push Tusculum College forward through creative teaching and learning into the world of online programming for dual enrollment, distance education and fully online programs.”

She has secured a total of $49.8 million in Community Facilities direct loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the construction of the new science and math facility, as well as for the construction of two new apartment-style residence halls. The lower 40-year, fixed-rate interest rates on these loans significantly lowered what the college pays in debt service, making the new construction and renovation possible while also improving the college’s overall finances.

Dr. Moody also led the efforts that secured a $3.875 million gift for the naming of the Meen Center and two $1.5 million endowments to support faculty and students. She has successfully sought new gifts, donors and partnership in order to ensure the success of the new and existing programs. Working with donors, foundations and government agencies, she has encouraged the investment of millions of dollars into Tusculum College’s growth.

Dr. Bowman added that during her tenure, cash increased from $1.3 million to $3.7 million, long-term investments increased from $12.5 million to $27.7 million, capital assets increased from $58.9 million to $71.8 million and the college’s endowment increased from $14 million to $18.6 million.

The college’s Board of Trustees recognized Dr. Moody’s contributions to Tusculum by presenting her with the inaugural Founder’s Award in February 2013. The Founders’ Award, named in memory of Rev. Samuel Doak, Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak and Rev. Hezekiah Balch, is presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees to recognize those who with integrity, tenacity, commitment, ingenuity and drive have moved Tusculum College forward in serving its students, its community and the world at large.

Among other significant accomplishments, Dr. Moody was instrumental in obtaining a $264,000 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation for a simulation laboratory for use in the nursing and related programs by students and staff and area community partners. The simulation lab is used to produce highly-qualified BSN graduates skilled at clinical decision-making, who will provide safe, competent and improved health care for future generations of Tennesseans.

Partnerships with other institutions are at an all-time high. Tusculum College has arranged articulation and affiliation agreements with regional community colleges and professional schools to both increase enrollment in the bachelor’s degree programs and afford expedited graduate school opportunities for alumni of Tusculum College.

“She has engaged with alumni and friends of the College, encouraging their continued interest and support in the institution. She has reminded all of the Tusculum community what it means to be a Tusculum Pioneer,” said Dr. Bowman.

Prior to joining Tusculum College, Dr. Moody was president of Lincoln Memorial University for seven years.  Under her leadership, LMU’s enrollment increased by 90 percent.  The university also initiated the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and expanded the Caylor School of Nursing to include a master of science in nursing degree program with family nurse practitioner and nurse anesthesia concentrations.  Other programs initiated under her leadership included a master’s degree program preparing physician’s assistants and a doctorate of education degree.

A registered nurse, Dr. Moody began her academic career as a nursing instructor for Lincoln Memorial University in 1974 and advanced to hold several academic leadership positions there – including dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health.  associate professor and department chair in the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University, as the executive director of the Tennessee Center for Nursing, as assistant professor of nursing in the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Prior to joining Tusculum College, Dr. Moody was president of Lincoln Memorial University for seven years.  Under her leadership, LMU’s enrollment increased by 90 percent.  The university also initiated the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and expanded the Caylor School of Nursing to include a master of science in nursing degree program with family nurse practitioner and nurse anesthesia concentrations.  Other programs initiated under her leadership included a master’s degree program preparing physician’s assistants and a doctorate of education degree.

She is the newly-elected chair of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and has served as chair of the NCAA DII South Atlantic Conference, and an advisory board member for the Northeast Tennessee College and Career Readiness Consortium funded through an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant funded by the U. S. Department of Education and awarded to the Niswonger Foundation.

Dr. Moody received her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University and earned a master of science in nursing from the Texas Women’s University Institute of Health Sciences-Houston Center in 1978.  She also received a doctorate in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing.

During her career, Dr. Moody has been recognized by all three of her alma maters, Eastern Kentucky University, Texas Woman’s University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, where she received the Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award.

She is married to Tom Moody, a self-employed public accountant. She and Tom are proud parents of two adult children, daughter, Mykel, and son, Adam.



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Vicary visits campus after doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology

Vicary visits campus after doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology

Posted on 23 February 2017 by

Glen Vicary ’10 recently graduated with his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Louisville. Pictured with him is Dr. Jesse Roman, Glen’s mentor during his graduate studies.

Dr. Glenn Vicary ’10 was back on campus in late January to visit with President Nancy B. Moody, Golf Coach Bob Dibble and Dr. Debra McGinn.


Vicary was in town visiting former classmates after recently completing his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Louisville. Dr. Vicary also holds a master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Louisville. He graduated from Tusculum with a Bachelor of Arts in biology and chemistry with a business focus.


He is a pulmonary remodeling disease scientist, pharmacologist and consultant trained in clinical research. While at Tusculum he was also a member of the successful men’s golf team. Dr. Vicary has been published in numerous scientific journals, including “Annals of American Thoracic Society,” “Respiratory Research,” “Thoracic Cancer” and “American Journal of Medical Sciences.” He has also presented at several conferences including the American Thoracic Society and Research!Louisville.










Sam (Marie) Trapp ’81 of Nashville, TN, is teaching at Trevecca University as an adjunct professor. She is also teaching a First Communion class of second graders on Sunday and RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children) of second to fifth graders on Thursday at St. Stephen Catholic Community in Mount Juliet. Sam is also serving as a one-on-one mathematics tutor in Mount Juliet and Nashville schools.



Rodney “Chip” Walker, Jr. ’94 has been named to new head football coach at Newnan (Ga.) High School. Walker’s coaching resume’ is loaded with success as he compiled a 127-20-1 record including three state titles at Sandy Creek High School.



Stephanie Ryan Sessum ’03 has been named CEO of MPD (Metropolitan Police Department) Community Credit Union in Nashville, TN. Sessum has worked for the MPD Community Credit Union for nine years.


Leslie England ’09 has been promoted to senior vice president of retail banking at TnBank. A 15-year banking industry veteran, Leslie most recently served as vice president of retail banking and has been instrumental in increasing retail deposits at the financial institution. She joined TnBank  in 2013.



Tammy Combs ’12 has been named the new branch manager at the TVA Credit Union in Morristown, TN.




Kayla Marie (Jaynes) Hale ’10 and Philip Eugene Jennings, Jr. were married January 9, 2017, in Greeneville, TN.





Lois A. Teague ’41 of Greeneville, TN, passed away February 10, 2017. Ms. Teague taught in the Greene County and Greeneville school systems and worked for the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C. She retired from The Austin Company in Greeneville. Ms. Teague was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, where she was a member of the Susanna Wesley Sunday school class and the Bobbie Pierce Study Group. Her survivors include brother and Tusculum alumnus Dr. Dale A Teague ’51.


William “Bill” H. Hurst ’65 of Blountville, TN, passed away February 13, 2017. After graduating from Tusculum, Mr. Hurst went to work for Inter-Mountain Telephone in Greeneville. He retired in 2004 from Embarq after 40 years of service in the telecommunications industry. One of his favorite activities each year was making Christmas gifts for all the employees of the phone company. He also looked forward to his monthly luncheon with his former employees, “The Faithful Few.” Mr. Hurst and his family had resided on Boone Lake since 1985, and he was known for his love for his neighbors and his willingness to help them if a need arose.  He was an avid woodworker.


Robert J. Berryhill ’70 of Mosheim, TN, passed away January 31, 2017. Mr. Berryhill was retired from BASF and C-E Minerals. He was a member of St. Paul Presbyterian Church. Mr. Berryhill was an avid antique collector and part-time operator of Bank & Ellison Antique. He was also a history buff, enjoyed reading history books, loved flowers and dogs and looked forward to trips to flea markets.

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Tusculum Band Program to present winter concert on Tuesday, Feb. 28

Tusculum Band Program to present winter concert on Tuesday, Feb. 28

Posted on 22 February 2017 by

Sacred music, hymns and gospel will be featured genres during the Tusculum College Band’s winter concert on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building. The local community is invited to the performance, which will feature the Concert Band, Jazz Band and Handbell Choir.

A mixture of familiar songs and some soon-to-become favorites will be performed by the Concert Band, including “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” “Amazing Grace,” “Princeton Variations,” “On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss” and “Variations on an Ancient Hymn.”

A gospel flavor will be found in the performance of the Jazz Band, whose repertoire will include “Down by the Riverside,” “Gospel John,” “Time to Testify,” “Gospel” and “I Will Follow Him.”
A beautiful arrangement of “The Prayer” and a unique interpretation of “I’ll Fly Away,” will highlight the performance by the Handbell Choir, which will also be performing “Keep Your Lamps (Trimmed and Burning)” and “Siyahamba.”

The band program began in 2010 with the formation of a pep band and has grown to include a Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Handbell Choir and various small ensembles. The Band Program hosts three concerts each year, a Christmas performance and programs in the winter and the spring. In addition, each of the major groups as well as small ensembles have performed in community events such as the Greeneville Christmas Parade, the Old Oak Festival and the Laughlin Hospital Foundation’s Derby Days event.


Sacred and gospel music will be featured in the Winter Concert of the Tusculum College Band Program on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building.

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Tusculum Board of Trustees encourage unity and diversity through resolution

Tusculum Board of Trustees encourage unity and diversity through resolution

Posted on 21 February 2017 by

The Tusculum College Board of Trustees approved a Resolution of Unity at their meeting held Saturday, Feb. 18, on the college’s Greeneville campus. This was the 688th meeting of the Board of Trustees.

The resolution, signed by Board of Trustees Chair Kenneth A. Bowman, Secretary Mark Williams and President Nancy Moody, addressed “recent national actions taken to promote national safety and security which have resulted in concern for members of the Tusculum College community due to the impact on individuals and the uncertainty at hand.”

Dr. Bowman, a 1970 graduate of Tusculum, stated that the college’s practice of diversity and inclusion have enriched the college’s ability to achieve the mission to provide “a liberal arts education in a Judeo-Christian and civic arts environment, with pathways for career preparation, personal development and civic engagement;” and “the attainment of each of the elements of our mission is enhanced by the contributions of each member of our Tusculum community, our students, staff, faculty, alumni, board members, donors and others within the broader community. He added that each member of the Tusculum community enriches the ‘Tusculum Experience,’ and the loss of any member of our community is seen as a thread pulled from the college’s rich tapestry.”

The resolution encouraged every member of the Tusculum Community to look to the civic arts tradition in daily interactions and that each individual take personal responsibility for preserving this inclusive environment where respectful exchange and the exploration of ideas not only contribute to knowledge, but also to social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth and development.

Dr. Jason Pierce, vice president of academic affairs, reported to the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee that there are more than a dozen approved search committees, many for positions tied to new programs approved by the Board at the October meeting.

New programs beginning this fall include the Master of Accountancy, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Graduates of the Master of Accountancy program have multiple career options including, but not limited to, forensic accounting, public accounting, auditing and compliance accounting, government accounting, and tax and payroll accounting.  According to Dr. Michael Dillon, dean of the School of Business and associate professor of business, earning a graduate degree in accounting is a common practice for those seeking attainment of a Certified Public Accounting license.

“The Tusculum College Master of Accountancy program was developed to provide students with a deeper and broader accounting education that prepares them for advanced career opportunities and preparation for the new set of CPA exams effective spring 2017,” said Dr. Dillon. “The Master of Accountancy program will be led by faculty that are highly qualified academically, but who also bring their extensive real world experience to the classroom.”

Also beginning this fall will be the Master of Arts degree in education: talent development and the Bachelor of Arts degree in talent development. The master’s program will be offered through the Graduate and Professional Studies program, while the bachelor’s degree program will be offered in both traditional and adult student programs.

According to Dr. Tricia Hunsader, dean of the school of education, career opportunities for persons holding this degree include corporate trainers, project managers, strategic planners, team developers, process analysts and performance improvement consultants, all of which are needed by a wide variety of organizations.

“The curriculum addresses the major segments of the talent development field by focusing on concepts, models, skills and methods. Courses are designed so that theoretical foundations are complemented with practice and application that enable students to build skills and competence,” said Dr. Hunsader.

The master’s degree program will be exclusively offered in a fully-online format. The master’s level talent development program is designed to lead students to develop training materials and programs based upon curricular and instructional design best practices, assess organizational needs for enhancing performance, apply adult learning theory and the Instructional System Design model into practice for organizational learning needs, as well as evaluate learning and impact of learning and develop team behaviors and leadership.

The bachelor’s degree program will be offered in two formats, one a fully online program and the other a hybrid program composed of a combination of online coursework and in class instruction.

Other new programs include a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management and new majors in chemistry, environmental studies, environmental science and information technology.

Board members also heard a report on current and anticipated enrollment numbers. In the enrollment report, it stated that new students for spring 2017 included 42 in the residential program and 134 in the Graduate and Professional Studies program.

For the residential program, admissions representatives are currently reviewing 1,799 applications which add been received as of Feb. 8, in anticipation of an incoming fall class of approximately 425 new students.

“Tusculum College’s residential program continues to grow for a number of reasons,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody president of Tusculum College. “Our unique Civic Arts focus takes the liberal arts a step further in a nationally recognized approach to educating individuals of integrity and ideals. Additionally a wide range of majors – from museum studies to nursing – are combined with service learning and travel opportunities to create a completely unique environment.”

Two faculty promotions were approved including Dr. Peter Noll, who was promoted to the rank of associate professor of public history and museum studies, and Dr. Travis Williams, who was promoted to the rank of associate professor of religion.

The Board also approved May 2017 graduates pending satisfactory completion of programs of student and certification by the Registrar.

The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees will be May 2017.


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Appointments are still available for free tax program offered through Tusculum

Appointments are still available for free tax program offered through Tusculum

Posted on 13 February 2017 by

Free tax preparation and filing services, offered by Tusculum College’s new Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, are still available by appointment for residents in Greene and surrounding counties.

The IRS-certified tax preparation program currently provides two locations in Greene County, as well as a location in Gray  where trained volunteers are available to assist members of the public with the preparation of their tax returns and to answer any tax questions they may have.

Locations include: Monday nights at Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union’s community room in Gray, Thursdays at Tusculum College and Saturdays at Greeneville Power and Light. Appointments are available through April 13.

Led by Dr. Harold Branstrator, associate professor of management at Tusculum College, the VITA program offers a free alternative to the expensive services of a paid tax professional. The student volunteers of the VITA program have completed roughly 1,000 returns annually since 2014, often saving clients $200 or more that they would have spent on payments for alternative, fee-based, services.

“There are still appointments available in Greene County at both the Tusculum and Greeneville Light and Power System sites,” said Dr. Branstrator. “We encourage anyone who qualifies to take advantage of this free, professional program with IRS-trained volunteers. There is no expense to the filer to have their federal income tax prepared and filed.”

Taxpayers eligible for VITA services include: individuals with annual incomes of less than $54,000, individuals over 55 years of age, individuals diagnosed with a physical disability and non English-speaking citizens.

Under the supervision of Dr. Branstrator, a former IRS employee, participants’ tax returns are prepared by Tusculum students who have completed a VITA-standard three-week certification process that facilitates their ability to meet the high level professional standards expected by the IRS.

Dr. Branstrator said the program has also helped students, particularly those in business-related fields of study, acquire real world experience that they could not obtain in the classroom.

Appointments are required. Sites and days of operation include:

Mondays: ACFCU, 5034 Bobby Hicks Highway, Gray, TN 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.;

Thursdays: Tusculum College, Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons, Greeneville, TN, 5:30-8:30 p.m.;

Saturdays: Greeneville Power and Light System Boardroom, 110 N. College St., Greeneville, TN 9 a.m. – noon.

To schedule an appointment, call (800) 378-3778 and wait for the operator, or register online at



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Tusculum College addressing teacher shortage

Tusculum College addressing teacher shortage

Posted on 30 January 2017 by

With the recent announcement that Rutherford County School System in Middle Tennessee would be seeking to hire 400 new teachers in the next year, the teacher shortage is becoming more of a concern than ever and a national study points to a need for even more teachers in the years to come.

To address this, Tusculum College is continuing to promote its teacher education program to anyone interested in education as a career, including both students who are looking at education for the first time and those who are considering a career change.

According to Dr. Tricia Hunsader, dean of the School of Education and professor of education, Tusculum College offers a variety of degree programs that prepare students for teacher licensure, including the one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program designed to prepare a student with an existing bachelor’s degree in something other than education for licensure.

“The Master of Arts in Teaching offers individuals holding a bachelor’s degree in specified areas the opportunity to pursue teacher certification,” said Dr. Hunsader. “The K-5, 6-12, and K-12 (content specific) licensure programs are designed for working adults who currently hold a bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue the licensure sequence and obtain a master’s degree at the same time. Courses are delivered in an accelerated format at times convenient for working adults.”

And while there are reports of shortages in Tennessee, it is by no means limited to the state. A recent Learning Policy Institute study describes the shortage nationwide and predicts that it only stands to get worse.

“We are experiencing what appears to be the first major shortage since the 1990s,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, professor at Stanford University and president and CEO of the institute, a nonpartisan education organization launched last year. “And teaching is, in some respects, as an occupation, at its lowest point in 20 years.”

The report, more than a year in the making, uses data sets from the Department of Education and provides one of the most comprehensive looks at the teacher shortage to date.

The problem is multipronged: At a time when public school enrollment is on the upswing, large numbers of teachers are headed for retirement. Meanwhile, enrollment in teacher preparation programs is dropping dramatically, falling 35 percent nationwide in the last five years, the report found.

According to Dr. Hunsader, Tusculum College’s programs aim to direct students toward fulfilling teaching careers at a time when they are needed most.

“The job outlook for licensed teachers is excellent, and more than that, it’s an area our communities need us to address,” said Dr. Hunsader.

In addition to the MAT program, Tusculum College offers four categories of teacher licensure programs:  elementary education (interdisciplinary studies), secondary education, K-12 physical education and special education.

All of Tusculum College’s teacher licensure programs are approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and are enhanced by the focused calendar, which facilitates early and frequent placement of education students in practicum experiences in area schools. These experiences enrich the knowledge gained in classroom work and more fully prepare students for their student teaching.

“Many students discover vital new interests in various aspects of education as a result of practicum experiences; sometimes confirming their choice of major, or in other cases, leading the students to select a different major more closely related to their interests,” said Dr. Hunsader.

A second master’s degree, in curriculum and instruction is also offered through the Tusculum College Graduate and Professional Studies program for students who are already licensed teachers.

For more information on the education programs at Tusculum College, call 800.729.0256 or visit


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Alumni events scheduled early next month in four states

Alumni events scheduled early next month in four states

Posted on 26 January 2017 by

Make plans to join Tusculum College representatives as they come to your area to learn more about the latest news at your Alma Mater, as well as catching up and networking with fellow alumni in your area. Representatives will be visiting these areas during early February.


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Tusculum alum finds investment in education has huge returns

Tusculum alum finds investment in education has huge returns

Posted on 26 January 2017 by

LeAnne Anderson

A Tusculum alumna has found her decision to return to school has had huge dividends as she earns promotion to a district post by the Tennessee Department of Correction.

LeAnne Anderson ’07 has been promoted to district director of community supervision with the state Department of Correction. Additionally, she was selected to be one of six representatives from TDOC to be part of LEAD TN in 2017.

LEAD Tennessee is a statewide, 12-month development initiative for current and emerging leaders from all branches of government. It consists of six one-day summits of intense, high impact learning focused on eight leadership core competencies. The goal of LEAD Tennessee is to increase the state’s leadership bench strength by providing agencies a continuous pipeline of motivated and prepared leaders who share a common language and mindset about great leadership.

Anderson is a resident of Sneedville and is a 2007 graduate of Tusculum College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in organizational management. She also holds two associate’s degrees from Walters State Community College and she is a graduate of the Police Academy program there as well.

Professionally, she previously served as probation and parole manager for the State of Tennessee and as a 911 dispatcher.

“When I realized I had to go back to school so I could have more options, I began looking for a school that would work with my schedule,” said Anderson. “Needless to say my options were few and far between. I wanted a good education, but I had to continue working. Tusculum was my school. The hours were perfect for me and the classes were awesome.

“I was able to work during the day and do my class at night. I didn’t miss any of my kids activities and finished with my degree really fast.”

According to Lindsey Seal, director of GPS enrollment at Tusculum College, “While the return isn’t always immediate, with dedication the investment in a college education does pay off. LeAnne’s story is proof of that.”










Seymour "Sy" Marsh and his wife Lyn (Siter) '69 '70 of York, PA, visited campus in November. While in Greeneville, they also visited WGRV-Radio where Sy had worked as a Tusculum student, left. During the visit, Sy was interviewed on air during the "Ray and Ron" morning show, right.



John Eiskamp ’75, the girls soccer coach for Greeneville (TN) High School, has been honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as the 2016 Fall Small School National Coach of the Year. Coach Eiskamp led the GHS team to a 26-1 record this past season and the program’s second consecutive TSSAA Class A-AA state championship.



Robert Sarden ’85 is the proud father of a graduate of Universitaet Mannheim Philisophical in Germany. His daughter, Sarah, is part of the university’s graduating class of 2016, earning a bachelor’s degree in Anglo-American Studies and Sociology. After graduating from Tusculum, Robert enrolled at East Tennessee State University and received an ROTC commission as a second lieutenant. Subsequently, he began a career in the U.S. Army, working in various areas in the social services. Robert has lived in Germany since 1986. He married Andrea Haut in 1987, and the couple has four children – three girls and a boy.


Allana Hamilton ’87 has been appointed president of Jackson State Community College by the Tennessee Board of Regents. She began her tenure as president on January 10, 2017. Hamilton was serving as vice president for academic affairs at Northeast State Community College, a position she had held since 2010. She had served in that role on an interim basis from 2008 to 2010. Hamilton joined Northeast State in 1991 as an adjunct faculty instruct tor in biology. She became a faculty member on a full-time basis in 1992 and worked her way up from instructor, assistant professor and associate professor to tenured professor and biology department curriculum coordinator. From 2001 to 2008, she served as academic division chair and dean before her appointment as vice president for academic affairs. In that role, she led the faculty, staff and administration in support of the college’s instructional program. She helped develop new academic programs based on the community’s needs, including, for example, an industrial operations technical certificate and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiative involving K-12 schools, public and private colleges and universities, employers, and community members. She also provided oversight and guidance to academic deans and for evening and distance education, learning support, the library, honors program, and teaching and learning resources at Northeast. She continuously evaluated the effectiveness of existing academic programs; participated in institutional strategic planning, and developed and managed a $19 million instructional budget.


State Rep. David Hawk ’89 (R-5th of Greeneville) has begun the 110th Tennessee General Assembly with a new responsibility, assistant majority leader in the Republican Caucus. He was elected to the position by his legislative peers.



Rodney Taylor ’92 has been named to head the baseball program at his high school alma mater, Port Charlotte High School in Florida. Taylor served as head coach of the high school’s softball team for 10 years and is the boy’s golf coach at the high school. He has served as an assistant for the school and at Charlotte High School. Taylor has also coached volleyball.


Angela Warden Buckles ’96 has been named assistant director of schools for the Sullivan County Department of Education. She began her new role Jan. 3. Buckles was appointed Sullivan County’s special education supervisor in June 2013 and will continue to serve in that position. She previously served as principal of Sullivan East High School for eight years and as a special education teacher.


Brad Jenkins ’99 of Johnson City, TN, has been named executive director at Mountain Region Speech and Hearing Center. The center provides infants, children and adults in about 10 counties across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia high quality and cost effective evaluation, treatment and education for speech, language, hearing and swallowing disorders, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.



Chris Wilson ’03 was named one of the members of the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” annual list. Individuals chosen for the recognition “share a passion for making Knoxville and its surrounding areas better communities” and are “young leaders who are leaving their mark . . . through their professional and philanthropic efforts.” Wilson is director of sales, South Pacific and Canada, for DeRoyal Industries, Inc.


Corey Shipley ’08 has opened a new law firm with partner, Curt Collins, in downtown Greeneville, TN, offering services in a wide range of areas including state criminal law, federal criminal law, civil law, family law, divorces, custody issues, property management, wills and general legal advice. Shipley came to Tusculum on a football scholarship and completed his studies at the University of Tennessee. He went to Charleston, S.C., for law school to pursue an interest in maritime and admiralty law. Shipley interned in Manhattan, NY, and was editor in chief of the school’s maritime law journal. After earning his law degree, Shipley joined the Terry Law Firm in Morristown, where he worked as an associate attorney until February 2015. Most recently, he has served as a special assistant United States attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office, and was involved in approximately 150 federal criminal prosecutions.



Michael Miles ’13 has written his first book, “Dominion.” Miles, who has been writing since fourth grade, is a substitute school teacher for the Sullivan County School System and a jeweler in Johnson City, TN. While teaching history for a couple of years at Jellico High school in Campbell County, TN, he discovered that teens are craving another series like the “Hunger Games.” Miles novel is crafted in that vein for an audience between ages 16 and 30, and tells the story of two war veterans who are fighting back against the Dominion — a secretive shadow group in their town, and, in time, these veterans learn that this is part of an international fight. After recently serving a brief stint in the U.S. Marines, Miles had to take a medical discharge due to a problem with his knees. While leaving the Marines was disappointing and depressing, Miles used the opportunity to finish writing his novel and make plans to turn it into a trilogy.


Justin Phillip Reed ’13 was selected as a runner-up for the 2016 Iowa Review Awards for his original poetry.





Joyce Mae Dobson Freeman ’58 of Greeneville, TN, passed away on January, 16, 2017. Mrs. Freeman had worked at Glamour Tans LLC for 12 years. She spent her free time with her daughter and grandchildren, living life to the fullest.


Roger Williams Krase ’61 of Afton, TN, passed away on January 12, 2017. Mr. Krase was retired from Philips Consumer Electronics and attended Hermon United Methodist Church. He was  a member of Greeneville Masonic Lodge No. 3, F&AM, and the Greeneville Moose Lodge.


The Rev. Curtis D. Williams ’61 of Morristown, TN, passed away January 18, 2017. Rev. Williams was a member of Antioch Baptist Church.


Thomas Edward Bitner ’72 of Greeneville, TN, passed away January 9, 2017. Mr. Bitner worked in the construction industry and was a member of Notre Dame Catholic Church.


Edward Boyd ’83 of Greensboro, NC, passed away December 23, 2016. Mr. Boyd was owner of Boyd’s Automotive Services in Greensboro.


Kevin Joesph Canning ’86 of Wilton, CT, passed away October 4, 2016.


Vivian Gallimore Jones ’90 of Chattanooga, TN, passed away December 15, 2016. Mrs. Jones was a longtime member of Second Missionary Baptist Church, where she expressed her love of singing as a member of the Women’s Choir. In her later years, she was a dedicated member of Olivet Baptist Church, never missing a Wednesday noonday bible study.


John D. Broyles ’93 of Greeneville, TN, passed away December 3, 2017, after suffering a massive heart attack while on the golf course. He was a materials control manager at Delfort Group, formerly Mudet. Mr. Broyles was a long time member of Mount Hebron United Methodist Church where he was active in all activities of the church. He was an avid golfer and a dedicated Vols fan.


Timothy Andrew Frankford ’01 of Knoxville, TN, passed away December 2, 2016. He loved to work and had 16 years of service with GC Services. Mr. Frankford was a devoted husband and loved his family, Tennessee Football, Penn State (WE ARE), Texas Hold-em, golf, fantasy football, basketball, animals, and travel, especially trips to the beach.




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