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Pets on Campus – Q & A

Pets on Campus – Q & A

Posted on 18 November 2015 by

Are pets permitted on campus?

Yes and no.

Yes, pets are permitted outdoors on most parts of campus (pets are not permitted in any of our athletic facilities). We have many guests who visit our campus with their pets.  However, owners are required to clean up after their pets.  Be considerate of others; carry poo disposal bags with you and dispose of waste in provided receptacles.

However, while pets are allowed outdoors in most areas, they are NOT allowed inside any of the campus buildings.  Students are NOT allowed to keep pets on campus, however…


Can I have a pet in my residence hall?

The only pets permitted by all students in the residence hall are fish and some aquatic frogs. Some student may have a documented medical need for assistance and have an ADA service animal or a pre-approved comfort animal on campus. The approval process for comfort animals begins with Ms. Bobbie Greenway in the Academic Resource Center in Annie Hogan Byrd and is only available to students who have a medical need as documented by a medical professional.


What’s the difference in a “comfort animal” and an “ADA service animal”?

An ADA service animal means any dog (or miniature horse) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button. Comfort Animals are often used as part of a medical treatment plan as therapy animals, they are not considered service animals under the ADA.


Why do I care about the difference in an ADA animal and a comfort animal?

Because comfort animals do not actually do work as an ADA service animal does, comfort animals are only permitted to be in the student-owner’s assigned room and outdoors in areas where pets are permitted.

However, ADA animals are permitted to go wherever their owners go.


What if I don’t know which my animal is?

ADA service animals are rigorously and professionally trained to attend to their owner’s disability and do not interact with other humans while “working”, while comfort animals receive no particular kind of training. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Bobbie Greenway.


What are my responsibilities as a pet owner?

Be nice. Well, first, a comfort animal is part of your family so we expect you to be a kind and compassionate owner/companion.


Make certain your pet is trained and nice too. Second, animals are just like children—they are a lot of work! Living in a residence hall is stressful for an animal and doubly so for an animal which has not been trained, so students are expected to have already trained their comfort animal for daily expectations (non-aggressive, house-broken, non-disruptive, etc.).


Crate Training. You are obligated to crate train your comfort animal while it resides on campus.  Anytime you are not present in your room, your comfort animal is to be crated.  This protects both your comfort animal and our students and staff.  Animals can be very loving and still unpredictable.  Even the best-behaved animal can react badly when it feels a stranger has entered its territory.  So make sure you keep everyone, including your comfort animal, safe by crating responsibly.


Do the doo. Your animal has business to do.  Of course, we all prefer that happen outside (versus in your room).  You must clean up after your comfort animal by bagging the doo and properly disposing of it.  It makes your animal harder to love (and you) when we keep stepping in your animal doo scattered around campus.  That’s not really the impression we want to make, is it?


Know the territory. Your comfort animal is ONLY permitted in your room and outside. It is NOT permitted in other residential areas, classrooms, cafeteria, recreational areas, or administration buildings.


Shots. You have to produce documentation that your comfort animal it up to date on all of its vaccinations.


Registration. You may send a photo of your comfort animal to Student Affairs so we can make it an ID card.  Then, if someone inquires about your comfort animal, you can easily show your animal is permitted on campus.


Leashes. All pets must be on a leash when outside of the room where they reside.  Regardless of how well-behaved and well-loved your pet is, for the safety of everyone it must be on a leash.


Dog-sitting. Unfortunately, your comfort animal is not permitted in other residential spaces, dog-sitting in the residence halls is not permitted.


Damages. Pets are curious, and sadly, understand limited English, so training them can take a long time with many mishaps.  Despite that, any damage your animal creates on campus is your financial responsibility.


What happens if I don’t do those things listed under “responsibilities”?

If you fail to be a responsible pet owner as outlined above, your comfort-animal status will be revoked.







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Campus community mourns loss of beloved Chaplain Mark Stokes

Campus community mourns loss of beloved Chaplain Mark Stokes

Posted on 27 October 2015 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tusculum benefactor Verna June Meen remembered for ‘pioneering’ life

Tusculum benefactor Verna June Meen remembered for ‘pioneering’ life

Posted on 27 October 2015 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Teffeteller wins full tuition scholarship in “Finish Strong” essay competition

Teffeteller wins full tuition scholarship in “Finish Strong” essay competition

Posted on 23 October 2015 by

Aimee Teffeteller, right, was the grand prize winner of a full tuition scholarship at Tusculum College. At left is LeAnn Hughes, vice president of marketing and enrollment management at Tusculum College.

Aimee Teffeteller of Townsend was the winner of a full tuition scholarship to Tusculum College in the “Finish Strong” essay competition. Winners and finalists were announced on Thursday, Oct. 22, at Tusculum College’s Knoxville Regional Center.

“We are pleased to announce the winner and to welcome her to the Tusculum College family,” said LeAnn Hughes, vice president for enrollment management and marketing at Tusculum College. “The Tusculum College Finish Strong Scholarship Giveaway recognizes the hard work and sacrifices our adult students put forth when returning to school to finish their degree.”
She added, “Tusculum has always been committed to providing education to the community in meaningful ways. As the first in the region to offer accredited adult-oriented degree programs, we furthered our commitment to making lifelong education possible for those living in the communities we serve.

“Balancing work, family and school can be challenging, and our adult students put in a great deal of time, effort, heart and soul to fulfill their dream of a college degree. This Scholarship Giveaway is a great opportunity for the Tusculum community to honor these Pioneers who go the extra mile to further the future of their families.”
First runner up and finalists were also announced and received recognition. First runner up was Donnie Todd Spence of Sevierville. Finalists were Deanna Hutcheson of Kingston, Joshua Higgins of Maryville and Keith Phillips of LaFollette.


Finish Strong finalists included, from left, Todd Spence, Aimee Teffeteller, Joshua Higgins, Deanna Hutcheson and Keith Phillips.

“While it is our extreme pleasure to be able to offer this scholarship to the winner, it was not easy to choose one from the five worthy finalists. We hope that each of you will continue to seek out ways to attain your degree because you all exhibit qualities key to succeeding: perseverance, strong work ethic and an unwavering commitment to your goal,” said Hughes.
In her winning essay, Teffeteller wrote about turning dreams into plans, sharing how obtaining her bachelor’s degree would mean she would finally have a career, instead of a job. As a single mother to her 7-year-old daughter, she works two jobs to help make sure her child’s needs are met.

Her passion is working with children and she works as a bus driver for Blount County Schools during the morning and afternoon and, in between, she works as a Special Education teaching assistant at Mary Blount Elementary School. Her hope is to attain her degree so that she may become a licensed teacher.

She shared that, “There are few things more gratifying than the look of pride and excitement on a child’s face the first time they realize that they ‘got it’.” Exhibiting true determination to achieve her degree, she went on to state that, “…the question is not if I will complete my degree, but when.”

Getting people back to school to finish their degrees is life changing, said Lindsey Seal, director of Graduate and Professional Studies enrollment. “Through this essay contest, we learned individual stories of our students and hope to be able to share them with others who wish to follow in their footsteps.”

The grand prize package consists of a tuition-paid scholarship to one of Tusculum College’s degree-completion programs which can be redeemed at any of the Knoxville, Morristown or Greeneville locations and can be applied to pay all of the regular tuition charges for an undergraduate degree-completion program in business administration, management, interdisciplinary studies (education, K-5) and psychology,  behavioral health concentration.

For more information on Tusculum’s degree programs of financial aid, contact the Admissions Office at 888.488.7285.



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Theatre-at-Tusculum’s performance of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ to open Nov. 13

Theatre-at-Tusculum’s performance of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ to open Nov. 13

Posted on 16 October 2015 by

A flying car will take center stage as Theatre-at-Tusculum presents Ian Fleming’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” as its annual fall musical production.

The musical is the stage adaptation of the 1968 film starring Dick Van Dyke who played the lead character Caractus Potts. The film and subsequent stage adaptation are based on the novel, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car,” a children’s story by author Ian Fleming, who is probably best known for his James Bond novels.

Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov.13-14, 19-21 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15 and 22 in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus.

Caractus Potts, portrayed by Chris Greene, and Truly Scrumptious, played by Audrey Shoemaker, rehearse “Doll on a Music Box” from the upcoming Theatre-at-Tusculum’s production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

The story follows Caractus Potts, a widower, who is being brought to life by Theatre-at-Tusculum veteran, Chris Greene, and his two children, Jeremy and Jemima Potts, played by Jackson Beddingfield and Mylee Doty respectively. Beddingfield and Doty were last seen on the stage in the Theatre-at-Tusculum production of “How to Eat Like a Child and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up.”  Audiences may also remember Beddingfield from his role as Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol” and Doty from her role as Tassel in “The Addams Family Musical.”

Other main characters include Grandpa Potts, played by Wess duBrisk’ Truly Scrumptious played by Audrey Shoemaker’ Baron and Baroness Bomburst of Vulgaria played by Tom Sizemore and Sandy Nienaber, the Toymaker played by Angela Willis, and the wicked Childcatcher played by Margo Olmsted. Bringing added fun and laughter to the production are Vulgarian Captain played by Mike Willis and his two Vulgarian Soldiers played by Kendra Tarlton and Casey Martha as well as Vulgarian Spies, Boris and Goran, played by Jeff Ward and Brian Ricker.

The cast includes an adult ensemble of 24 playing various roles including an English crowd at the 1910 British Grand Prix, workers in a candy factored owned by Lord Scrumptious (played by Richard Schuech), a Fun Fair crowd and ‘Morris Men’ dancers, a group of ancient inventors, and lords, ladies, and townspeople of the fictional nation of Vulgaria.

A junior ensemble made up of 32 children portray Fun Fair crowd children and the poor banished children of Vulgaria who are in hiding from the Childcatcher who has been employed by the Baroness of Vulgaria who has banished children from the nation.

Leading the production team are Director Marilyn duBrisk and Assistant Director Brian Ricker.

With a cast of nearly 70 and several cast members playing multiple roles, Costume Director Barbara Holt and her team of volunteers have been busy preparing over 140 costumes for the production.

Rehearsing a scene from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in which Grandpa Potts is in danger of being beheaded by the sinister Baron and his soldiers are, from left, Mike Willis as a Vulgarian captain, Tom Sizemore as Baron Bomburst, Casey Martha as a Vulgarian soldier, Wess duBrisk as Grandpa Potts, and kneeling is Kendra Tarlton as a Vulgarian soldier.

Costuming is not the only massive undertaking with this production as Technical Director, Frank Mengel, with help from local artist Garry Renfro and volunteers, have tackled the challenge of creating a world that includes turn-of-the-century England, the fictional country of Vulgaria, and of course, a flying car. Stage Managers, Jim Holt and Suzanne Greene are charged with the task of running the show and all its technical intricacies. Props will be managed by Hannah Faith Rader and Kayeanna Olmsted, with help from props gatherer Sandy Nienaber.

Choreographer Kim Berry has been busy creating several dance sequences that include many styles of dance, including traditional English Morris Men dancing, tap, and Samba, just to name a few.

Musical Director Angie Clendenon with assistance from accompanist Kasie Shelnutt and percussionist David Price have been working hard to bring the well-known score to the stage including the Academy Award nominated song, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Music and lyrics in the score were written by famed Disney composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert M. Sherman whose work include the musical scores to “Mary Poppins,” “The Parent Trap,” “The Jungle Book” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” The film’s script was written by Roald Dahl (“Matilda,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) and Ken Hughes, who also directed the film. Music and lyrics were written by famed Disney composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert M. Sherman whose work include the musical scores to “Mary Poppins,” “The Parent Trap,” “The Jungle Book” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” The film was adapted for stage by Jeremy Sams and the music is presented through special arrangement with Sony/ATV Publishing

Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (60 and over) and $5 for children (12 and under). Tickets may be reserved by calling Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or by e-mailing Box Office Manager Jennifer Hollowell at

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

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

Posted on 15 October 2015 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Torres and Knight crowned Homecoming King and Queen

Torres and Knight crowned Homecoming King and Queen

Posted on 14 October 2015 by

West Conner and Cheyenne Arnold, at left, were selected to represent the Junior Class as Homecoming Prince and Princess. Endi Torres and Miranda Knight, at right, were chosen by their classmates as Homecoming King and Queen.

Crowning the Homecoming King and Queen is one of the highlights of Homecoming activities each year, and this year was no exception.

Although the weather was threatening, the rain held off until after the announcement of the Homecoming Court, the Junior Prince and Princess and, the big moment, the King and Queen.

Students nominate their classmates for the Homecoming Court and then vote to determine the students who will be crowned during the festivities at the halftime of the football game.

Seniors Endi Torres and Miranda Knight were crowned Homecoming King and Queen by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody and her husband, Tom.

Torres is a criminal justice major from Los Angelos, Ca. He is the president of the Omega Psi Delta, a Resident Assistant, Bonner Leader, and a Hal Henard mentor. His future plans include moving back to Los Angelos to become a probation officer.

Knight is a psychology major from Greeneville, Tenn. She is active in the Student Support Service and the President’s Society, and serves a peer tutor. Her future plans include continuing her education at graduate school in the fall.

Named the Homecoming Prince and Princess for the Junior Class were West Conner and Cheyenne Arnold.  Conner is a ? major from Alpharetta, Ga., and Arnold is a ? major from Morristown, Tenn.

In addition to Knight and Torres, nominated to represent the Senior Class were Ashlie Ayers, Michael Fernando, Yared Mamo and Brianna Werder.

Selected to represent the Senior Class were Michael Fernando, Brianna Werder, Endi Torres, Miranda Knight, Yared Mamo and Ashlie Ayers.

Also representing the Junior Class were Shannelle Sunderland and Devan Watts.

Sophomore Class representatives were Alison Camp, Krystal Hill, Bradford Hinkle and Brandon Mosley.

Representing the freshman class were Jalen Conner, Ayanna Fletcher, Dallas Padgett and Terrie Taylor.

Above is the Homecoming Court for 2015.




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Tusculum announces Greeneville campus arboretum

Tusculum announces Greeneville campus arboretum

Posted on 09 October 2015 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the arboretum, contact Carter at


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

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

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Variety of activities highlight Tusculum College’s Homecoming activities

Variety of activities highlight Tusculum College’s Homecoming activities

Posted on 25 September 2015 by

Tusculum College students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends will be celebrating Homecoming 2015 with an activity-filled, two-day event October 9-10. Several additions have been made to this year’s schedule, including “Keeping your Keepsake” workshop, where participants will learn about keeping keepsakes and take home an acid-free box for safe storage.

Those wishing to participate in any or all of the events and activities can register for Homecoming online at or by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 423-636-7303.

Registration kicks off Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 a.m. in the Living Room of Niswonger Commons and will last until 4 p.m. Also hosted in the Living Room from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will be the “Memory Lane” display, where visitors can view outfits, yearbooks, slideshows, newspapers and pictures of Tusculum’s past.

A trip to Bright’s Zoo is scheduled at 10 a.m. on Friday. Located in Limestone, Tenn., Bright’s Zoo is home to a variety of rare species. Transportation and a boxed lunch will be provided. Those staying close to campus can enjoy a picnic lunch with Tusculum College students at 11:30 a.m. on the terrace of the Thomas J. Garland Library.

At 1 p.m., the President’s Society, a group of elite residential students, will provide a guided tour of the campus to give visitors a chance to rediscover their alma mater.

Also scheduled for Friday afternoon is the Homecoming 2015 Golf Tournament at Link Hills Golf Course. Scramble format will be used with handicap system for a net division and gross division. Registration is at noon with shotgun start at 1 p.m. 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. There is a $20 fee for dinner for those not participating in the tournament. Reservations are required.

For those not participating in the golf tournament, the Doak House Museum will be hosting a free make and take workshop in the Pioneer Perk called “Keeping your Keepsakes” at 2 p.m. Attendees will learn about caring for important documents, such as old photographs and books. Additionally, participants will take home an archival acid-free box for their own keepsakes.

A buffet dinner will also be hosted at Link Hills on Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. Friday night’s activities will conclude with a bonfire with current students.  The bonfire will begin at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday begins with a Memorial Service at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Thomas J Garland Library. Join family and friends in honoring alumni who have passed since Homecoming 2014. Alumni breakfast is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Learn the latest about the Alumni Association and hear an update on the college at the annual Alumni Association Meeting at 10 a.m. The Sports Hall of Fame Induction, begins at 9:00 a.m., celebrating the newest Sports Hall of Fame award honorees.

Class photos will be taken at 11 a.m. outside the Niswonger Commons. Alumni who were in the Student Support Services program or ARCHES program are invited to the Student Support Services Luncheon. A cookout and other festivities will be hosted at the Patton House (near Pioneer Park).

The 12th Annual Homecoming Parade will begin at noon on Saturday along the route between the Charles Oliver Gray Complex and Pioneer Park featuring the Homecoming Court and the Tusculum College Pioneer Band, as well as a variety of entertainment. The Golden Pioneers, those alumni celebrating their 50th reunion year, will serve as Grand Marshals.

At 12:30 p.m., enjoy a Tusculum College Pioneer Tailgate Party. The marching band and cheerleaders will entertain during the meal. The Homecoming Game begins at 2:30 p.m. Cheer on the Pioneers as they take on Wingate University at Pioneer Field. Game tickets can be purchased at the gate.

The weekend will wrap-up with the Alumni and Friends Social Hour, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday evening at the General Morgan Inn, followed by the Alumni and Friends Dinner at 7 p.m. DJ Donnie Bunch will be providing music beginning at 8 p.m.

Alumni are invited to attend First Presbyterian Church of Greeneville (110 N. Main Street), the mother church of the college, on Sunday morning. Early service will be held at 8:30 a.m., Sunday School will follow at 9:30 a.m., and the traditional service will begin at 10:45 a.m.

Sunday afternoon, the Tusculum soccer teams will be hosting Coker at the Pioneer Field. The women’s team plays at 1 p.m., followed by the men’s team at 4 p.m.

For more information on the specifics of events or to make your reservations, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 423-636-7303.

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Tusculum students provide a day of service as part of campus tradition

Tusculum students provide a day of service as part of campus tradition

Posted on 16 September 2015 by

Tusculum College students, faculty, staff and alumni demonstrated the college’s commitment to both learning and serving on Tuesday, Sept. 15, as they spent the day helping others and improving the community.

All freshmen and first-year transfer students participated in Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day as part of the Tusculum Experience course. Many other students, faculty, staff and alumni also volunteered. Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day is one of the longest-held traditions on the Tusculum campus and involves students spending time in service to others.

“Community engagement is a key element of the Tusculum College experience,” said Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement and coordinator of the event. “Nettie Day serves as an introduction to our new students and a reminder to our entire community of the importance and value of community involvement.”

Students hosted a “fun field day” for local elementary school students in the morning. The day was complete with water balloons, limbo games, jump ropes and hula hoops. In the afternoon volunteers worked to spruce up the campus, mending fences at the Doak House Museum, painting in the residence halls and house, landscaping across campus and de-molding books at the President Andrew Johnson Library and Museum.

Tusculum College students and Greene County elementary school students pass a hula hoop to each other during one of the Field Day activities on campus Tuesday morning.

This year, Nettie Day was held as part of the Orange Rush activities on campus, which included a variety of activities to engage new students and encourage them to get involved on campus and in the community. Service activities were conducted at all the Tusculum sites and campus, including Greeneville, Knoxville, Morristown and Kingsport. Nearly 600 volunteers participated.

“Reflective decision-making, concern for others, and action to make the world a better place are and have for 222 years been ingrained in the key values of this institution,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “It is a hallmark of the Tusculum College student and the Tusculum College alumni.”

Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day, which is conducted under the auspices of the Center for Civic Advancement, honors the memory and altruistic way of life of Nettie Fowler McCormick, widow of reaper inventor Cyrus McCormick, who was a 19th century supporter and advocate of Tusculum College. The McCormicks, staunch Presbyterians from Chicago, learned of Tusculum College through Tusculum graduates who attended their McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and became some of the most significant donors in the college’s history.

Tusculum College students work to repair the fence at the Doak House Museum as part of Nettie Day on campus.

Nettie McCormick is recognized as the college’s first Benefactor, a term that in Tusculum usage denotes a donor whose cumulative gifts total at least $1 million. Nettie McCormick funded construction of several of Tusculum’s historic structures, including Haynes Hall, Rankin Hall, Welty-Craig Hall, Virginia Hall and McCormick Hall, which is named after the McCormick family.

McCormick Day, now often informally called Nettie Day at the college, began as a day of cleaning the campus in reflection of Nettie McCormick’s insistence on clean living environments. The day has evolved to take on a more generalized community service emphasis.

To view more photos from Nettie Day, visit Tusculum’s Facebook page.

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Tusculum student represents Sri Lanka at United Nations summit

Tusculum student represents Sri Lanka at United Nations summit

Posted on 11 September 2015 by

Tusculum College student Michael Fernando represented his home country of Sri Lanka on the floor of the United Nations in New York as part of the Youth for Human Rights International Summit.

Michael Fernando, a senior Tusculum College student from Sri Lanka majoring in accounting, general management and economics and international business, attended the 12th annual Youth for Human Rights International Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on August 27-28.

Fernando served in his official capacity as youth ambassador of Sri Lanka. On Friday, Aug. 27, he delivered a speech about his work with the Youth for Human Rights International organization and the concept that freedom should be free.

Fernando said, “Freedom should be free; however, in most parts of the world it isn’t. Because of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we shouldn’t have to fight for freedom. We shouldn’t have to argue and we shouldn’t have to convince someone else of our rights. As soon as we are born into this world, we should have those rights, and they are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s important that governments are held accountable to those rights.

“Had the fundamental rights of the Sri Lankan people, all our people, been preserved and had the 30 inherent human rights been respected, we wouldn’t have entered a civil war, and 100,000 people wouldn’t have lost their lives. It started because one person thought they could oppress someone else. Whereas, there is a human right that says we are all born free and equal. Had we been respectful of those rights, we could have avoided a 25-year long war. That was all man-made.”

Fernando spoke about the accomplishments of the Sri Lanka model nations, including giving 300 bicycles to areas of need in Sri Lanka, so that children would have a way to go to school. He was also part of starting One World Volunteers, a program that connected students, who wanted to volunteer, to people who needed them. He participated in many fundraisers and awareness programs, and additionally, his group broke the Guinness world record of the largest human word formation by forming the word “youth.”

Michael Fernando

“Despite our differences—different schools, races, casts, religions, countries, socioeconomic classes, nationalities, languages — we were able to understand the importance of community service through civic engagement and be different but be together in order to spread the message of peace, freedom, love and unity.”

Youth ambassadors and delegates from all around the world attended the summit, as well. Several spoke about the accomplishments in their country, such as awareness walks and volunteer campaigns for those in need.

“We learned about what they had done in their own countries, in their own communities to further the cause of human rights. It was amazing. The statistics show that the organization alone through their extensive volunteer network throughout the world conducted at least three events a day. That’s a tremendous feat,” said Fernando. “It was a great weekend, and I was just so privileged to be a part of that audience.”

Also in attendance was the former aid of Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Torrey. Torrey gave a keynote address of when Roosevelt presented the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the summit, Torrey received a human rights hero award.

He added that the world needs someone who will defend their rights no matter what. “That is our responsibility. I was standing in a room full of people who are the beacon of hope to a society whose voices were stolen and think that freedom isn’t free,” said Fernando.

He added, “There are many people who go to prestigious schools identify that as their accomplishment. The beauty of Tusculum College is that there is a staff, faculty and student body that will support you and want to help you accomplish more than just schoolwork.”

“I would like to thank the administration and the school for supporting me in my journey to New York. I want to think the donors, the administration, the faculty, the student body and the community here that supported me in that journey. I would like to thank Dr. Mary Shuttleworth for inviting me, and Dr. (Bruce) Ferguson for sponsoring my stay in New York.”

“I want to specially thank Dr. (Nancy) Moody for doing everything that is within her power to ensure us, the students, can surpass even our own expectations. She puts opportunities in front of us, and we have to go take them.”

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Award-winning author Sharyn McCrumb to discuss ‘King’s Mountain’ novel  Sept. 22

Award-winning author Sharyn McCrumb to discuss ‘King’s Mountain’ novel Sept. 22

Posted on 10 September 2015 by

Award-winning Southern author Sharyn McCrumb will discuss the award-winning novel, “King's Mountain” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Tusculum College. (Photograph by Randy Joyner)

Esteemed Southern author Sharyn McCrumb will discuss her novel “King’s Mountain” and the use of history and folklore in her work during a presentation Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Tusculum College.

The presentation will be at 7 p.m. in the Behan Arena Theatre in the lower level (side entrance) of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum campus. This is the fourth time that the popular author has been a part of Tusculum Arts Outreach’s annual Acts, Arts, Academia Performance and Lecture Series.

McCrumb will be discussing her novel, “King’s Mountain,” which received the Patricia Winn Award for Southern Fiction presented by the Clarksville Writers Conference and has been honored by the Edward Buncombe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Asheville, N.C. The novel chronicles the events surrounding the 1780 Battle of King’s Mountain during the American Revolution. While George Washington’s forces were struggling in the North, the victory for the Americans at King’s Mountain renewed optimism among the colonists for the cause. Thomas Jefferson described it as the turning point for the war.

“King’s Moutain” is told from the points of view of Patriot leader John Sevier and Tory camp follower Virginia Sal and brings to life the people and events in the southern front of the Revolution. Sevier was one of the Overmountain Men, unpaid volunteers who gathered to fight for the American cause west of Charlotte, N.C. The Overmountain Men were a who’s who of the colonial frontier. In addition to Sevier, they included Isaac Shelby, first governor of Kentucky; William Campbell, brother-in-law of Virginia governor Patrick Henry; John Crockett, father of frontiersman Davy Crockett; David Vance, grandfather of North Carolina’s Civil War governor Zebulon B. Vance, and Light-Horse Harry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee.

The Rev. Samuel Doak, who co-founded Tusculum College with his son, is also featured in the novel. Rev. Doak prayed for the troops as they mustered at Sycamore Shoals before crossing the mountains into North Carolina.

McCrumb will also discuss the use of history and folklore in her work. The author is best known for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels, which weave together the legends, natural wonders and contemporary issues of Appalachia. Her novels include New York Times best sellers, “She Walks These Hills” and “The Rosewood Casket” that deal with the issue of the vanishing wilderness; “The Ballad of Frankie Silver,” the story of the first woman hanged for murder in North Carolina; The Songcatcher,” a genealogy in music, and “Ghost Riders,” an account of the Civil War in the Appalachians. More recent novels are The Devil Amongst the Lawyers” which examines the media stereotyping of rural areas, and The Ballad of Tom Dooley,” that brings to light new evidence in the true story behind the famous mountain ballad.
McCrumb’s great-grandfathers were circuit preachers in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains a hundred years ago, riding horseback over the ridges to preach in a different community each week. It is from these men that McCrumb says she gets her regard for books, her gift of storytelling and public speaking and her love of the Appalachian Mountains.

Admission to the presentation is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors over the age of 60 and $5 for children 12 years of age and under. Tickets may be reserved or purchased at the door, beginning at 6 p.m. the evening of the event. For more information about the program or to reserve tickets, call Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or email

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