Archive | May, 2013


Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody offered extended six-year contract by Board of Trustees

Posted on 22 May 2013 by

Dr. Nancy B. Moody

The Tusculum College Board of Trustees voted to extend the contract of current president, Dr. Nancy B. Moody, during its meeting on Saturday, May 18.

Dr. Moody has completed four years as president. The contract extension is for six years.

“Tusculum College is at a very exciting time in its history. I am extremely pleased to have the support of the Board of Trustees as we move together toward long-term planning, the growth of our academic programs and continued and expanded success of our graduates,” said Dr. Moody.

Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees, praised Moody’s efforts in directing the college. “The Board is very, very pleased with the recent history of the college and excited about the leadership she has brought to the institution. We want to see that continue.”

He added, “Having a longer, multi-year contract is a strong signal to the internal and external communities that the Board both appreciates and supports her. It also goes a long way in providing long-term stability for the college.”

Since assuming the college presidency in April 2009 as the first female in Tusculum’s history to hold the position, Moody has faced several challenges. She led the college through a successful reaffirmation of accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and guided the college towards greater financial stability.

Dr. Moody was recognized by the Board of Trustees in February when she was named the first recipient of the Founders Award, presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. The Founders’ Award, named in memory of Rev. Samuel Doak, Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak and Rev. Hezekiah Balch, is presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees to recognize those who with integrity, tenacity, commitment, ingenuity and drive have moved Tusculum College forward in serving its students, its community and the world at large.

According to Dr. Bowman, 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. 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.

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 of Business Administration degree were added in the Graduate and Professional Studies program.

The new nursing degree program currently has 24 students and these numbers are expected to grow, with the more than 520 inquiries about next year’s nursing class. Fall semester’s class is expected to be at least 40 students. The fall semester will also see the first class of registered nurses in the RN to BSN program. The BS and RN to BSN degree program in nursing have been incorporated in the scope of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Dr. Moody was also instrumental in obtaining a $263,996 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation for the acquisition of a simulation laboratory for use in the nursing program and other health-related programs by Tusculum College students and staff and area community partners.

The simulation lab will be used to produce highly-qualified BSN graduates skilled at clinical decision-making, who will provide safe, competent and improved health care for future generations of Tennesseans

The college, under her leadership, is in an accelerated growth stage. Construction of two new apartment-style residence halls is nearing completion. These facilities are a direct result of a $6 million Community Facilities direct loan from the USDA’s Rural Development Office.  Residence hall space has been a pressing need for the college for the past few years due to more than 100 percent occupancy rates in residential housing.

Dr. Moody led efforts to fund a new math and science facility on campus. To that end, a $3.875 million gift towards funding its construction has allowed plans to move forward. The Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math will be a three-story 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art science and math facility with an estimated total project cost in excess of $15 million.

An additional $39 million Community Facilities direct loan to allow for renovation of current space and construction of the new science and math building has been secured and construction and renovations are expected to begin in the fall.

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

According to Bowman, 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.

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

Dr. Moody came to Tusculum from Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), where she served as president. She began her career in higher education at LMU as an instructor of nursing. She subsequently served in several roles at LMU, culminating as the dean of the School of Professional Studies before joining the faculty of East Tennessee State University where she was tenured and served as department chair. She served as an associate professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville before returning to LMU to assume its presidency. In terms of leadership, Dr. Moody has served as executive director of the Tennessee Center of Nursing, which was funded initially through a grant that she co-authored from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Moody is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, chair-elect of the NCAA DII South Atlantic Conference, and past member of the NCAA DII President’s Council. She is the past chair of the executive committee for the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association.

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Alumni and friends events scheduled for June

Alumni and friends events scheduled for June

Posted on 21 May 2013 by

Six alumni events will be held in June. Please mark your calendars and make plans to attend the event in your area.

The five events are:

  • June 4 – Athens, Tenn.
  • June 11 – Ft. Myers, Fla.
  • June 12 – Orlando, Fla.
  • June 20 – Charleston, S.C.
  • June 25 – Maryville, Tenn.
  • June 27 – Washington, D.C.

The first will be a luncheon at Michael’s Casual Dining (2011 Congress Parkway, Athens, TN 37303) on Tuesday, June 4, in Athens, Tenn. The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and there is no cost to attend.

Two are scheduled in Florida. On Tuesday, June 11, alumni and friends in the Ft. Myers area are invited to a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at The Riverhouse at the Verandah in the private dining room (12201 River Village Way). There is no cost to attend the event.  Alumni and friends in the Orlando area are invited to a dinner on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 p.m. at Antonio’s restaurant, located at 611 S. Orlando Ave. in Maitland. There is also no cost to attend this event.

On Thursday, June 20, a luncheon is scheduled at Palmetto Cafe at Charleston Place in Charleston, S.C. (205 Meeting St.). The luncheon will begin at noon and there is no cost to attend. Parking will be available in the parking garage adjacent to the hotel and will be validated.

The next event will be on Tuesday, June 25 – a mixer at Sullivan’s in Maryville (121 W. Broadway Ave.) The event will be 5:30  to 7 p.m. There is no cost to attend and a cash bar will be available.

On Thursday, June 27, there will be an alumni and friends event in the Washington, D.C. area. Join us at 6:30 p.m. for dinner at the Oliver Garden in Vienna, Va. (8133 Leesburg Pike). The cost is $10 per person.


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Members of Class of 1963 honored during commencement

Members of Class of 1963 honored during commencement

Posted on 21 May 2013 by

Members of the Class of 1963 celebrated their 50th anniversary with special activities surrounding the Saturday, May 11, spring commencement ceremony at the College.

Eighteen members of the Class of 1963 were part of the Commencement processional and were special guests at a reception at the President’s House on the evening prior to commencement.

Members of the Class of 1963 in their gold caps and gowns take a minute to pose for a group photo before leading the processional.

The members of the class, their spouses and friends from earlier classes  got reacquainted with each other and reminisced about their time at Tusculum during the reception at the President’s House hosted by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody and her husband, Tom. They also enjoyed a video put together by class member Joe Romano that featured footage he had from their time at Tusculum.

During the reception, each Class of 1963 member was presented with a commemorative medallion by Dr. Moody, who also gave the alumni an update of the latest developments on campus.

Members of the Class of 1963 and their guests gather on the front steps of the President's House for a photo following the reception.

The day of commencement began with a breakfast at the Pioneer Perk, where the class members were fitted with a golden cap and gown for participation in the processional.

As spouses and guests of the class members were taken to reserved seating in the Pioneer Arena for the ceremony, the class members prepared to take their place in the front of the Commencement Processional. They then led the students graduating into the arena.

Class of 1963 member Joe Romano, left, and graduating senior Jenny Grant, right, present their combined class gifts to Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody.

The Golden Pioneers were recognized during the ceremony by Dr. Moody. The class members had decided to combine their class gift with the class gift from the graduating seniors. Joe Romano and Jenny Grant, a graduating senior, presented Dr. Moody with a check for the combined gift of $11,125  during the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, the Golden Pioneers were reunited with their spouses and guests for a luncheon in the Pioneer Perk.

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Tusculum College welcomed to Kingsport Higher Education Center

Tusculum College welcomed to Kingsport Higher Education Center

Posted on 20 May 2013 by

Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum, expresses the College's appreciation of the opportunity to offer further educational opportunities to those in the Kingsport area.

The Kingsport Higher Education Commission welcomed Tusculum College to the downtown Kingsport Academic Village during a Monday morning news conference.

Tusculum College will begin to offer classes during the fall 2013 semester at the Kingsport Higher Education Center. Courses will be offered in bachelor’s and master’s programs of the Graduate and Professional Studies program for working adults. To be offered are bachelor’s programs in business administration, interdisciplinary studies (K-6 education), organizational management and psychology with a behavioral health concentration. Also to be offered is the Master of Arts in Teaching program and the master’s program in education designed for licensed teachers.

It was announced during the news conference that the Kingsport Higher Education Commission has voted to allow Tusculum College and Milligan College to offer courses at the center. The two colleges join  East Tennessee State University, King University, Lincoln Memorial University, the University of Tennessee and Northeast State Community College in offering courses at the Kingsport Higher Education Center since the facility’s opening in 2009.

Currently, more than 2,200 students are studying in the Academic Village, including ETSU students who just started attending at a downtown campus earlier this year.

“The presence of Tusculum and Milligan in the Higher Education Center can only complement what has been started with Northeast State Community College, the University of Tennessee, King College and Lincoln Memorial University,” Mayor Dennis Phillips said Monday. “Along with East Tennessee State University, we now have seven outstanding higher education organizations serving our area.  This is extremely exciting and should be welcomed by the citizens of Kingsport as a major step forward toward reaching our access and educational attainment goals for the community.”

Tusculum President Dr. Nancy Moody indicated that the opportunity for Tusculum College to move to the Kingsport Higher Center for Higher Education is congruent with the mission of the College and compliments efforts that began almost 30 years ago to provide user-friendly programs designed with working adults in mind.  Tusculum looks forward to forming an even stronger presence in Kingsport by collaborating with other Colleges and Universities, as well as the community, to develop new concepts and programming for the benefit of the community and its citizens.

“Tusculum College is excited to join the Kingsport Center for Higher Education, and we look forward to the opportunities we will have to collaborate with other member institutions and also with the Kingsport community,” Dr. Moody said.

In all, Kingsport Higher Education Commission Chair John Williams agreed that Kingsport continues to move forward at a fast pace by continuing to open new avenues to access higher education in a local setting.

“Today’s actions have moved Kingsport many steps along the path to academic advancement and access to higher education for our city and region,” Williams said.  “These two well established and highly respected institutions bring more opportunity and options to the Higher Ed Center and elevate our Academic Village to yet another, higher level.  We are grateful to the trustees and administrative leadership of these colleges who share our vision.”

Speaking during the news conference were, from left, John Williams, chair of the Kingsport Higher Education Commission; Dr. Moody; Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips, and Dr. Bill Greer, president of Milligan College.


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Learn the latest about your fellow classmates

Learn the latest about your fellow classmates

Posted on 19 May 2013 by






Lisa Mantooth ’95 of Cleveland, TN, is now working as the director of partner relations for the United Way of Bradley County. Previously, Mantooth helped Bradley County residents affected by tornadoes through the Bradley County Long-Term Recovery Organization and will continue to work with that organization. She also served for seven years as the chapter executive of the Hiwasee Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Bronwyn Rector ’96 of Franklin, TN, is serving as assistant principal at Longview Elementary School in Spring Hill. Previously, she served as a school psychologist.

Jason Vance ’98 of Madisonville, TN, is director of schools the Loudon County School System. His wife, Amanda Hill Vance ’98, is director of special education for Monroe County Schools.


Elaine Ely ’00 of Sevierville, TN, has been promoted to senior vice president/bank operations at Mountain National Bank. She has more than 33 years of banking experience and serves as an instructor of the American Bankers Association’s Principles of Banking courses at Walters State Community College. She is serving as chairwoman of the Leadership Sevier Board of Directors.

Caleb Slover ’03 of Greeneville, TN, is serving as coach of the Cocke County High School. Slover served for several years as an assistant coach for the Pioneer football team, and served as running backs coach and director of football operations.

Kirstie Gust ’12 has completed her master’s program in accounting at Indiana University. She will begin work in August as a financial management associate at KPMG in Chicago.





Edna Curtis Purvis ’50 of Kingsport, TN, passed away April 27, 2013. Mrs. Purvis was a career librarian and teacher in Kingsport and Sullivan County schools. She was a member of Bethel Presbyterian Church, the Sullivan County Teachers Association and the Alpha Delta Kappa Teachers Sorority. Her survivors include Tusculum alumni, son Calvin B. Purvis ’94, sister LaWanda Baskette ’48, brother-in-law Silas W. Purvis ’44 and sister-in-law Mary B. Purvis ’53.



Sven E. Danielson ’64 of Castine, Maine, passed away January 17, 2013, where he had lived for more than 10 years. Mr. Danielson spent three years working in northern New Jersey as a county planner. After leaving county planning, he decided to pursue his love of historic architecture and during his career he restored many historic buildings to their original state but with modern conveniences. Restoration of historic structures and a love of antiques became his passion. His unique talents as a designer and restoration builder were used to develop “The Fields of Tewksbury” and “Bissell Run” in Tewksbury Township which were reproductions of old/new homes. In addition, he developed “Dart’s Mill,” a historical site in Hunterdon County. The buildings were restored for creative use into a small office complex and day care center. These multiple restored properties in and around New Jersey brought him recognition and were highlighted in numerous national magazines. Mr. Danielson then moved from New Jersey to East Hampton, N.Y., where he restored two homes and resided for many years. Returning to New Jersey years later, he renovated a townhouse where he lived and worked upon retirement. He settled on the coast of Maine in Castine, where he did his final restoration home. Besides homes, Sven had a great passion for collecting antiques and decorating.


Danise Ranae Nelson ’90 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 28, 2013. Ms. Nelson was a teacher at Mosheim Elementary/Middle School. She was a member of RidgeCrest Bible Church, where she served as a Sunday school teacher. She was a volunteer at Smoky Mountain Day Camp and coached volleyball at Mosheim School.




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Tusculum College dedicates Paul E. Hayden Educational Wetland

Tusculum College dedicates Paul E. Hayden Educational Wetland

Posted on 18 May 2013 by

Paul E. Hayden, center, was honored by officials at Tusculum College on Saturday when the newly dedicated educational wetland was named the Paul E. Hayden Educational Wetland. Left of Hayden is Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. At right is Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the college.

The Tusculum College Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and community members participated in a dedication ceremony for the Paul E. Hayden Educational Wetland on Saturday, May 18.

“In the active learning environment provided by the faculty at Tusculum College, this Wetland Project will provide science students with an outdoor classroom and experiment center, while tending to the environment that supports campus life,” said Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees and 1970 graduate of Tusculum College.

“The wetland project will provide an invaluable resource to the environment, as well as support educational experiences for the science program. In addition to our students, this wetland will be a community resource in which the college can work with the Greeneville City and Greene County school systems to provide an environment for research ranging from elementary education to college senior projects.”

The wetland was named in honor of Paul E. Hayden because of his commitment and dedication to seeing the project through to completion.

“Paul Hayden has from the beginning been completely dedicated to seeing this project become a reality,” said Bowman. “He has embodied the life, energy and vitality of these special habitats and provided the vision and leadership through which this educational wetland was first conceived.”

The dedication was held in conjunction with the May meeting of the Board of Trustees, which was held on Friday and Saturday, May 17-18.

In other business, the Board approved the 2013-14 operating budget and approved faculty promotions.

The Board gave preliminary approval to a $31 million budget for 2013-14, representing a 5.46 percent increase over the past academic year.

According to Dr. Moody, the proposed budget is based on 955 total students in the residential college program and 1,160 in the adult program and 780 students living on campus. The proposed budget includes a 2.5 percent wage and salary pool increase, and all requested faculty positions would be filled, including several new faculty positions.

Of the new funds in the 2012-13 budget, $190,000 has been allocated for technology.

The Board also approved the allocation of a projected 2013 end-of-year surplus to go toward academic and educational needs at the discretion of the president, but also to support new initiatives. According to Dr. Moody, this will be the third year in a row the college has ended the year with a surplus, indicating financial health and the success of strict budget management measures put in place over the past few years.

Five faculty members were approved for promotion by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Deborah Bryan, who joined the college in 2007, was promoted to associate professor of art. Dr. Bryan serves as the program coordinator for the art and design program and has personally participated in over 48 juried exhibitions and eight solo exhibitions. She is the recipient of numerous Lantern Awards from graduating seniors and is the 2012 recipient of the National Living Teacher Award from the Tusculum College Alumni Association.

Dr. William Garris, who joined the college in 2008, was promoted to associate professor of psychology. Dr. Garris serves as Tusculum College’s director of the Quality Enhancement Program and faculty sponsor for Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society and the advisor to the Psychology Club. In 2010 he was awarded the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award, while in 2012 he was recognized by students with the Outstanding Service to Students award.

In addition to teaching at Tusculum, Dr. Garris has also participated several years on the instructional staff of the Appalachian College Association Teaching and Learning Institute. His research interests lie with epistemological development, that is, how it is adolescents and adults conceptualize truth and how this understanding changes across time.

Dr. Angela Keaton, who joined the college in 2006, was promoted to associate professor of history and commons. While at Tusculum, she has served in a variety of faculty leadership positions and on a variety of college committees. In 2008-2009, she received the Tusculum College Excellence in Teaching and Campus Leadership Award.

Dr. Keaton recently published an article, entitled “Backyard Desperadoes: American Attitudes Concerning Toy Guns in the Cold War Era” in the “Journal of American Culture.” The publication earned the 2011 Carl Bode Award for the best article published in the “Journal of American Culture” in 2010.

Dr. Sheila Morton, who joined the college in 2006, was promoted to associate professor of English. Dr. Morton has served as director of the Composition Program for the last three years  and has served as a member of several committees. In her scholarship pursuits, she is interested in a variety of topics from composition pedagogy to literary theory.

Dr. Michelle Freeman, who joined the College in 2002, was promoted to professor of business administration. Dr. Freeman has served in a number of leadership roles including as department chair of the business administration program, as faculty moderator, as director of the Teaching and Learning Initiative and as member of numerous college committees.

She has twice been the recipient of the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award as voted by her peers. Dr. Freeman has recently published three articles with her most recent being “Teaching Circles:  A Low-Cost, High-Benefit Way to Engage Faculty,” which was published in the February 2011 issue of “The Teaching Professor.”

The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees is September 26-27, in conjunction with the Homecoming 2013 festivities.

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Verna June Eshelman Meen honored with Distinguished Service Award

Verna June Eshelman Meen honored with Distinguished Service Award

Posted on 18 May 2013 by

Verna June Eshelman Meen (center) was awarded with the Tusculum College Distinguished Service Award on Friday evening at the college’s annual President’s Dinner. On left is Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees. At right is Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.

Tusculum College presented Verna June Eshelman Meen the Distinguished Service Award during the annual Tusculum College President’s Dinner on Friday, May 17. She was recognized for her service and support of Tusculum College.

Tusculum President Dr. Nancy B. Moody and Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees and 1970 alumnus of the college, presented the award.

The Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual or individuals who have a history of outstanding support of Tusculum College. The award is presented at the President’s Dinner, which honors the college’s major donors.

A pioneer from the start, Meen was born in Indiana with a strong sense of how education could change a person’s life. At a time when few women attended college, Meen set her sights on earning an accounting degree at Indiana University.

With $80 and a merit scholarship, she set out to finance her education. Meen worked her way through school, earning top marks. She worked hard, eventually graduating in just two and two-thirds years. Following graduation, she was highly recruited, receiving three job offers before even 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 accepted and found herself transplanted to East Tennessee.

Still a pioneer, as not many women were working in professional fields in that day, she also purchased land, designed the house she would live in to the present day and paid for its construction. She was independent and a woman of her own means.

She met Dr. Ron Meen early in her years at Eastman. The two shared a life together that included summer trips to Canada, reading on the back deck and taking boat rides on Muskoka Lake. Their marriage lasted until his death in 2008.

In 2012, she gifted Tusculum College with $3.875 million to name the planned math and science facility the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math as a way to honor her beloved husband. Dr. Meen worked for Eastman Chemical Company and held numerous patents for chemical compounds developed for the company.

“Through her generosity, Mrs. Meen has chosen to create a living memorial to her husband at Tusculum College that will have a significant impact on the education of Tusculum students,” said Dr. Moody. “She is an amazing person in her own right, and the gift she has given will impact the lives of thousands of students for many, many years to come.”

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New Dual Enrollment program offers opportunity for high school students to earn college credit

Posted on 16 May 2013 by

High school students have the opportunity to earn both high school and college credit through a new dual enrollment program at Tusculum College.

Through the new program, high school students can take a variety of courses. Offerings of courses will begin this summer with more courses slated for the fall and spring.

Students are eligible to participate in the dual enrollment program beginning the summer before their junior year in high school. Individuals must have a 3.0 grade point average or a 21 on the ACT.

The courses will be offered online, a convenience for students in not having to drive to campus during the school day.

Offerings will include composition, college algebra, U.S. history, psychology, sociology, art history, probability and statistics and world literature.

Financial assistance may be available for students through the lottery scholarships. Students should visit their high school guidance counselors for more information about assistance.

For more information about the new program or to apply, please visit the Dual Enrollment page on the website. Individuals may also call 423-636-7374  or email to learn more about the program.

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Dr. Paul Fox named Dean of School of Education at Tusculum College

Posted on 15 May 2013 by

Dr. Paul Fox

Dr. Paul Fox of Greeneville was recently appointed the first Dean of the School of Education at Tusculum College.

Dr. Fox also serves as assistant professor of education.

“I am confident that Dr. Fox will provide key leadership to move Tusculum College forward and that he will guide our School of Education to continue to be a model for teacher education. He will be a strong mentor to our faculty in the program,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.

A 1977 graduate of Tusculum College, Dr. Fox has served as interim director of the School of Education since 2011. Fox has 25 years of administrative experience in education, including serving as school improvement specialist and supervisor for the Greene County School System.

Dr. Fox’s education background and experience includes licensure in elementary education, secondary biology, reading specialist and school administration. He has led the Teacher Education Unit at Tusculum College in preparing for and hosting an on-site Continuing Accreditation visit by the Tennessee Department of Education and has experience serving on Quality Assurance Review Teams for public schools seeking AdvancED or SACS CASI accreditation.

Dr. Fox currently serves on the boards of directors for the local YMCA and Washington College Academy.  He has served as President of the Greeneville/Greene County Retired Teachers Association as well as on numerous faculty and administrator search committees at Tusculum College. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Service to Students award from the Greene County Partnership in 2007.

Fox has served as president of the Greeneville-Greene County Retired Teachers Association and has taught at Union College in Kentucky and at East Tennessee State University, and has taught in the Tusculum Graduate and Professional Studies program as an adjunct professor.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tusculum College and holds a master’s degree in reading and an Ed.D in educational administration, both from ETSU.

He and his wife, Melinda Matherly, attend Cedar Grove United Methodist Church and enjoy five grandchildren.

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More than 275 receive degrees Saturday during commencement

More than 275 receive degrees Saturday during commencement

Posted on 13 May 2013 by

Don Raber listens as his lifetime accomplishments are highlighted in the presentation of his honorary doctorate during commencement. Assisting with the conferring were from right, his son, Peter Raber and Dr. Melinda Dukes, vice president of academic affairs.

More than 275 individuals received degrees during Tusculum College’s spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, including the presentation of an honorary doctorate to businessman and friend of the college, Don Raber.

Eighty-two students earned Bachelor of Science degrees and 155 earned Bachelor of Arts degrees. In addition 38 graduates earned Master of Arts degrees.

The new graduates were addressed by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, who recognized the commencement ceremony as “an occasion of celebration and completion.” Adding, “Each of you has made sacrifices, adjustments and also made tough decisions along the way. You have worked hard, and you have given something of yourself to earn the right to walk across this stage. This is a testament to your own efforts and to your persistence. Today is your reward.”

She told the group, “Thank you for allowing Tusculum College to be a part of your life. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you will always be a part of Tusculum College.”

Class of 1963 member Joe Romano, left, and graduating senior Jenny Grant, right, present their combined class gifts to Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody.

Walking with this spring’s graduates were 17 representatives of the Tusculum College Class of 1963 who are celebrating their 50th anniversary year. Representatives walked in the procession, clothed in golden caps and gowns and were recognized during the ceremony by Dr. Moody.

The Golden Pioneers, along with the Class of 2013, presented a check to Dr. Moody for $1,125.39 as a gift to the college.

Receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters was Raber, who is a member of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. He has brought to the board many strengths, chief among them a lifetime of experience in banking, investment and finance. He has served effectively as chair of the Business Committee, as a member of the Executive Committee, the Audit, Finance, Investment and Buildings Committee, the Institutional Advancement Committee and as Foundation Investment Advisor. He is a recipient of the Tusculum College Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the college.

Don Raber and Dr. Moody

His devotion to education, shown through service to Tusculum and other colleges and universities, is rooted in his days in the U.S. Navy. As he served aboard the USS Aldebaran AF-10 in 1962 during the Cuban blockade, and a year later on the USS Preserver ARS-8, he noticed that junior officers were college-educated. After his military service, he enrolled at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he earned a BBA. He later earned an MBA from Marshall University and completed specialized programs at Northwestern University and the University of Tennessee.

He started his financial career as a management trainee for the Jamaica Savings Bank and joined an options trading firm on Wall Street. From there he launched a distinguished career in finance and banking, culminating with the founding of Aldebaran Financial in 1991. He has also taught at several colleges and universities and has established scholarships at Tusculum College and other institutions.

According to President Moody, “Don has lived a life that adheres to the tenants of the Tusculum College mission. He has strived for success in his personal life, while never forgetting his sense of community.”

Participating in the degree conferral was Raber’s son, Peter W. Raber, vice president of operations and chief compliance officer for Aldebaran Financial.

Speakers at the morning Tusculum College Commencement service were Andy Goellner of Denver, Colo., and Alexander Smith of Greeneville.

Four student speakers addressed the graduates, including Andy Goellner, a triple major, studying business management, accounting and sport management from Denver, Colo., who represented the Residential College.

Goellner provided advice about future achievement. “Do it scared,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. If you’re scared that probably means you are doing something that is really worthwhile. So even you if are scared get out and do it anyway, you will feel so much better for having stepped out of your comfort zone.”

Also speaking at the morning ceremony was Alexander Smith, a graduate from the master’s program. Smith is from Greeneville and completed his bachelor’s degree at Tusculum College in 2010.

“Each of us can think of a teacher or professor who pushed us to learn more, to work harder and to achieve our goals,” Smith told the audience. “Many of those people are here in the audience today. Their excellent leadership taught us many essential elements for success in the profession of teaching. Just a few of those elements include, remaining calm despite uncertainty, greeting each day with a fresh perspective but to remember lessons learned each day and admitting mistakes and moving on.”

Speakers at the afternoon Tusculum College Commencement service were Stephanie Trent of Washburn and Elba Marshall of Knoxville.

In the afternoon ceremony, speakers were Stephanie Trent, an education major from Washburn, and Elba Marshall, a business major from Knoxville.

Trent talked about the difficult decision to return to school later in life.

“For many years I had come up with excuses to ignore what my heart and mind were trying to tell me. In reality, I was afraid that I would not be able to meet the challenges this change in my life would bring, and that I would let my family down in the process.”

She added, “As I watched my children grow older, I knew that I had to be a better role model for them. I wanted them to see that no matter what obstacles you think are standing in your way, it is possible to succeed if you do your best and never give up. If I wanted to convince them to follow their dreams, I knew I had to face my own fears and insecurities and put myself on a path to make my own dreams come true.”

Marshall said, “When I first decided to pursue my college degree, I thought I was doing it to get the proverbial ticket to success. What I discovered was that it turned out to be so much more than that. It became a place where my beliefs were challenged, my desire for learning was nurtured and my life was forever changed.”

Mark Stokes, director of religious life, church and community relations at Tusculum College, presented a sermon titled, “Seize the Day.”

“We must take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way to fulfill our purpose in life,” he told the crowd. “Forget the past, face the present and live life as it comes. We need to seize the day and live every moment of our lives with purpose.”

Receiving Teaching Exellence and Campus Leadership Awards were Heather Patterson, from left, Dr. Betsy Loveday and Dr. DiAnn Casteel.

Receiving the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award for the Residential College was Heather Patterson, chair of the English Department and assistant professor of English. Receiving the award for the Graduate and Professional Studies program was Dr. DiAnn Casteel, professor of education, and Dr. Betsy Loveday, assistant professor of education.


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Sam Underwood honored as ‘Student of the Block’ for Eighth Block

Sam Underwood honored as ‘Student of the Block’ for Eighth Block

Posted on 10 May 2013 by

Sam Underwood, center, is congratulated for her honor as “Student of the Block” for the eighth block at Tusculum College by Michael Robinson, left, head coach of the Pioneer volleyball team, and Dr. Antonio Bos, professor of business administration.

Sam Underwood, a senior from Muncie, Ind., was recognized as “Student of the Block” for the eighth block at Tusculum College in recognition of her academic achievements and leadership on campus.

Underwood, a business administration major with minors in international business and economics, was presented the honor during a ceremony in the Living Room of the Niswonger Commons, where a plaque recognizing her accomplishments will be displayed. The award was established by the Office of Student Affairs to recognize students for their academic achievement, leadership on campus and contributions to the college community.

As a recruit to the Pioneer volleyball team, Underwood made an immediate impact on the campus community as she forged her career as a student-athlete, excelling in the classroom, on the volleyball court and as a leader on campus.

She has served as the president of the Study Abroad and Global Awareness Organization and was a co-founder and monitor for the Help Me Help You small business consulting organization and co-founder and division director for the new Center of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.

Underwood represented Tusculum at the Salzburg Global Seminar, was a student speaker at the Appalachian College Association Summit in Knoxville and tutored other students in English, math, science and business courses. She was a member of the Honors Program and the Tusculum chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society.

A four-year starter on the volleyball team, Underwood served as captain for three years. She was named to the SAC All Freshman team in 2009, second team All SAC in 2010 and first team All SAC in 2011. Not only did she help lead Tusculum to its very first NCAA II Tournament appearance, she also led the Pioneers to four consecutive appearances and their first ever birth to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. She was named to the SAC Preseason All Conference Team and helped lead this year’s team to a 24-8 record overall.

Michael Robinson, head coach for the volleyball team, wrote of Underwood in his nomination, “Samantha is an extremely motivated person who sets high goals for herself and then rises to any challenge to attain them. She is no stranger to hard work and dedication or to striving to better herself in every aspect of life. Between her hectic academic and athletic responsibilities, Samantha also finds time to give of herself in the most unselfish ways. When you envision the “cream of the crop, you see Samantha.

“I can honestly say that not many others hold a candle to her character and to her overall contributions to the athletic program, institution and the Tusculum College community,” Robinson continued.

In addition to her academic and athletic responsibilities, she has served as a volunteer with the Greene County Animal Shelter, the Nathaniel Greene Museum, theater events at Tusculum and in the Bonner Leader student organization.

Underwood credits her parents, Scott and Tammy Underwood, as her consummate role models and appreciates all of the sacrifices, support, love and kindness they have shown in their parenting. She also credits her coaches, professors and friends as influences in her life as well.

Appreciative of the educators in her life, Underwood attributes her academic success at Tusculum to the business department faculty for their role in her life. “I have so much respect and love for Dr. [Antonio] Bos, professor of business administration; Dr. [Tom] McFarland, associate professor of business, and Dr. [Michelle] Freeman, associate professor of business administration. They have each shaped my mind and experience at Tusculum in huge ways. Taking international marketing with Dr. [Geir] Bergvin, associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Global Studies, while in Barcelona, Spain, was a unique and thrilling learning experience. They [all] have supported my endeavors in and out of the classroom, acted as mentors when called upon and inspired me to believe I was capable of anything.”

Underwood will graduate in May and then take a position as executive team leader for Target in Indianapolis.

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Alex Wiedemann honored as ‘Student of the Block’ for seventh block

Alex Wiedemann honored as ‘Student of the Block’ for seventh block

Posted on 10 May 2013 by

Alex Wiedemann, left, is congratulated for his “Student of the Block” award by Dr. Troy Goodale, advisor for the Alpha Chi National Honor Society chapter on campus.

Alex Wiedemann, a senior from Rogersville, was recognized as “Student of the Block” for the seventh block at Tusculum College in recognition of his academic achievements and involvement on campus.

Wiedemann, a mathematics major who has minors in chemistry and biology, was presented the honor during a ceremony in the Living Room of the Niswonger Commons, where a plaque recognizing his accomplishments will be displayed. The award was established by the Office of Student Affairs to recognize students for their academic achievement, leadership on campus and contributions to the college community.

Graduating later this month with summa cum laude honors, Wiedemann has made his mark in the sciences and has become a great force of educational outreach on the campus and greater community.

He served as a teaching assistant in General Physics I and II for Dr. Katherine Stone, assistant professor of mathematics and geology, the first paid teaching assistant for the College. Wiedemann has served as peer tutor for mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology as well as a tutor for students from local high schools and other local colleges.

Dr. Stone nominated him for the award, writing that “Alex’s professionalism, scholarly pursuit, and his overall demeanor sets him [apart]. Alex is the first teaching assistant that Tusculum has ever employed. Alex planned and led problem sessions, roughly nine hours per week, presented supplementary lectures, created study guides and clarified lecture material as requested. He did this on top of the Student Services tutoring hours.”

She noted that Wiedemann attended the Mathematics Association of America Southeast Regional meetings and competed in team mathematics competitions for the past two years. Wiedemann, along with fellow student Christopher Armstrong, was awarded the Appalachian College Association Ledford Award, which is granted to individual students performing research at member institutions of the association. The students presented their work at the Appalachian College Association 2012-2013 Summit in Knoxville.

“There is much more to Alex than his ‘book smarts,’” Dr. Stone also wrote. “Alex has been active in so many student activities and is well liked by everyone who meets him. I can’t find the words to express how honored I am to have been part of Alex’s life.”

In addition to his academic accolades in the classroom, he secured a prestigious internship with the Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport. “I received this aggrandized internship position through the generous help of (Tusculum) President Nancy Moody and Dr. Larry Brotherton (a 1970 Tusculum alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees),” he said. “It is our hope that this opportunity I was afforded will open doors for internships and jobs at Eastman for future Tusculum College students — especially with the chemistry major being added.”

During the past year, he has served as president of the Tusculum College Chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and has served as president of the Pi-oneer Union. He served as a work-study student for the Office of Academic Affairs. He is also a member of the President’s Guild, Society of Physics Students, American Physical Society and Voices Against Violence.

A first generation college student and son of a German immigrant, Wiedemann was born into a military family, which moved to Rogersville when he was six. Not academically challenged in school, his parents decided to home school him. He was homeschooled through middle school and self-taught through high school.

These distinctive educational journeys allowed Wiedemann to experience and pursue a variety of interests, which translated to his current passions. He owns and currently operates a small bee farm for profit, which he founded at 14.

His experience as a homeschooled student was an influence on his decision to choose to attend Tusculum.  “The block system is, in essence, how I already did my schoolwork at home, so I assumed it would be easier to become acclimated to a school atmosphere if the structures were similar,” he said.

As he settled into Tusculum, Wiedemann found a supportive environment. “The faculty, staff and administration of Tusculum have played a major role in changing my life, he said. “I cannot count the number of people, from adjunct faculty to President Moody, that have taken a personal  interest in my development as both a student and an individual, going above and beyond in helping me succeed. The personal relationships I hold with many of the professors have greatly affected my life goals, and I see many of them as role models.”

Wiedemann plans to continue his education and will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall to pursue a doctorate in mathematics. His future goal is to become a professor at a research university and be an advocate for science education for underprivileged or underrepresented minorities.

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