Archive | November, 2015

oddcouple_auditions

Auditions for Theatre-at-Tusculum’s production of ‘The Odd Couple’ Dec. 8-9

Posted on 24 November 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The Odd Couple are moving to Tusculum College.

Neil Simon’s award winning comedy, “The Odd Couple” will be the spring production of Theatre-at-Tusculum, and actors and actresses are being sought for the play to be directed by Marilyn duBrisk.

Open auditions will be held Tuesday, Dec. 8, and Wednesday, Dec. 9, in the David Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum campus.

Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the auditions beginning at 6 p.m. on both days. No prepared audition pieces will be required. Auditions will consist of readings from the script.

The comedy has six roles for men and two roles for women of varying ages. The female roles are those of the giggly Pigeon sisters, Cecily and Gwendolyn, who are upstairs neighbors to Oscar and Felix.

Performance dates will be Feb. 26-28 and March 3-6 in the Behan Arena Theatre.

Theatre-at-Tusculum Technical Director Frank Mengel and Director Marilyn duBrisk discuss props and pause for a photo with the audition poster for the spring production of Neil Simon's comedy, “The Odd Couple.”

“The Odd Couple” follows the lives of two distinctly different best friends, Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. The tightly wound, hypochondriac Felix is forced to move in with the slovenly and brash Oscar. Hilarity ensues as they try to make peace with their opposing personalities. They are supported by their poker buddies – the police officer Murray, the gruff and sarcastic Speed, the henpecked Vinnie and the dry-witted Roy.

The play premiered on Broadway in 1965 with Walter Matthau and Art Carney portraying Oscar and Felix. The production was awarded several Tony Awards including Best Actor (Play) for Matthau and Best Author for Simon, and was nominated for Best Play that year. The play spawned the 1968 film of the same name, starring Matthau and Jack Lemmon, and also the hit 1970s television show featuring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. A remake of the series premiered on CBS in February 2015 starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.

“The Odd Couple” helped Simon become one of the best known American playwrights of the 20th Century, and the play has become culturally iconic and an American theatre staple, leading The New York Times to opine, “There is scarcely a moment that is not hilarious.”

For more information regarding auditions please call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620.

 

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Alumni Paul Lawless reflects on Tusculum in the ’70s

Alumni Paul Lawless reflects on Tusculum in the ’70s

Posted on 23 November 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

During his visit at Homecoming 2015, Tusculum College alumni Paul “Rooster” Lawless ’70 graciously provided a “look back” at Tusculum College. In his reflections, he has, in great detail, described Tusculum’s physical qualities that differ from today. He also shared personal experiences.

Paul Lawless graduated in 1970. He describes his experience as viewing Tusculum in two pieces: the first few weeks and the rest of his four years. This is due to the first few weeks being filled with freshman hazing. The freshmen were “Rats,” while the upper classmen held the title of “Sir.” Following his third year, hazing had dwindled away due to the death of a student, not at Tusculum, involved in hazing.

“Survival at Tusculum was a tiny, square wooden building, the kind college students might try to cram into just to see if 50 people would fit inside, jammed cheek to jowl,” said Lawless. He goes on to describe Tusculum’s post office as a building that only held mail boxes for upper classman while the rest of the student body waited in lines extending out of the building to receive mail.

Paul Lawless and his wife, Martha, attend the keepsake preservation workshop during Homecoming.

The Quad during this time was an oval loop of asphalt that circled the middle ground between Haynes Hall, Craig, Rankin and the gym. Thinking of the quad, Lawless remembers it as Rankin’s front yard. The stairs in Rankin were a hangout for the mischievous. The metal furniture was not so popular during this time. “If you were foolish enough to sit on the metal furniture on the front porch of Rankin Hall, someone would notice you, fill a waste paper basket with water, and remind you of how foolish you were,” explained Lawless.

 

Excerpt by Kayla Freeman, freshman business major from Charleston, S.C.

 

 

You can read more of “Rooster’s” memories in the upcoming issue of Tusculum magazine.

 

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Check out the latest news about your fellow alumni

Check out the latest news about your fellow alumni

Posted on 23 November 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

’80s

Fessor McCoy ’83 of Goldsboro, NC, and his wife Angela have been recognized by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for outstanding state government service. Their commendation states that the couple “exemplifies the act of compassion on a consistent basis in their day-to-day activities, at work and at home.” The McCoys work for the Department of Health and Human Services at O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center in Goldsboro as home life program managers. They are responsible for the care and well being of residents who are medically fragile, with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. “The McCoys give the residents special attention and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect at all times, in life and in death,” the commendation also states. As part of their job responsibilities, the McCoys arrange memorial services when residents they serve pass away. Noting the difficulties surrounding the loss of a loved one, the commendation states that the “McCoys rise to the challenge and find ways to truly celebrate the lives of the residents with their O’Berry Center family and often with the residents’ natural families.” The  commendation noted that the McCoys have attended 21 funeral services for residents in the past six years in their own personal time due to their love of their O’Berry Center family and assisted with the services at the request of families. Fessor often writes poems reflective of the residents’ lives that echo the impact they made in the lives of others.

 

’00s

Dr. Jonathan Feathers ’01 of Johnson City, TN, has published his first book, “New Wine into Old Wineskins.” The book is available through www.wipfandstock.com and is available on Amazon.com in paperback and as an e-book.

 

’10s

Brooke Compton Davis ’09 of Greeneville, TN, has been promoted to the position of assistant finance director for the Town of Greeneville. Under her leadership as accountant during the past three years, the town has received zero findings on its yearly financial audits. She also recently earned the designation of Certified Municipal Finance Officer.

 

 

 

 

’70s

Nancy Brooks Wood ’72 of McKenzie, TN, passed away October 27, 2015. Mrs. Wood was a medical biller for Shannondale Health Care Center in Knoxville. In 1985, she married Rev. Kevin L. Wood and was a faithful partner in the ministry of the churches where he served. In their 30 years of marriage, they ministered to churches in Greeneville; Louisville, Ky; Edmond, OK; Fairfield, IL, Knoxville and in McKenzie at the McKenzie Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She was loved and respected by the members of each church she served and was best known for her beautiful smile and caring heart.

 

’90s

Darren Keith Ellenburg ’96 of Chuckey, TN, passed away unexpectedly on October 28, 2015. Mr. Ellenburg was a paramedic/EMT instructor and coordinator, professor and paramedic program director at Northeast State Community College. He was past president of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Education Association and past chairman of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board. Mr. Ellenburg was an avid Tennessee Vols fan.

 

’10s

Jerry Ray Hux Jr. ’12 of Parrottsville, TN, passed away on November 9, 2015. Mr. Hux was a veteran.

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Christmas tree lighting and Christmas band concert set for Tuesday, Dec. 1, at Tusculum College

Posted on 20 November 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Get into the holiday spirit Tuesday, Dec. 1, at Tusculum College with a Christmas tree lighting and the annual holiday concert by the College’s Band Program.

The local community is invited to the celebration and concert, which are both free and open to the public.

Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with the lighting of the tree and caroling in front of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on campus. Wassail and cookies will be served in the lobby of the Byrd building following the lighting.

The Christmas Band Concert will follow at 7 p.m., featuring the Concert Band, Jazz Band and Handbell Choir.

The Concert Band and Jazz Band’s repertoire will include “Celtic Bell Carol” arranged by Robert Smith, “Christmas Pipes” arranged by Michael Brown, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” arranged by Larry Kerchner, “Bring a Torch” arranged by David Shipps, “Jing Jing Jingle” arranged by Chris Sharp, “Go Tell It On the Mountain” arranged by Roy Phillippe, “Let It Snow” arranged by Mike Lewis, “White Christmas”  arranged by Roger Holmes, “Jingle Bells” arranged by Carl Strommen, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” arranged by Matt Amy and “A Chili Pepper Christmas” arranged by Doug Beach.

The Handbell Choir will be performing “The Huron Carol” arranged by Jason Krug, “The Bells of Morgan Square” arranged by David Price, “The Twelve Days After Christmas” arranged by Tammy Waldrop and “In the Bleak Midwinter” arranged by Martha Lynn Thompson.

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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Dr. Ron May to continue as vice president of academic affairs

Dr. Ron May to continue as vice president of academic affairs

Posted on 20 November 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Dr. Ron May, vice president of academic affairs at Tusculum College, has extended his tenure to serve through the 2016-17 academic year. Dr. May had originally accepted an invitation to serve Tusculum College through June 30, 2016.

Dr. May, a 1968 graduate of the college, has had a distinguished career in higher education, retiring in June 2014 as president of Ancilla College in Donaldson, Ind. In his career he has taught public school, as well as served as a college professor, department head, dean, vice president and twice as a college president, at Ancilla and at Louisburg College in Louisburg, N.C.

Dr. Ron May

“Tusculum is in the process of transformation in our academic program, and we are delighted that we will continue to have the leadership of Dr. May as we move forward with a number of significant changes approved by the Board of Trustees in the past year,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “His professional background provides a vast experience in higher education administration and will be invaluable as we move forward. We look forward to the continued service and presence of Dr. May and his wife, Joan.”

While his primary responsibilities include leading the academic programs of the college, Dr. May also holds faculty rank as professor of education.

In his career, Dr. May has been recognized by numerous organizations, including by the Leadership Marshall County program with their Leader of the Year Award in 2011. He served Tusculum College as dean of faculty from 1985 to 1988. He also served for a time as the president of the Tusculum College Alumni Association.

Dr. May earned a Doctorate of Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from East Tennessee State University and an Associate of Science from Vincennes University.

He returned to serve as interim vice president of academic affairs in June 2014. He previously served Tusculum College as dean of faculty from 1985 to 1988.

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Tusculum College Center for Civic Advancement director presents research in Spain

Posted on 18 November 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Dr. Ronda Gentry, the director of Tusculum College Center for Civic Advancement, recently returned from Barcelona, Spain, where she presented her research on first-generation Appalachian college students.

Dr. Gentry, along with two peers, gave the presentation in Barcelona for the International Leadership Association. The presentation was based on her dissertation research on first-generation, Appalachian college students. Her dissertation was titled, “Cross-Cultural Conversations and Community Leadership: Creating Pathways for First-Generation Appalachian Students and Colleges.”

The presentation examined the need for cross-cultural conversations between local communities and colleges in the development of student-strategies post cultural trauma. According to Dr. Gentry, the study brought together members of the Appalachian community, first-generation Appalachian students and members of the college community in cross-cultural conversation with the goal of the collective community discovering ways they could work together to improve college graduation rates of first-generation Appalachian college students.

Dr. Ronda Gentry

“The cross-cultural conversation resulted in new ideas for needed student services,” she said. “More important, however, is that this conversation demonstrates a process for community leadership in educational settings where power balances are restored and cooperation comes forth.”

According to Dr. Gentry, the presentation opportunity presented itself through her doctoral program at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was then decided to develop the trip into an eight-day study aboard opportunity, which included 12 students and Dean of Arts and Sciences Wayne Thomas.

In addition to touring the city of Barcelona, Dr. Gentry’s presentation gave the students access to the conference, with opportunities to volunteer, as well as to attend lectures and interact with leadership experts from around the world.

 

By Kayla Freeman, freshman business major from Charleston, S.C.

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Pets on Campus – Q & A

Pets on Campus – Q & A

Posted on 18 November 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Are pets permitted on campus?

Yes and no.

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

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

 

Can I have a pet in my residence hall?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

What are my responsibilities as a pet owner?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New science and math building coontinues to take shape

New science and math building coontinues to take shape

Posted on 18 November 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math continues to take shape as upper decks were poured in November, from the lab section through the lecture hall and to the north retaining wall. Concreting should reach the half way point this week, said David Martin, director of facilities at Tusculum College.

Additionally, Martin said that two-thirds of the building has the steel work completed.

The other trades, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, fire protection and metal framing will be completed soon.

Work on the roof trusses will start the Monday after Thanksgiving with roof blocking, HVAC curbs and roofing following immediately

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

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

 

Sections of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math on the Tusculum College campus are reaching structural completion.

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Doak House Museum to host popular “Storytelling and Gingerbread” education program in December

Posted on 18 November 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Doak House Museum’s most popular program for school children, “Storytelling and Gingerbread,” is returning in December.

The program will begin Tuesday, November 24. Students from local schools visit the Museum on the Tusculum College for a taste of a traditional Christmas from the 19th century. Home schooled students are invited to enjoy the program at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.

The annual program teaches children about how people in the 19th century observed the Christmas holidays and features storytelling, traditional crafts, cookie decorating and traditional celebrations.

“Our ancestors celebrated the season much differently than we do,” said Dollie Boyd, director of museum program and studies. “Decorations would have been minimal and homemade. The focus would have been more on a good meal and time with family. When students come to this event, they get a glimpse of history through engaging activities.”       Volunteers are also needed for “Storytelling and Gingerbread.” Volunteering requires a three-hour commitment plus training.

Volunteers are need in the following areas: reading a story book to school children, mostly in grades K-3rd; interpreting a 19th century kitchen. Serving cookies to children, helping them decorate the cookies; craft station leader, making a paper craft that incorporates a short architecture lesson; prep work before and after programs; assisting storyteller with shadow puppet show; storyteller, needs to be willing to do extra training and prep.

Reservations are required as space is limited. For more information, to volunteer or to make reservations, call 423-636-8554 or email dboyd@tusculum.edu.

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Thank-a-donor Week a success

Posted on 17 November 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

On Friday, Nov. 13, more than 200 Tusculum College students participated in Thank-a-Donor Day at Tusculum College in order to show thanks for all donors who contribute to the College.  Students engaged in activities such as signing poster boards of thanks, creating thank you cards, creating sidewalk art of notes of thanks and videotaping messages saying thanks to all those who support the College. Students also uploaded messages and pictures to social media using #PioneersGiveBack, as well as enjoyed music, popcorn and icees throughout the event.

Thank-a-Donor Day is an event held in conjunction with National Philanthropic Day celebrated on November 15.  National Philanthropy Day began in 1986 with President Ronald Reagan calling for communities to “recognize activities of donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders, corporations, and others engaged in philanthropy” according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ website.

The 2015 Tusculum College Thank-a-Donor Day event was sponsored by Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Big Lots, Tusculum College Bookstore, Tusculum College Cafeteria, Wal-Mart retail store, Cinema Town Crossing 8 Movie Theatre, Monterrey Commons Mexican Restaurant, Papa Johns, Bojangles, YMCA and the Brights Zoo.

From the Office of Institutional Advancement at Tusculum College, thank you to all donors, volunteers, alumni, faculty, staff and community partners who support the Pioneers.

 

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Weekend proved to be a ‘family affair’ on campus

Weekend proved to be a ‘family affair’ on campus

Posted on 10 November 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

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Dr. Melissa Keller describes this pin oak during the arboretum tour.

More than 75 parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members enjoyed Family Weekend activities with their student Pioneers this past weekend.

Coming to campus were families from several states including New Jersey, Delaware and Florida, as well as those from East Tennessee.

Events allowed the visiting families to learn more about campus and provided opportunities for the families and students to have fun together.

Although the rain dampened the start of the Arboretum tour on Friday morning, families took the opportunity to learn more about the trees that contribute to the beauty of the Tusculum campus. Led by Dr. Melissa Keller, associate professor of biology, the tour featured trees that are part of the Level 1 Arboretum on campus. More than 30 species of trees are part of the arboretum, which has received certification from the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, which was announced last month.

Robin Lay, director of career services, right, talks to a family during the ice cream social.

Family members got a literal taste of college life as they shared lunch with their students in the cafeteria. Dessert came a little later in the afternoon as part of the ice cream social event, which gave families the opportunity to talk with Tusculum staff.

One of the first events Saturday morning gave students and their families a behind-the-scenes look at the technical side of creating theatrical magic with a chance to see some of the set building taking place for the upcoming production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” by Theatre-at-Tusculum.

Fun and friendly competition was the rule during the cornhole tournament. Winning this year’s tournament were Coreen Button and Paul Marks.

Student Sharon Button cheered on the cornhole tournament winners, Paul Marks and Coreen Button.

Families and their students enjoyed the Pioneer Tailgate despite some rainy weather before Senior Day at the football game. Parents, siblings and friends joined senior members of the football team, athletic training staff and managers and band members to be recognized just prior to the football game.

During the Senior Day recognition, a new award was announced that will recognize a member of the Tusculum football program who exhibits unusual courage and heart for the benefit of the Pioneers. Head Football Coach Frankie DeBusk made the announcement of the creation of the Curtis Moneyhun Award for Courage.  The inaugural recipient of the award is Curtis Moneyhun, a senior student assistant for the football team, and the individual for whom the award has been named.

Moneyhun, a native of Kingsport, has served with the Tusculum football program for the last four years as a student assistant, while also excelling in the classroom where he has a 3.7 cumulative grade point average as a sport management major.

Moneyhun and his father Jim are accomplished singers, performing at numerous area events, including the College’s Old Oak Festival.  Moneyhun was also the 2014 co-recipient of the Walter T. Dette Spirit Award.

Curtis Moneyhun was presented the first Curtis Moneyhun Award for Courage during pre-game activities. With him are his parents, Jim and Carolyn Moneyhun. (Photo by Chuck Williams)

 

 

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‘Topping Out’ ceremony marks milestone as new science and math building continues to take shap

‘Topping Out’ ceremony marks milestone as new science and math building continues to take shap

Posted on 10 November 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since the “topping out” ceremony, the building has continued to change rapidly. This week, the majority of the Lecture Hall and its section have the steel work completed.

According to Director of Facilities David Martin, in addition to the steel work, electricians and the plumbers are working on underground rough in on the east side of the building, which includes the main electrical room on the first floor, floor drains and the main sewer and acid waste lines.

Construction is still on schedule for a fall opening of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math on the Tusculum College campus.

“The plumber and HVAC guys have been roughing in overhead on the main and second floors, and next up is drywall for the exterior framing package and exterior walls on third, second and main floors,” said Martin.

The concrete work is expected to be completed by the end of this week, which will allow finishing work to begin simultaneously across the whole building.

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

Construction is still on schedule for a fall opening of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math on the Tusculum College campus.

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

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

 

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