Archive | February, 2012

Decision-making inside the church discussed in third session of lecture series

Decision-making inside the church discussed in third session of lecture series

Posted on 24 February 2012 by

Rev. Landon Whitsitt discusses the role of the pastor during the third session of the Theologian-in-Residence lecture series Tuesday.

Wise group decision-making in churches and the role of pastor were discussed Tuesday during the third session of the annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College.

The Rev. Landon Whitsitt, author of “Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All,” is leading the annual Theologian-in-Residence series, co-sponsored by the Holston Presbytery and Tusculum College with funding from Ron Smith. Whitsitt is the stated clerk of the Synod of Mid-America in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

While writing his book, Whitsitt said he was in intense discussions about the role of pastor with the church he was serving at the time. The church members wanted a traditional pastor, “a local church expert,” he continued.

The church had a great congregation, but it was facing some challenges as the community dynamic was changing and its membership was not growing as surrounding churches were. In his interview for the pastorate, Whitsitt said he was asked, “‘Pastor, what is your church growth plan?’ I knew they were going to ask that question, and I don’t blame them for that. The problem I had with the question was the word ‘your.’”

In today’s society, church members often expect the pastor to be an expert in everything related to the church, which is not the best approach, he said, referring to the book “The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations” by James Surowiecki, which focuses on the premise that trusting experts is a costly mistake.

People often confuse ‘expert’ with ‘expertise’ and do not know how to define expert, he said. “If we are in such dire straits that we need an expert to save us, how are we going to know when that expert walks through the door?”

It is not that pastors do not want to meet all these expectations, he said, because they desire to live up to the trust that their congregations have placed in them. However, people are usually skilled in a specific area, and others in the church may be better skilled in some of the roles, such as administration, which churches now look to the pastor to fill.

What is needed is not an expert, but church members themselves, Whitsitt said. With one person, there is a limited world view. “Instead of one expert running the whole show, I would suggest that we trust the wisdom of the group,” he continued.

But, there are some pitfalls to be avoided in constituting that group, Whitsitt pointed out. Some people would agree with placing a group in a decision-making role and then try to compose that group of experts in the specific area being addressed. In this approach, the group is often composed of people that have expertise and people who already know the rules of the church, which reinforces a closed church.

“What we need to do is gather a group of normal people and give them the authority to make decisions.”

To avoid group think, a decision-making body should be composed of people with different life experiences and points of views, Whitsitt said. “When diversity is a value, it gives us permission to be independent in our thinking,” he continued.

Rev. Whitsitt also addressed what he described as the “go along to get along” Christian faith, in which people decide to be nice and not voice their opinions when they may disagree.

“I don’t think this is what Jesus wants for us,” he said. “Jesus wants us to kind, patient, gentle and have self control, the fruits of the spirit. Jesus wants us to have some independence of thought. What the Christian faith is calling for and what the church needs is for us to not check our brains at the door and to discuss what is significant thoughtfully.”

One way to ensure that a group makes wise decisions is to make sure that the questions that the group must consider are important, which helps members maintain independent thought, he said.

Another way to ensure independent thought is to allow individuals to offer private information they have, which may be facts, beliefs, thoughts or ideas. For a big decision, he recommended a two or three meeting process to give time for the issue to be carefully considered. The first meeting would involve presenting the issue and all related information without any discussion. The second meeting would be for discussion and a third one to vote about the issue. During discussion, he said, each person should be given the opportunity to participate equally.

The role of leaders in such groups, Whitsitt said, involves sharing information or other resources needed to make the decision and also providing space for others to participate and offer their information.

In choosing people for positions on decision-making committees, he continued, individuals selected should be those who model their lives after Jesus and have demonstrated they are willing to sacrifice for other people. He noted that changes to a more decentralized structure within a church is an incremental process that should be completed in small steps.

The Theologian-in-Residence series will conclude next Tuesday, Feb. 28. The session will begin at 10 a.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum campus. There is no charge to attend the lecture series, but reservations are required as lunch is provided in the college’s cafeteria. To register or for more information, please call 423.636.7304 or email


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Tusculum student spends semester studying in London

Tusculum student spends semester studying in London

Posted on 24 February 2012 by

Sarah Waddell visited Stonehenge on of her many day trips during her stay in London.

Tusculum student Sarah Waddell spent the fall 2011 academic semester studying and experiencing British culture in London.

Waddell, a junior from Cosby, Tenn., who is majoring in digital media, participated in the Missouri-London Program of the Centers for Academic Programs Abroad (CAPA). She joined 19 other students in the fall 2011 program who took classes together and lived in an apartment building in the Little Venice area near Regent’s Canal in northern London. She shared her experiences in a presentation Tuesday that was open to the campus community.

“One of my favorite parts of the program is the people, not just the people in London but also the other people in the program,” she said. “We got to know each other pretty well.” Most of the other participants in the program were from universities in Missouri.

The CAPA program operates in affiliation with Imperial College of the University of London, and the students had full membership rights to use Imperial College facilities and its programs. During the semester, Waddell took four classes just as she would have at Tusculum. Each student in the program was required to take “Understanding Britain Today,” a class about British culture, recent British events and the differences between the British and American culture.

Waddell’s father is British, and she said she has visited England several times so she was more used to the differences than other students in the program. Some of the students in the CAPA program thought that the English were rude, she said, but they are not. The British are more reserved and professional in their demeanor while Americans are more open, she explained.

“Aesthetics” was another of Waddell’s courses, and the students visited galleries and museums often as part of class. She noted that many of the museums and galleries in London do not charge admission.

Related to her major, she took a British broadcasting course, which focused on the BBC. Students were able to visit the BBC studios and learned how English media is different from that in the United States.

The courses that the students could take were limited, and Waddell took a “Philosophy of Sports,” learning about cricket, football (soccer) and rugby. The national rugby championships occurred while she was in this class and she was able to attend. She also attended a sold out Arsenal home soccer game and a Millwall game. The games were a great place to meet people, she said.

Waddell had class three times a week which left her extra time to explore London and other parts of England. Waddell likes to cook and enjoyed the Borough Market. “It was a cool place to go and explore,” she said. “It had everything you could imagine foodwise.”

Camden Market was another place that Waddell enjoyed exploring. The area is known as artsy, and she said she saw a wide variety of people there and enjoyed the shops.

There was a pub at the corner of her street that the students frequented. “Pubs are the social part of British culture,” she said. “There is one on about every street corner. They are not like bars, but a place for people to meet.”

As part of the CAPA program, the students went on a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge. Waddell also took day trips to Oxford and Cambridge to explore those campuses.

Waddell explored London, including some of the most famous sites such as Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, above, during her semester studying in the English capitol.

Traveling to other places in England is easy, Waddell explained, because buses and trains are readily accessible and fares are inexpensive. Air fares are also inexpensive, she said, adding that she paid the equivalent of $15 for a ticket to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Other students in the program would travel every weekend to places in England or other European countries. Waddell said she would not recommend this approach because those students stayed tired during the week and did not have time to explore London extensively.

For a first time traveler to Europe, Waddell said she would recommend going to London. “There is not a language barrier,” she said, “and the city is such a great mix of old, historic places and the coolest, new modern things going on in fashion and the arts. It has something for everyone.”

The program in which Waddell participated is offered through a partnership between Centers for Academic Programs Abroad  and the Private College Consortium for International Study, a partnership of 14 colleges in the Appalachian College Association.

All PCCIS institutions are fully accredited. All courses have been structured so that academic credits earned by students are part of the regular authorized course offerings, which allows students to make normal progress towards their undergraduate degrees while utilizing foreign resources and cross-cultural experiences. Courses are taught by a combination of British and American academics. Dr. John Paulling, professor of mathematics at Tusculum, has taught in London as part of the program.

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Networking event to be held at Clinchfield Senior Adult Center

Networking event to be held at Clinchfield Senior Adult Center

Posted on 24 February 2012 by

Alumni, parents and friends are invited to the next alumni networking event, which will be held in Erwin on Thursday, March 15. The event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center, 220 Union St. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and make valuable career connections with other Tusculum alumni, parents and friends.  Bring your business cards for exchange. Know of a prospective student? Encourage them to come as well. Please RSVP by March 7 by calling 423.636.7303 or 1.800.729.0256 ext. 5303 or emailing

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Indianapolis event draws alumni from area

Indianapolis event draws alumni from area

Posted on 24 February 2012 by

Alumni from the Indianapolis area enjoyed an evening of fellowship on January 11. Alumni learned the latest about the College from Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College; Dr. Tom Stein, vice president for enrollment management, and Heather Patchett, vice president of institutional advancement. The event was held at the J.W. Marriott downtown. Attending were, from left, Drew Nelson ’87, Dr. Ronald May ’68, Elmer Miller ’64, Dr. Moody, Juanita (Nita) Reynolds Orth ’58 and her husband, Matt.

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Keep with your fellow alumni

Keep with your fellow alumni

Posted on 24 February 2012 by






Condolences to Frank Wolpert ’61 of Holmdel, NJ, whose wife, Lynn, passed away on December 30, 2011, after a long illness. Frank and Lynn had been married for 50 years.



Vera Ann Myers ’87 of Bulls Gap, TN, and her Myers Pumpkin Patch and Family Farm won two major awards from the Tennessee Motor Coach Association at its convention in January 2012. She has also been chosen to fill a coveted seat on the organization’s board of directors. Vera Ann was named Associate of the Year, an award based on the overall contribution to the motor coach industry and the association, as well as the professional manner in dealing with the public and association colleagues. She also received the “Go-Getter” Award, a special award given to the associate who makes the greatest impression on operators during the week-long convention. A visit to Myers Pumpkin Patch has been among the events of Homecoming for the past few years. Vera Ann also serves on the Alumni Executive Board.


Julia Reedy ’88 of Madisonville, TN, became executive director of the McMinn County Education Foundation in January. The foundation works to ignite partnerships between the community and schools to develop quality citizens. Its programs include administration of the county’s Imagination Library and providing grants to teachers in the county’s three school systems. She worked three decades as a teacher on the elementary school level in McMinn County. She retired from teaching in 2007, but quickly returned to education as a math interventionist in the school system and most recently taught third grade while a teacher was on maternity leave.


Dr. Linda Belcher Stroud ’89 of Greeneville, TN, has been named director of Greeneville City Schools. Stroud, who is currently principal of Greeneville High School, will start in her new position on July 1.



John Kosmak ’98 of Gray, TN, is beginning a doctoral program later this year, which will be his sixth degree. John has taught for the past 13 years in Tusculum’s Graduate and Professional Studies program. He also runs a small business and has worked for the U.S. government for the past 37 years.



Jason Seaton ’11, a former  Tusculum College athletic training student and cross country runner was recognized in a recent edition of the “NATA News,” the official publication of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Seaton, a 2011 Tusculum graduate, is currently serving as the certified athletic trainer at Beauregard High School in Opelika, AL. During an Alabama high school football game this past October, Seaton witnessed a player from the opposing team go down.  Once at the scene, Seaton realized the player could not move his ankle or toes. EMS helped Seaton carefully spine board the injured athlete and Life Flight was called to the scene.  The athlete remained in the intensive care unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center and began to get feeling back into his lower extremities on the fourth day of hospitalization. Seaton, a native of Greeneville, TN, was a four-year letterman on the Tusculum cross country team from 2007-2010.  He was a four-time member of the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.  The West Greene High School graduate was also a member of the Dean’s List, President’s List, Iota Tau Alpha and Alpha Chi and was the recipient of the Pinnacle Award.



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Tusculum business program recognized by Clinton Foundation as model for global action initiative

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Tusculum business program recognized by Clinton Foundation as model for global action initiative

Posted on 22 February 2012 by

Tusculum College’s “Help Me Help You” program has been selected as one of the top programs in the nation by the Clinton Global Initiative University, a national foundation that recognizes innovative programs and projects that have a large impact with global reach.

The program and its co-founder, Luis Zamora, a junior business and economics major from Santiago, Chile, will be recognized at the Foundation’s global conference in Washington D.C. in March.

“This is a wonderful achievement and recognition for Luis, his program and for Tusculum College,” said President Nancy B. Moody. “He is the epitome of what Tusculum College represents and hopes to instill in its students. Luis is a student-scholar and student-athlete who is very conscious of his civic responsibility.”

Every year, the Clinton Global Initiative University reviews thousands of projects and programs from all over the world in order to select the most promising commitments to action.  This year, the commitment made by the co-founders Zamora and Rodrigo Gimenez, has become the first from Tusculum College and the first from Chile to be recognized by the initiative. At the conference Zamora will not only be representing his alma mater, Tusculum College, but also the nation of Chile. Gimenez serves as director of operations in Chile.

Luis Zamora

The recognition from the Clinton Global Initiative University includes two main points. Zamora and Gimenez have committed to implementing a small business support program with a focus on theoretical, practical and emotional aspects of “Help Me Help You” in underdeveloped regions such as the Appalachian region and Latin American countries like Chile.

In addition, with the hope of creating a global network that helps encourage the small business support around the world, Zamora and Gimenez also committed to sharing the program at no charge with any business student and/or academic institution that would like to implement “Help Me Help You” in their respective countries. The program is already available in both Spanish and English.

According to Zamora, this involves not only sharing the course content and additional documents, but also supporting and guiding the academic institution on an ongoing basis in order to ensure an adequate implementation, as well as providing access to the program’s Global University Platform to further enhance the current efforts of all institutions involved worldwide.

Zamora, who received the award of Academic Freshman of the Year in 2009-10 and the Duffield Award in 2010-11 for being the student-athlete with the highest grade point average, created the program along with Rodrigo Gimenez, in partnership with the University of Chile, located in Santiago, Chile.

The program, operated by Tusculum College’s business students and students in the Bonner Leader Program, is committed to helping its participants increase their profits, create a business plan, expand their network and improve their practical and interpersonal skills through a variety of unique, globally tested activities.

The program started in the fall with nine participants and eight monitors completing a 10-week course that aims to create a mutual learning environment between students and small business owners. The spring semester program has enrolled 12 new participants and began in January. The overwhelming support the program has received in Greeneville, in addition to its innovative concept of providing benefits for all of the different individuals involved, has carried through into the negotiations of implementing the program overseas.

The program is sponsored by the Tusculum College School of Business, as well as the Bonner Leaders program. In addition, the first year has been funded by sponsors Scott Niswonger, Tom Ferguson and Atmos Energy Corp.

Following the idea of helping underdeveloped regions, Help Me Help You has gone from the Appalachian region to Concepción, Chile, which was one of the zones that was most affected by the 8.8 earthquake that hit the country on Feb. 27, 2010.

As a result, Zamora has been invited to the Clinton Global Initiative University annual conference to be held in George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) from March 30 until April 1.

“This is an amazing opportunity because President Bill Clinton, together with world leaders such as Nobel Peace Prize winners, non-profit directors, hundreds of CEOs and other distinguished people will be assisting and presenting in a number of extremely helpful topics,” said Zamora. He also expressed his gratitude to Tusculum College for assisting with expenses relating to the experience as well as the full support the college has provided for the program since its beginning.

He added that by attending the conference, he would have the opportunity to interact with thousands of other students who are exemplary college leaders from all across the world.

The Clinton Global Initiative University challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. Members are encouraged to take concrete steps to solve problems by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, and working together as they complete their projects.


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Open source church roles discussed Tuesday during lecture series

Open source church roles discussed Tuesday during lecture series

Posted on 17 February 2012 by

Roles within the church in an open source structure were discussed Tuesday during the second session of the Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College.

The Rev. Landon Whitsitt, author of “Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All,” is leading the annual Theologian-in-Residence series, co-sponsored by the Holston Presbytery and Tusculum College with funding from Ron Smith.

An open source structure is organized differently than the top-down command structure that has been predominant in main-line Christian churches, said Rev. Whitsitt, who serves as the stated clerk of the Synod of Mid-America in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

That church structure works for many people and they don’t want to explore another structure, which is okay, he said, but the open source structure offers another way for people to gather together and faithfully point others to Jesus.

The Rev. Landon Whitsitt speaks about Wikipedia and its how its community organization can be related to the Christian community’s structure during the second session of the Theologian-in-Residence lecture series.


The open source world view, which was introduced during the first session, explores the perspective of those who have grown up in the age of personal computing and the Internet and how that affects how they think about their Christian faith.

In writing his book about this world view, Rev. Whitsitt was inspired by open source software and its developers’ ideas about freedom. Similarly, he said, he looked to see if there was a community in the world that professes to operate in a way that lives out ideas of freedom in fellowship and if so, if that community could offer something to Christians considering how they come together as a church.

The community he found was Wikipedia, not only the online encyclopedia with which most are familiar, but also the community of individuals working together to create, edit and maintain that encyclopedia. There is not a one-on-one correlation between Wikipedia and the church, Whitsitt said, but its structure and community roles provide something to consider in how the church can be organized with the freedom that is part of the open source church.

Wikipedia has five pillars that describe what it is and how it operates. The first pillar says that Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia seeking to provide equal access to information and also points out what it is not, such as a soapbox, an experiment in anarchy or a dictionary.

Likewise, a church needs to be very clear about what it is that God has called it together to do, Whitsitt said.  “What is it that is unique about the church, what does the church have to offer that the Rotary does not?”

The second pillar is that Wikipedia has a neutral point of view and strives for verifiable accuracy. In the Christian faith, “Jesus Christ is Lord is only the gravity we have,” he said. “Everything else is up for verification.”

The third pillar of Wikipedia is that its content is free and open to merciless editing. An editor cannot own content. In the church, Whitsitt said, this can be related to the issue of control and whether a congregation is open to change. “Are we willing to allow ourselves to be reformed by God?”

The fourth pillar is that members of the Wikipedia community should behave in a respectful and civil manner even when they disagree. In the life of the church, theology is very important, but relationships are just as important, he said, and people should be able to disagree civilly without breaking those relationships.

The fifth pillar is that Wikipedia does not have firm rules other than what are stated in the pillars and encourages its participants to act boldly and not be afraid to make mistakes. Similarly, Whitsitt said, there are no firm rules on how to do church, and nothing is irreparable if something is tried and does not work.

Whitsitt then discussed the roles of people within the Wikipedia community and how those roles can apply to the church.

Within the Wikipedia community, the largest group is the anonymous editors, defined as those who engage the online encyclopedia in some way, including individuals reading articles or making edits anonymously to the articles. Registered editors of Wikipedia have a few more abilities, such as the authority to start an article.

In comparison, Whitsitt said, the differences between those in the church who are members and those who just attend are that the members can vote and serve in an office. Both attendees and members enjoy the benefits of the church, such as the worship services, fellowship, pastoral care and Christian education.

Everyone in a church has something to offer, he said. “The open source generation wants to live out their calling,” Whitsitt continued. “They are going to do it with or without us.”

Administrators in the Wikipedia community are registered editors who have been selected by the community to take on further responsibilities such as making sure article edits are accurate and the encyclopedia remains operational. There is also a “benevolent dictator;” one person who has the power to act and do what is in the best interest of the entire community.

In comparison, the church has elders, deacons and a pastor. With a comparable structure in a church, the top-down command structure is turned upside down, because the members are the most important people in the community. Administrators’ roles are of servant leaders to make sure those in the church have the resources, whether physically, spiritually or intellectually to do what God wants them to do.

The series will continue on Feb. 21 and will conclude Feb. 28. The sessions begin at 10 a.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum College campus. There is no charge to attend the lecture series, but reservations are required as lunch is provided in the college’s cafeteria. To register or for more information, please call 423.636.7304 or email

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Festival returns to Tusculum College April 19-22

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Festival returns to Tusculum College April 19-22

Posted on 17 February 2012 by

Reproduced by Kristen Keefer, a fine arts major

The Old Oak Festival is returning to the Tusculum College campus April 19-22.

The arts and music festival will span four days and will feature something for everyone, including music, art, theater and poetry, as well as gallery and museum exhibits on the campus of Tusculum College.

“Details on the artisans and musicians scheduled to perform and participate are being finalized, but the dates have been confirmed, and many of the arts events are officially on the calendar,” said Susan D. Vance, a 1991 graduate of Tusculum and associate vice president for Institutional Advancement for the college.

In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there will be three performances during the festival of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” presented by Theatre-at-Tusculum. Show times are Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (60 years and above) and $5 for children 12 years of age and under.

The play is based on the diary of Anne Frank, a young Jewish teen whose family is in hiding in German-occupied Holland. The diary covers a two-year span and is a both a coming-of-age story and a peek into the daily existence of a family in hiding during the Holocaust.

The college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend, featuring top student work in a “best of” show for student painting, sculpture and photography.

The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to bring the historical event back as a major arts and music event in the East Tennessee region.

“We are expecting a wide variety of artists, including painters, craftsmen and sculptors, whose work will be available for purchase. Arts will include pottery, woodcrafts and folk art,” said Vance. In addition, on stage, the festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to local vocalists and musicians.

On Thursday, April 19, a launch party will be held for the “Tusculum Review,” a literary journal produced by faculty and students. The journal features works of top creative fiction, non-fiction, art and poetry from writers across the country. Special guest readers who have had work selected for publication will provide readings. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Center in Niswonger Commons.

Both the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum will be open to visitors during the festival and will have special activities planned for adults and children.

A special Civil War exhibit, “Scholars then Soldiers” will be featured during the weekend of the Old Oak Festival at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library.

The festival will also feature children’s activities and storytelling performances. A variety of food vendors will also be participating in the festival on Friday and Saturday. A final schedule of performances and events will be released in the coming weeks.

The festival will also feature an outdoor chapel service on Sunday morning outside the Garland Library.

There is no fee to attend the festival; however, some of the individual events and activities may have associated fees. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, contact Vance at 423-636-7303.


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Tusculum College band program to present winter concert on Thursday, Feb. 23

Tusculum College band program to present winter concert on Thursday, Feb. 23

Posted on 17 February 2012 by

Featured in the upcoming winter concert of the Tusculum College band program will be the Concert Band, Jazz Band (above) and Handbell Choir. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Fine Arts Building.

The Tusculum College band program will feature a mixture of traditional and contemporary music in its winter concert on Thursday, Feb. 23.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building.

Performing will be the Concert Band, Handbell Choir and Jazz Band.

The Concert Band will be performing “Freedom City,” “Fantasia 2000,” “Benediction” “Foundry” and “Tuba Tiger Rag.”

Two familiar pieces will feature the Handbell Choir, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Down to the River to Pray.”

The Jazz Band will be playing some jazz gospel for the concert, including “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” “Down by the Riverside,” “Gospel John” and “Gospel.”

A preview of the Feb. 29 performance by the Students for Christ Gospel Choir, a student-led group at Tusculum, will also be included as the choir will join with the Jazz Band for “I Will Bless the Lord at All Times.”

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.

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Tusculum College nursing program receives initial approval from Tennessee Board of Nursing

Posted on 17 February 2012 by

Tusculum College has earned initial approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the RN to BSN programs set to begin this coming fall, pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

President Nancy B. Moody, Dr. Lois Ewen, dean of nursing, Dr. Melinda Dukes, vice president for Academic Affairs and Steve Gehret, vice president and chief financial officer for the college, appeared before the Tennessee Board of Nursing on Wednesday and presented the college’s request for initial approval.

Moody stressed that the development of the new program has been a partnership effort from the very beginning.

“Thank you to everyone who has played a role in developing and approving the programs including members of the feasibility and steering committees, the Programs and Policies Committee, the faculty and the Board of Trustees,” said Moody.

She added, “I also need to thank Dr. Beth Stullenbarger who provided consultation support and to Dr. Greg Hawkins who facilitated project management and the application materials. Thank you to our donors, the members of the Nursing Advisory Council and our clinical facility partners.”

The presentation included elements such as the school’s SACSCOC regional accreditation since 1927 and degree granting approval through the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The group also presented information on program approval and support from the faculty and board, plans to seek programmatic accreditation and funding allocated by action of the Board of Trustees for the program.

According to Ewen, interested students are already inquiring about the program.

“We have begun the process of hiring faculty and outlining course content,” said Ewen. “We expect to have a good number of students enrolled this fall who are either pursuing their first degree in nursing or adding to the skills and education they have already acquired by completing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.”

The college anticipates offering the nursing program to students effective August 2012; however, the proposed degree program is contingent upon final approval from SACSCOC and the Tennessee Board of Nursing.


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Tusculum College’s Students for Christ Gospel Choir to perform on Wednesday, Feb. 29

Posted on 17 February 2012 by

The Tusculum College Students for Christ Gospel Choir will be featured in its first concert on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Annie Hogan Byrd Auditorium on the Tusculum college campus.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and is an Arts and Lecture Series credit event for Tusculum College students. The concert is open to the public and there is no charge to attend.

This is the first year for the 15-member student choir, which sings both traditional and contemporary gospel hymns and songs.

The concert, which will showcase the new choir, will also include several numbers with the Tusculum College Jazz Band.

“This group came together because each of us wanted to participate in a music ministry, to have the opportunity to witness to others through our music,” said Vinton Copeland, a junior political science major from LaGrange, Ga., who organized the group and serves as its director.

“The choir is a cross section of students and very diverse. There is a mixture of races, religions and backgrounds,” he added. “We all enjoy singing, and we are committed to our faith.”

Copeland added that the group has made itself available to sing at other events and meetings, as well as for churches and other organizations.

For more information on the Students for Christ Gospel Choir, contact Copeland at


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Community Concert Band and Madrigal Singers in concert on Tuesday, Feb. 21

Posted on 15 February 2012 by

The Greeneville Community Concert Band and the Madrigal Singers will perform in concert on Tuesday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will take place in the Annie Hogan Byrd Auditorium on the campus of Tusculum College.

The Community Band is under the direction of Mike May and the Madrigal Singers are under the direction of Kelly Sams.

The concert will feature a wide variety of musical styles and will climax with a beautiful arrangement of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and will combine the efforts of both the Community Band and the Madrigal Singers.

The concert is open to the public and admission is free of charge.


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