Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody was recognized on Friday, February 8, as the first recipient of the Founders Award, presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees.
To Dr. Moody’s surprise, the award was presented at a reception during the weekend’s Board of Trustees meeting by Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Tusculum Board and a 1970 alumnus of the college.
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 through tenacity, commitment, ingenuity and drive have moved Tusculum College forward in serving its students, its community and the world at large.
According to Bowman, Dr. Nancy B. Moody, during her tenure as president of Tusculum College, “has distinguished herself as an executive leader through her vision, hard work and dedication to the college. Since her arrival at Tusculum College, Dr. Moody has embraced the opportunity to encourage faculty, staff, students and volunteers to push Tusculum College forward through creative teaching and learning, responsible stewardship and a renewed commitment to service and civic engagement.”
He added that she has “led Tusculum College into a new era of growth and expansion, in terms of bricks and mortar, academic programs and opportunities, and fiscal responsibility. Like the Doaks and Rev. Balch, she has the courage, drive and tenacity to achieve the clear vision set forth for Tusculum College.”
Under her leadership programs have been systematically researched and implemented, including programs in nursing, chemistry, criminal justice and a new site in Madison County, N.C. Additionally a bachelor of psychology degree and a master’s of business administration degree were added in the Graduate and Professional Studies program. She has also led the way in improvements to keep up with the increased student enrollment, including plans for a renovated Tredway Hall, a new math and science building and two new residence halls currently under construction.
She has implemented strategies that have improved the overall condition and appearance of campus grounds and facilities, as well as led the efforts to significantly improve campus infrastructure, particularly in the areas of technology, and has secured financial commitments to continue those improvements into the future.
“Dr. Moody has successfully sought new gifts, donors and partnerships 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 over the past four years,” said Bowman, adding that “She has reminded all of the Tusculum community what it means to be a Tusculum Pioneer.
Rev. Samuel Doak, Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak and Rev. Hezekiah Balch, founders of Tusculum College, came to the frontier to bring education and religion to the newly developing region. These energetic and strong-willed missionaries and pioneers each possessed a distinctive character that enabled their vision to endure for what is now 219 years. The three founders believed strongly in the value of education that included the development of good character and good citizenship.
In what is now East Tennessee, Balch and the Doaks, Presbyterian ministers educated at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), were ministering to the pioneers of what was the southwestern frontier of the United States. They also desired to meet the educational needs of these Scots-Irish settlers. The Doaks and Balch, although they differed on important theological issues, were visionaries ultimately seeking the same goals through the rival colleges they established: they wanted to educate settlers of the American frontier so that they would become better Presbyterians, and therefore, in their vision, better citizens.