Archive | October, 2007

Tickets now on sale for Theatre-at-Tusculum production of “Brigadoon”

Posted on 29 October 2007 by

Theatre-at-Tusculum is proud to present Lerner & Loewe’s “Brigadoon” November 9, 10, 16 & 17 at 7:00pm and November 11 & 18 at 2:00pm in Annie Hogan Byrd Theatre.

This enchanting musical tells the story of two weary hunters, young Americans from New York City, who lose their way in the misty Highlands of Scotland. There they discover the magical village of Brigadoon, where their adventures include mystery, tragedy, comedy and romance.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to travel to Scotland without leaving East Tennessee!

Tusculum College faculty, staff and students are admitted free with valid TC ID. Other ticket prices are: Adults – $12, Seniors (60 & over) – $10, Children (12 & under) – $5. Tickets are now available and can be reserved by contacting Arts Outreach at the phone number or email below.

*TC Students: Meets Arts & Lecture requirement

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Elizabeth I offers lessons for leadership in the 21st century, lecture

Posted on 26 October 2007 by


From her struggle to unify a religiously divided country under the crown to the challenge to maintain a strong relationship with her subjects, the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England offers many leadership lessons.

Those lessons were the focus of a lecture Tuesday evening at Tusculum College by Dr. Kim Estep, provost and academic vice president at the college. The lecture was part of the Society of Cicero Lecture Series and Tusculum College Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2007-08 performance and lecture series.

“Elizabeth I was a successful ruler in an age when there were no other women rulers of significance in Western Europe,” Dr. Estep said. “It is amazing to see what she accomplished.”

Dr. Estep explored six aspects of Queen Elizabeth’s leadership in her 45-year reign. The first was survival as a leader. Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded when the future queen was 3. Henry’s second marriage was the catalysis for England’s break with the Catholic Church, which wouldn’t grant Henry the divorce he wanted from his first wife who had not produced a male heir, and the subsequent creation of the Church of England.

Henry eventually had a son, Edward VI, who ascended to the throne while still a boy. However, Edward, who had been a sickly child, did not live long enough to produce a male heir. Elizabeth’s older sister Mary then became queen. Mary had remained a Catholic and faced the challenge of bringing the now Protestant England back into the Catholic fold. Mary faced rebellions to try to overthrow her rule, and as the Protestant heir to the throne, those rebellions were often done in Elizabeth’s name. Although she was not involved in Wyatt’s Rebellion, she was imprisoned for it in the Tower of London until she was able to personally meet with her sister, who freed her.

Upon Mary’s death, Elizabeth ascended to the throne, and at age 25 faced the challenge of being a Protestant leader of what had officially again become a Catholic nation. “She had to convince the House of Parliament, including the House of Lords whose members included the Catholic bishops, to accept her reign,” Dr. Estep said. Elizabeth succeeded in getting Parliament to pass the Act of Supremacy, which made her supreme governor over the Church of England, and the Act of Uniformity, which, in essence, made the Anglican Church the national church.

A second aspect of Elizabeth’s leadership was creation of personal relations, Dr. Estep noted. Elizabeth assembled around her a core of counselors whom she trusted and who, in turn, would do anything for her.

Creating appropriate boundaries for her leadership was a third aspect of Elizabeth’s reign. Elizabeth was a masterful manager of her image, Estep said. “She was the original ‘spin’ expert. She knew how to manage her image. She saw herself as the monarch of the people, and she knew how to maintain that relationship with the people.”
In a society in which many could not read, Elizabeth’s portraits were filled with symbolism to visually convey the messages and public persona that Elizabeth desired, Dr. Estep said.

“Elizabeth worked hard during her reign to play up the image of the ‘Virgin Queen,’ sacrificing all for her country,” she said. With this image of purity, Elizabeth very carefully replaces the Virgin Mary in the affections of the people.

Although she was pressured to marry by Parliament and had a succession of suitors, Elizabeth never wed. Perhaps she was wary of marriage because of what happened to her mother and the unpopularity in England of her sister’s marriage to Spanish royalty, Dr. Estep said, and as her reign continues, Elizabeth becomes the romantic ideal of “the great unattainable one” in the minds of the populace.

A fourth aspect of Elizabeth’s leadership was the ability to balance long-term and short-term goals. Elizabeth realized the importance of timing, Dr. Estep said.

After dealing with the religion issue, Elizabeth was faced with the question of what to do with Mary Queen of Scots, her Catholic cousin. “Elizabeth had to maintain a delicate balance,” Dr. Estep said. “With Mary, there were allegations of involvement in plots on the queen’s life, and later, there was the question of what to with James (Mary’s son, who was a Protestant and ruler of Scotland). Parliament wanted her to name a successor, and she was unforthcoming about her successor.”

Elizabeth had great respect for royal blood, which was part of her reluctance to sign Mary’s execution order, but she also realized that Mary’s death would have serious ramifications for the country. “She knew that once Mary Queen of Scots died the cold war that England had with Spain would become a hot war,” Dr Estep said, and that is what happened. “She didn’t like wars – she said war is expensive and has an uncertain result.”

A fifth aspect of Elizabeth’s leadership was a renewal of that leadership. With her long reign, Elizabeth’s close counselors began dying and she had difficulty in selecting advisors from the younger generation, sometimes making good choices and sometimes not. As Elizabeth entered her last decade of rule, the world had changed dramatically from the time she first came to the throne. The age of exploration was beginning, and under the direction of Elizabeth, England gained a toehold in the new world.

However, the last decade of her reign was difficult, Estep noted. “The younger generation wanted more than she was willing to give. And there were the Puritans, who decided that Elizabeth was not Protestant enough.”

A sixth aspect of her leadership was the result of her reign, her legacy. Elizabeth’s reign was marked by religious stability while other countries engaged in religious wars as the Protestant Reformation spread and Catholics fought to maintain their rule, Dr. Estep noted.

In addition, Elizabeth’s reign saw England experience significant economic growth. When Elizabeth began ruling the country, she faced an issue that previous rulers had sidestepped. Impurities in English gold had resulted in inflation and loss of its value in foreign trade. Elizabeth ordered all gold to be returned for re-smelting. The impurities were removed and English gold regained its value, leading to economic expansion.

“It was the result of a hard decision Elizabeth made that none of her predecessors had wanted to make,” Estep said.

A third mark of her reign was trade and settlement. Under Elizabeth, English trade grew, laying a foundation for the country’s later world dominance, and the country made its first stake in the new world, she noted.

A fourth legacy of Elizabeth’s reign is literature. During Elizabeth’s reign, England had a fairly tolerant society and literature and other art forms flourished, Estep said. William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe are just two of the greats from this era.

The Acts, Arts, Academia series is presented by Tusculum College Arts Outreach and supported by Dr. Sam Miller in memory of Mary Agnes Ault Miller, Society of Cicero, Hearts for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Arts Outreach.

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Kilday speaks to Tusculum student athletes about her journey from athletics into corporate management

Posted on 17 October 2007 by

kilday.jpgPamela Kilday, chief information officer and managing director of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, spoke to Tusculum College student athletes in a presentation on campus on Friday (Oct. 12) about her journey from athletics to a serving in management positions in some of the top banks in the country.

Kilday shared with the students her journey from just wanting “to play basketball” to a career in which she has held management positions in three of the top 10 banks in the country during the “Women in Leadership” luncheon, presented by the Offices of Career Development and Multicultural Affairs at Tusculum.

After her athletic career had ended, Kilday told the students that she was coaching and teaching at a college in Chicago, a position she enjoyed and thought would be her future career path.

However, she said, that changed after she had lunch with a friend who was working with a bank to teach its personnel how to use new technology. The friend had decided that he needed people who could teach because the “techies” and the bankers were not connecting.

“He asked me, ‘Do you know any teachers?’ I told him, I knew several teachers. And then he asked, ‘what about you?’” she said.
That conversation led Kilday into the world of finance, and she now has 20 years of operations and technology experience in the financial industry.

In her current position, Kilday is responsible for developing the strategic vision and delivering technology solutions for SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, which is the full-service corporate and investment banking arm of SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, where Kilday lives.

Kilday has implemented a holistic technology methodology that effectively incorporates information technology and business professionals into a strategic delivery team at the bank. Through her work, she has helped the bank expand product offerings, improve operations, achieve greater risk management efficiency, and implement a state-of-the-art disaster recovery site serving primarily capital markets programs.

A native of Greene County, Kilday is a graduate of Chuckey-Doak High School, where she played basketball. Prior to her corporate career, she was a member of the Women’s Professional Basketball league. This league played three seasons from the fall of 1978 to the spring of 1981, and is generally considered to be the first American professional women’s basketball league founded.

Kilday has several close ties to Tusculum College. Her father, Jack Kilday (who was also her high school basketball coach), is a 1957 graduate of Tusculum, and her mother, Nancy Kilday, has worked at the college for 30 years. Her sister, Kim Kilday Dixon, graduated from Tusculum in 1985. Kilday attended Tennessee Technological University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree, and earned a masters degree from the University of Illinois.

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Wayne Murphy installed as new Campus Safety Director

Posted on 17 October 2007 by

murphy_installed.jpgWayne Murphy, a veteran law enforcement officer with 21 years experience, was welcomed Monday morning as Tusculum College’s new Campus Safety Director in a brief and informal installation ceremony held in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum campus.

The Ohio native has worked at the college as a campus security officer for more than a year, but now heads the campus safety program, reporting to Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. David McMahan.

The previous Campus Safety Director was Nadia Bebawy, who left the college last month to continue her education toward a degree in family counseling. Bebawy previously served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service.

McMahan said Bebawy plans to remain in the Greeneville/John City area and will be a valued resource as the department undergoes this leadership transition.

Among those applauding Murphy’s installation this morning were Interim President Dr. Russell Nichols, Head Football Coach and Interim Athletic Director Frankie DeBusk, and members of the college’s Communications and Students Services staffs.

McMahan led the ceremony, expressing his pleasure at having Murphy on the job and praising his work as an experienced law enforcement leader. He then symbolically passed Murphy his badge and shook his hand.

McMahan stated that “Wayne’s engaging demeanor has endeared him to the community and his professionalism and dedication show promise for the leadership in this area of the college and provide confidence for his ability to serve in this key role.”

Murphy joined Tusculum College as a retired officer from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in Florida, where he was a supervising deputy. Prior to entering law enforcement, Murphy was in military service for eight years, serving in the Navy and then the Air Force.

He also worked in security for General Motors in Ohio prior to beginning his Florida law enforcement career in the mid-1970s.

At Tusculum, Murphy advanced quickly from being a part-time officer to a full-time position, then was named captain before taking on his current post.

Murphy said today that he views the job as a challenge, and looks forward to working with McMahan in making positive changes in campus security when those are needed.

“I love this place – I really do,” Murphy said of Tusculum today. “I never have been affiliated with a place like this.” He said he particularly appreciates the friendly interaction he has with students and employees of the college.

He and his wife, Andrea, live in Greeneville and have three sons, seven grandchildren and one grandchild.

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Busy weekend of activities marked Homecoming 2007, “Pioneers Through the Years”

Posted on 11 October 2007 by

sm_homecoming_photo.jpgDining, dancing, parading, picnicking, celebrating a big Pioneer football victory,giving honor to outstanding alumni and friends and lots of other activities were part of Homecoming 2007, “Pioneers Through the Years,” held Oct. 5 and 6 at Tusculum College.

Numerous honors were given out during the weekend. The most visible was, of course, the crowning of the 2007 Homecoming King and Queen at halftime of the Saturday afternoon football game. Dexter Carr of Newport, Tenn., and Tamara Wynn of Hendersonville, N.C., both seniors, were crowned as Homecoming King and Queen. Carr is a physical education major, and Wynn is an English major. Both are members of the Bonner Leader student service organization on campus.

Retired faculty member Wess duBrisk and alumnus Nicholas Hirschy ’02, along with former Director of Athletics Ed Hoffmeyer and his wife, Linda, were among those honored at Tusculum College on Saturday during special Homecoming events, as were alums Roger and Sanda Abramson ’64 ’65.

Other local honorees during the weekend were former TC men’s basketball coach and athletic director Mike Hollowell of Greeneville, who was named to the College’s Sports Hall of Fame, as was All-American golfer and Greenevillian Todd Ricker ’96. Also entered into the Hall of Fame was All-American kicker and punter Paul Czerniak ’03, a Californian.

The Sports Hall of Fame honors were presented in ceremonies held in conjunction with the Sports Hall of Fame/All-Alumni Breakfast in the Niswonger Commons.

The Hoffmeyers were jointly presented the Sports Benefactor Award at the Saturday breakfast. The Sports Benefactor Award was established by the Executive committee of the Alumni Association in 1995 and is presented each year to a friend or friends of the college in recognition of outstanding support of the Tusculum College athletic program.

Ed Hoffmeyer spent nine years as Director of Athletics at Tusculum College until leaving earlier this year to take over the admissions program at Mars Hill College in North Carolina.

Presenting the award, Interim President Dr. Russell Nichols said, “Since their arrival at Tusculum, Ed and Linda attended almost every home athletic eventŠ that’s for all 14 sports, which comes out to almost 1,100 home games, and not including the numerous road contests the couple traveled to in supporting the Pioneers. All this while maintaining two residences, one in Tennessee and the other in North Carolina.

“Many a day or night, Linda would make the trip from Asheville to Tusculum for a football, volleyball or basketball game or attend a college function with Ed, this after a full day of teaching. She would either head back to North Carolina after the game or early the next morning; sometimes in good weather and sometimes not.”

The Hoffmeyers accepted the award together, with an emotional Ed Hoffmeyer praising his wife for her loving support of him and the athletics program he oversaw for nearly a decade.


Wess duBrisk, who retired in 2005 after a 22-year career at Tusculum College, was presented the National Living Faculty Award by the Tusculum College Alumni Association, which held its annual meeting on Saturday. Presenting the award to duBrisk was one of his former students, Tusculum College 2004 alumnus B.J. Roberts, now a graduate student at the University of Tennessee.

Roberts described duBrisk’s career in broad strokes, noting his wide range of professional and personal activities, most of them dealing in some way with media or the performing arts.

Roberts further said, “Whatever he does, Wess is always true to the phrase he used to sign off on his radio shows in Southeast Asia during the Viet Nam ConflictŠ ‘Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, do it well, and above all – keep smiling!’”

Roberts, who attended South Greene High School before attending Tusculum, said that duBrisk has become a personal friend and mentor over the years, and has inspired him to become a college professor someday. duBrisk expressed his thanks for the honor to the assembled Alumni Association.

Present to see her husband honored was Marilyn duBrisk, artist-in-residence at Tusculum College.

Receiving the Frontier Award of the Alumni Association was Nick Hirschy, a branch manager with American Patriot Bank and a 2002 graduate of Tusculum College.
The Frontier Award was established in 1995 and is presented each year to an outstanding alumnus or alumna in recognition of outstanding or meritorious career advancement. Consideration is given to former students who have been graduated from the college at least five years, but no more than 15 years, and who have demonstrated continuing and loyal service to Tusculum College.

Hirschy moved back to his hometown of Blacksburg, SC after his graduation from Tusculum, but returned to Greene County to enter the banking business. He began as a teller but advanced quickly to his current bank manager position.

Hirschy and his wife, the former Crystal Lynette Codgell ’04, live in Afton. Crystal Hirschy works with the Admission Department of Tusculum College.


Presented the 2007 Pioneer Award, given to someone who represents Tusculum’s vision on civic service to not only the college but in the community in which they reside, were Roger and Sanda Abramson ’64 ’65, who now live in Antioch. Presenting their award was their daughter, Lauren Abramson ’02 of Nashville.

The Abramson couple met at Tusculum and have been married 41 years. Both have been extraordinarily active in community service.

Roger, a retired regional marketing manager for the Dr Pepper Company, volunteers on the Red Cross National Disaster Team, where in recent years he has traveled to Florida to assist tornado victims and Pennsylvania to help flood victims. He helped Hurricane Katrina victims find new opportunities in Nashville. He volunteers for the Nashville Sports Council and is involved with the Boy Scouts of America, receiving the Wood Badge Award, the Long Rifle, and the Silver Beaver, the highest local council award given to a leader in the Boy Scouts. He currently oversees a cub scout pack at Arlington United Methodist, where he is also a member.

Sanda has been a member the Girl Scouts of the USA for 57 years, and has received the Thanks Badge — the highest award given to an adult leader. She is an assistant leader of a troop at the Tennessee School for the Blind. For the last 28 years, she has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America where to this day she is leading two cub scout packs in Nashville. Her enthusiasm in Scouting has led to 35 young men to receive the Eagle Award as well as a number of Girl Scouts receiving the Gold Award-the highest award in Girl Scouting.

The Boy Scouts have also honored Sanda by giving her the Wood Badge Award, the Long Rifle and the Silver Beaver award, making her one of the few women in the State of Tennessee to receive the highest leader award in both Scouting Associations. She has volunteered with Saddle Up!, a therapeutic horseback riding program. She received the lifetime PTA award and has volunteered with the 4-H clubs in the area. Both Abramsons volunteered for the Nashville Dog Training Club, and are involved in animal rescue. She is a retired Girl Scout Executive.

The Abramsons are charter members of Priest Lake Presbyterian, where Roger is an Elder. Presently, they are members at Arlington United Methodist where each have served on a variety of committees, and are active volunteers.

Also participating in the Alumni Association meeting was Dr. Larry Brotherton ’70, a member of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees who addressed the Alumni Association on behalf of the trustees. Brotherton grew up in Romeo in Greene County and now is a successful industrialist in South Carolina.

Brotherton discussed his “passionate” belief in his Alma Mater and shared an anecdote from his first meeting as a trustee, which occurred the day after fellow trustee Scott M. Niswonger ’87 H’06 had just announced a major challenge pledge to a Tusculum College capital campaign under way at that time. The chairman of the board when Brotherton joined it was Dr. Stanley R. Welty Jr. ’51 ‘H05, who passed away this year.

Brotherton recalled that Welty, reacting to Niswonger’s gift of the previous day, told the trustees that he had been unable to sleep well the night before, thinking about Niswonger’s challenge. Welty then announced a major pledge of his own. That was the start of a sequence of large pledges made by several other board members present that day, Brotherton said, noting that each of the givers echoed Welty’s comment regarding not having slept well the night before.

“I was sitting there hoping they wouldn’t get around to me, because I’d slept real well the night before,” Brotherton said, drawing laughter.

Brotherton then challenged his fellow alumni to also be passionate about their college and to support it not only through gifts (as Brotherton himself has done as a major donor for many years) but also through giving of their time and personal expertise.


Honored by her daughter and son-in-law during the Homecoming event was Greeneville’s Mary Helen Paxton, who graduated from Tusculum in 1948 and also worked in the college’s business office for much of her life.

Paxton’s daughter, Jackie Rose, and Jackie’s husband, Glen, announced near the close of the Alumni Association meeting that they were renewing the Mary Helen Paxton Annual Scholarship, established last year, with a gift.

  • Presented a certificate of thanks from the Institutional Advancement Office on Saturday were Jeff and Sharon Muncy of Greene County, who have worked as volunteers for Tusculum College Homecoming and other college-related functions.
  • Tusculum College alumni who have passed away since Homecoming 2006 were remembered in a memorial service held prior to the meeting of the Alumni Association. Several relatives, classmates and friends of deceased alumni were present.
  • Preceding the football game was a Homecoming parade through campus, this year featuring floats made by current students. Winning the float competition was the senior class, whose float closely followed the “Pioneers Through the Years” theme, contrasting a covered wagon with a modern automobile. Serving as grand marshals for the parade were members of the class of 1957, this year’s “Golden Pioneer,” or 50-year anniversary class.Classic vehicles were provided by the Ridgerunners Auto Club for use in the parade.
  • Also contributing to the success of Homecoming was Myers Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in the Bulls Gap area, whose Vera Ann Myers, Tusculum class of 1987, hosted several of her fellow alumni on Friday morning.
  • A tea and reception for alumni was held on the terrace of the Library at Tusculum College on Friday afternoon, and alumni dinners were held at the General Morgan Inn and Conference Center on Friday and the Link Hills Country Club on Saturday.
  • Also during Homecoming 2007 was an exhibit about college architecture in the Andrew Johnson Museum and Library, a picnic lunch joining alumni and students, an alumni/student tennis tournament, a golf tournament at River Trace Golf Course, an on-campus door decoration contest and a Pioneer Club Tailgate event prior to the football game.

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Volleyball raises $1500 for breast cancer research

Posted on 09 October 2007 by

The Tusculum College volleyball team raised over $1,500 in donations and pledges for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, announced College officials.

Last Saturday, the Pioneers hosted its second “Dig For the Cure” Day as Tusculum faced Brevard College. Tusculum was one of 42 colleges and universities in country that have dedicated a home match this season to raise money for breast cancer research.

Both teams collected pledges from sponsors per dig earned by their team in the match. Flat donations were also collected by sponsors and at the door. Players, coaches and game personnel wore the color pink, in recognition of October, which has been designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A list of names of players’ family members and friends who have passed away due to breast cancer, was displayed above the doorway entering Pioneer Arena.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of more than 75,000 volunteers working through local affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure® to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. Together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and generous donors, the Komen Foundation has raised more than $740 million for the fight against breast cancer.

For more information, visit or call the National Toll-Free Breast Care Hotline at 1-800 I’M AWARE® (1-800-462-9273).

Tusculum (19-7, 7-1 in South Atlantic Conference) returns to action Friday night as the Pioneers host conference front-runner Wingate University. Tusculum has won 11 straight matches and is in second place in the SAC. Wingate was the last team to defeat Tusculum, a 3-2 decision last month at WU’s Cuddy Arena. Friday’s match begins at 7 p.m.

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