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New study shows students at Tusculum graduate with lower private student debt

New study shows students at Tusculum graduate with lower private student debt

Posted on 15 November 2017 by

Tusculum College students are graduating with much lower private student loan debt than students attending colleges and universities nationwide, according to a new study conducted by The Student Loan Report.

The recently published study looked into how much private student loan debt students have when they graduate. In this study, Tusculum College ranked 87 out of 800 private schools in the United States.

The Student Loan Report, created in 2015, covers all student loan news nationally and internationally.

According to the report, the average private student loan per graduate borrower is $17,954, with only seven percent of all students having private student loans.

“The cost of education has been on the rise over the past decade which leads many college students to fall back on private student loans after federal options are exhausted,” the report stated. “The Student Loan Report wanted to highlight (and call out) some of the schools that leaves students with the least (and most) private student loan debt.”

Private student loans are known for higher interest rates and less forgiving repayment programs, and are offered by banks, credit unions, state agencies, or schools.

“At Tusculum, we want to see our students improve their lives through education,” said Dr. Paul Pinckley, vice president for enrollment management, marketing and financial aid. “This means that students should leave with the least amount of debt from loans as possible. Higher education is an investment, but it’s the value equation that we hope our future students consider.”

The data for this report, according to The Student Loan Report, comes from Peterson’s Financial Aid dataset and pertains to the graduated class of 2016.

Because private student loans have become much more common and, therefore, more detrimental to the development of graduates, Tusculum has made it a priority to reduce the amount of private student debt that students graduate with, which leads to a more successful career.



By Sydney McCallister, freshman English and history major from Greeneville


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Regional school administrators, counselors hear about future-focused Tusculum

Regional school administrators, counselors hear about future-focused Tusculum

Posted on 14 November 2017 by

The future-focused plans for Tusculum were presented to regional school administrators and counselors from eight school systems on Thursday, Nov. 9 at Tusculum’s Greeneville campus.

Dr. James Hurley, newly-named 28th president, presented his plans and strategies for growing the institution and increasing enrollment in the next 20 years.

“We appreciate your service in education preparing our future students,” said Dr. Hurley. “I also appreciate this opportunity to share with you my vision for Tusculum and how we can strengthen our partnership with K-12 leaders, like you, to create a brighter future for our region’s students.”

Dr. Hurley joins Tusculum with more than 20 years’ experience in higher education and told the group about his excitement in outlining how this historic institution can continue to pioneer the way forward for education in the region. He told the group that Tusculum now has students representing 35 countries which “enhances the learning experience for all students,” and offers 70 majors and minors, as well as six master’s degree programs.

He told the group that student success will be a number one priority for Tusculum moving forward, and to that end, one of his first actions was to hire Doug Jones as vice president for student success and athletics.

“Mr. Jones has more than 20 years of Tusculum experience and will work tirelessly to ensure student success for all of our students. Student success is a priority for Tusculum as we continue to grow and advance the mission of this great institution,” said Dr. Hurley.

Jones has served as Tusculum’s athletic director since February 2016 and will continue in the role as Tusculum’s head baseball coach, a position he has held since 1998, through the end of this season.

Additionally, Dr.  Hurley said that work is underway on enhancing the dining options at the school and to develop a full-service campus wellness center.

Moving to the future, Dr. Hurley told the group that the Board of Directors had approved making the change from college to university at its last meeting in October.  This is necessary to provide a differentiation from community colleges, which today are robust and well-funded, but decidedly different that a four-year baccalaureate program. Additionally, Tusculum will began organizing itself by undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, several of which Dr. Hurley hopes to add in the next few years.

Priority programs include dental, optometry and physician’s assistant degree programs. In addition, he added that Tusculum will continue to explore the market needs in the area to determine where other degree programs might meet a need.

“We ultimately plan to recruit the best and brightest from our region – and to keep them here,” he said.

Educators were pleased with the opportunity to learn about Tusculum’s new direction.

“I believe it is imperative that we keep communications open between our colleges, universities, and K-12 school systems open in order to impact our economic growth within the region,” said Reba Bailey, assistant director of schools for the Hawkins County School System. “It was exciting to hear about the plans for Tusculum.”


Dr. James Hurley, president of Tusculum, shares his future-focused plans with regional school administrators and counselors.

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Tusculum Band Program hosts Christmas Concert and Tree Lighting Ceremony

Tusculum Band Program hosts Christmas Concert and Tree Lighting Ceremony

Posted on 13 November 2017 by

The Spirit of Christmas will echo across the Tusculum campus on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., as the Tusculum Band program presents its annual Christmas concert in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building.

Prior to the concert at 6:30 p.m., there will be a tree lighting ceremony in front of Byrd Fine Arts Building. Dr. James Hurley and his family will host the lighting of a triad of evergreens and offer the opportunity to join together for some pre-concert caroling. Hot apple cider and hot chocolate will be served.

During the holiday concert, the audience can expect to hear new and exciting arrangements of familiar Christmas songs performed by the Handbell Choir, the Jazz Band and the Concert Band.

The Handbell Choir will be playing “Carol of the Birds” by Jason W. Krug, “Emmanuel’s Night” by David Price, “Children, Go Where I Send Thee” by Benjamin A. Tucker, and “Riu Riu Chiu” by Sondra K. Tucker.

The Jazz Band will offer their versions of the Christmas classics “Jingle Bell Boogie” by Bryan Kidd, “The First Noel” by Bob Curnow, “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” by Roger Holmes, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Dave Wolpe, and “Joy to the World” by Richard DeRosa.

The Concert Band will bring down the house with a longer set filled with lesser-known songs such as, “Appalachian Snowfall” by Bob Phillips and George Megaw, “Candlelight Carol” by Jay Dawson, “When Saint Nick Comes Marching In” by Robert W. Smith, and “Bring a Torch” by David Shipps.

Band director David Price is excited about the chance to showcase the band program’s talent to the public, especially Tusculum students.

“Hopefully students will enjoy the music we play. It will give them a break from their studies to see an on-campus event. They can earn an arts and lecture credit and see their college peers perform alongside a few community members.”

The local community is encouraged to attend the performance, which is free and open to the public. The event is offered as an arts and lecture credit for Tusculum College residential students. More than 300 people are expected to be in attendance.






By Taylor Rose, junior journalism and professional writing major from Clarksville

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Tusculum Commencement ceremony to feature Dr. Belle S. Wheelan

Tusculum Commencement ceremony to feature Dr. Belle S. Wheelan

Posted on 09 November 2017 by

Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, will be the speaker at Tusculum’s winter commencement exercises on Saturday, December 9.

Dr. Wheelan will deliver her address at both the morning ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. in the Pioneer Arena in Niswonger Commons on the Greeneville campus, and the afternoon ceremony, which will begin at 2 p.m.

Dr. Wheelan has held numerous titles over the course of her 40-year career including faculty member, chief of student services officer, campus provost, college president and Secretary of Education. She has been the first African-American and the first woman to serve in both her current role of president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the majority of the aforementioned roles.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in Texas in 1972, double majoring in psychology and sociology, her master’s degree in developmental educational psychology is from Louisiana State University. She earned her doctorate in educational administration with a focus in community college leadership from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984.

Dr. Belle Wheelan

Dr. Wheelan has received numerous awards and recognition including six honorary degrees; the Distinguished Graduate Award from both Trinity University and the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. She has been named to the Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, D.C. and received the AAUW Woman of Distinction Award in 2002.

Other awards include the Suanne Davis Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Distinguished Lecturer Award, the John E. Roueche National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s International Leadership Award, the AACC Leadership Award, the John Hope Franklin Award from Diverse Issues in Higher Education for outstanding leadership in higher education and the Educational Testing Service Terry O’Banion Prize in Education from the League for Innovation in Community Colleges.

Dr. Wheelan currently holds and has previously held membership in numerous local, state and national organizations including Rotary International; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the American College Testing, Inc. Board of Directors; American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors; the Lumina Foundation for Education Board of Directors; the President’s Round Table of the National Council on Black American Affairs; the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Board of Directors; Excelencia in Education Board of Directors; National Society of Collegiate Scholars Community College Honorary Board; Next Generation Learning Challenges Advisory Panel; Project GOALS (Gaining Online Accessible Learning Through Self-Study) and the National Student Clearinghouse Board of Directors.

In addition to her array of professional achievements, Dr. Wheelan has also raised her son, Reginald. She attributes her success to hard work, endurance, tenacity and being in the right place at the right time. She acknowledges that prayer and support from family and friends make anything possible.


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C. David Taylor Retrospective Art Exhibition begins at Tusculum College on Nov. 10

C. David Taylor Retrospective Art Exhibition begins at Tusculum College on Nov. 10

Posted on 03 November 2017 by

Tusculum College will host “David Taylor-Retrospective Art Exhibition 2006-2016” beginning Friday, Nov. 10, at the Shulman Center on the Greeneville campus.

Taylor is a Jonesborough native and a self-taught artist. The focus of his work is East Tennessee waterfalls, but there are aspects of the show that will exhibit figurative and still life subject matter.

According to Bill Bledsoe, visiting assistant professor of visual communications and design at Tusculum, like many amateur artists, David’s early work was very basic, but he had reached a high level of execution that resulted in accomplished artwork. He was in the process of putting together his first one-man show when he died in September of 2016.

In honor of his artistry and commitment to excellence in his work, Tusculum College is enthusiastically supportive of hosting this show, said Bledsoe.

The opening will be on Friday, Nov. 10, with an opening reception running from 5-7 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. The show will be available for viewing Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon, and private viewings by appointment are available in the afternoons through Friday, Dec. 1. For appointments e-mail or call 423 948-8927.



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Doug Jones named vice president of student success and athletic director

Doug Jones named vice president of student success and athletic director

Posted on 01 November 2017 by

Dr. James Hurley, president of Tusculum College, has appointed Doug Jones as vice president of student success and athletic director. Jones has served as Tusculum’s athletic director since February 2016. Jones will continue in the role as Tusculum’s head baseball coach, a position he has held since 1998.

“I am excited to announce the promotion of Doug Jones to vice president for student success and director of athletics,” said Dr. Hurley. Mr. Jones has more than 20 years of Tusculum experience and will work tirelessly to ensure student success for all of our students. Student success is a priority for Tusculum as we continue to grow and advance the mission of this great institution.”

In his new role Jones will supervise student housing, student activities, campus life and the commuter student experience.

Doug Jones

“I would like to thank Dr. Hurley for this opportunity to serve our great institution,” said Jones. “The vision that Dr. Hurley has set for Tusculum is exciting, and I am grateful to be able to serve alongside him.  I look forward to working with our entire student population. My staff and I will work hard to provide them a memorable experience that will last a lifetime. Our students are the most important part of our jobs, and we will make sure that their interest are at the forefront of all that we do.”

As athletic director, Jones oversees the day-to-day operations of the Tusculum athletic department and the 20 sports that the college sponsors, including men’s and women’s track and field and STUNT, which were added during his term as athletic director.

Jones served on the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship Committee for four seasons, including three years as national chairman.

Jones is in his 21th season guiding the Tusculum baseball program and is the winningest coach in school history. Jones has guided Tusculum to 17 consecutive winning seasons, while posting 680 victories in his 20 campaigns in Greeneville.



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Theatre-at-Tusculum’s ‘Oliver!’ opens Nov. 10

Theatre-at-Tusculum’s ‘Oliver!’ opens Nov. 10

Posted on 27 October 2017 by

Consider yourself one of us! Tickets are now available for Theatre-at-Tusculum’s production of Lionel Bart’s beloved musical, “Oliver!”

The musical, based on the novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens, will open Friday, Nov. 10, at Tusculum’s Annie Hogan Byrd Theatre on Tusculum’s Greeneville campus. Audiences will have seven opportunities to see Theatre-at-Tusculum’s fall production, which is under the direction of Artist-in-Residence and Tusculum Arts Outreach Director Marilyn duBrisk and Assistant Director Brian Ricker.

Show dates are November 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 at 7 p.m. and November 12 and 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by contacting Jennifer Hollowell, box office manager, at 423-798-1620 or by e-mail at When reserving tickets please include name, a contact telephone number, the date to reserve the tickets, the number of tickets, and the type of ticket. Prices are: Adults – $15, Seniors (60+) – $12, Children (12 and under) – $5.

Tickets may be picked up and paid for at the box office the day of the performance, or any time at the Tusculum Arts Outreach office. Cash or check only for payment, as credit/debit cards are not accepted. The Box Office, located in the lobby of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building, will open an hour and a half before each show time with the house opening an hour before curtain. Audiences are reminded that seating is not assigned and will be first come, first served.

duBrisk, along with her creative team, has assembled a cast of more than 70 to bring the tale of “Oliver Twist,” his adventures and misadventures, to life. The show features all of the well-known characters from Dickens’ novel portrayed by a host of local talent.

The story centers on a young orphan boy, Oliver Twist, who is played by Doak Elementary fourth grader Aden Moore, as he is sent away from the Workhouse Orphanage by the wicked Widow Corney, portrayed by Sandy Nienaber. The boy is then sold by Mr. Bumble, the Beadle of the Workhouse, played by Tom Sizemore, to Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker and his cantankerous wife. The Sowerberrys are played by Matt Hensley and Sara Claiborne, respectively.

After fleeing the oppressive undertaker, Oliver joins up with a band of pickpockets led by the Artful Dodger, portrayed by Caedmon Oakes. The pickpockets are trained and cared for by the greedy and cunning Fagin, who is being brought to life by local favorite Chris Greene. As he is welcomed into Fagin’s den of pickpockets, he meets the kind-hearted heroine Nancy, played by Linda Barnett, who is returning to the Tusculum stage, and her abusive lover Bill Sikes, played by Parker Bunch in his first villainous role on the Tusculum stage.

Drama and chaos ensue as Oliver is arrested for stealing. However, he is then then taken in by the kind-hearted Mr. Brownlow, played by Ricker. and his housekeeper, Mrs. Bedwin, played by Amanda Harmon.

Supporting characters include; Dodger’s sidekick Charlie Bates, played by Zach Wallin and Nancy’s protégé Bet, played by Jorja Ward, both of whom are sixth graders at Greeneville Middle School. Charlotte Sowerberry is played by Greeneville High School freshman Madelynn Wedding, and Noah Claypole is played by Tusculum sophomore, Maxwell Reed. Rounding off the support cast are Zach Gass, as Dr. Grimwig, and Allison Craft, as Old Sally.  “Oliver!” is a story full of comedy, drama, suspense, and many thrilling moments.

The show features all the well-known musical numbers, including: “Food, Glorious Food,” “Oliver,” “Consider Yourself,” “I’d Do Anything” and “Who Will Buy?” The score, which won Lionel Bart the Tony Award for Best Original Score after its Broadway premiere in 1963, is being overseen by Angie Clendenon, long-time Theatre-at-Tusculum musical director, and Kasie Shelnutt, the accompanist, with Kim Berry as the show’s choreographer.

With a breathtaking and inspired set design by Frank Mengel and backdrop by Garry Renfro, audiences will be transported to mid-19th century London with the help of a slew of Victorian costumes carefully curated by Erin Schultz, costume director. Trenda Berney, a long-time Theatre-at-Tusculum volunteer, will be the show’s make-up director, and all the behind-the-scenes action will be organized by stage managers Suzanne Greene and Jim Holt.

Theatre-at-Tusculum is under the auspices of Tusculum Arts Outreach, which is led by duBrisk, Ricker, Hollowell, Mengel and Schultz. It is supported in part by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, “Hearts for the Arts,” as well as many generous donors and volunteers.

For information about Theatre-at-Tusculum or other Arts Outreach programs, please call 423-798-1620, visit, or via Facebook at TC Arts Outreach.

At front is Zach Wallin as Charlie Bates. Middle, left to right are Tom Sizemore as Mr. Bumble, Sandy Nienaber as Widow Corney, Aden Moore as Oliver Twist, Linda Brimer as Nancy and Jorja Ward as Bet. Back, left to right are Brian Ricker as Mr. Brownlow, Chris Greene as Fagin and Parker Bunch as Bill Sikes.


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Tusculum College to host Veterans Day Ceremony

Tusculum College to host Veterans Day Ceremony

Posted on 25 October 2017 by

The Tusculum College Office of Veterans Services will host a Veterans Day Service at the Thomas J. Garland Library on Friday, Nov. 10, at 3:45 p.m. on Tusculum College’s Greeneville campus.

The event will include a brief history of Veterans Day, why Veterans Day is celebrated and a special guest speaker, retired U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jim Secrist, who has been awarded the Purple Heart twice for injuries received in combat.

Lt. Col. Secrist is an estate planning attorney and vice president for development at The Holston Home for Children in Greeneville. He has held similar positions in the past 15 years in various places around the country.

He is a retired U.S. Marine with 22 years of service as an infantry officer, a Marine Corps pilot and a Marine Corps attorney. He is a Vietnam War veteran, having served two combat tours as an infantry platoon commander and then as a Marine Corps pilot.

According to Dale Laney, director of Tusculum College’s Office of Veterans Services, “I think it is important to recognize those who served because they don’t ask to be recognized—but should be—and it helps those who did not serve to understand and appreciate what veterans have done for them.”

Retired LtCol Jim Secrist

The purpose of Veterans Day, according to the Veterans Administration, is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

November 11 marked the end of World War I for the United States. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day, like Memorial Day, pays tribute to all American veterans, living and deceased, but also gives thanks to veterans who served their country honorably both during war and times of peace.

Laney added that it is important to “recognize those who raised their hand when they didn’t have to or went when they were called and then served their country with honor and courage.”

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the event, contact Dale Laney, director of Veteran Services at or call 423.6367300. Ext. 5371.


By Taylor Rose, junior journalism and professional writing major from Clarksville


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More than 300 attend Tusculum College Homecoming activities

More than 300 attend Tusculum College Homecoming activities

Posted on 25 October 2017 by

Groups of alumni could be seen walking around campus, reminiscing on their college life and exploring the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math and campus tours were held on Friday. Old and new joined together at the lunch with students, in which alumni could meet with student leaders currently attending Tusculum.

Alumni of all different ages met and talked. Old friends embraced each other, and young graduates learned the history of Tusculum from the older alumnus. While some may have graduated far before others, their reason for returning was similar. Ryan Barker, class of 2015, said that Tusculum was his home for four years, and homecoming is exactly that: coming home. When asked about their fondest memory, many gave the same answer; their fondest memory was meeting their spouse.

One alumnus, Jane Lavorne Morse ’77, recalled one time when her dormmates and she were lured into a water fight with one of the other dorms.

Friday night, a pep rally was held in the quad. Students and friends played cornhole, roasted marshmallows, and listened to the band play songs. The bonfire continue to burn until late in the night, and everyone around enjoyed the companionship it brought with it.

Saturday morning, tempted by the smell of breakfast, alumni gathered in the Chalmers Conference Center. When the chatter had died down, the new alumni were inducted into the Tusculum Sports Hall of Fame: Eric Claridy ’95, Jasmine Gunn ’11, and Kyle Moore ’10.

Claridy accounted for the greatest football playing career by a Tusculum tailback and has held the program’s all-time rushing and scoring records for more than 20 years. Claridy holds seven career, season, and single-game school records. His 278 career points scored are the most by a pioneer, which included 110 points in 1994, the most by a non-kicker and second-best in a Tusculum College season.

Gunn produced one of the finest playing careers in the history of Tusculum women’s basketball. Gunn helped Tusculum to four 20-win campaigns, which included three South Atlantic Conference Championships, two SAC Tournament titles, and four trips to the NCAA Tournament. Gunn was also named Tusculum Female Athlete of the Year for both the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic seasons.

Moore accounted for the greatest scoring career during the NCAA Division II era of the Tusculum men’s basketball program. Moore holds the school record with his 447 made free throws. From 2007-2010, Moore poured more than 1,813 points, which are fourth in the Tusculum record book and eighth most in the South Atlantic Conference history. Following his career at Tusculum, Moore signed a contract to play professionally in Germany for the SOBA Dragons in the Pro A League.

The Alumni Awards followed the Hall of Fame inductions. The National Living Faculty Award is presented each year to an outstanding member of the Tusculum College Faculty. This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the College’s academic programs.

This year’s award went to Dr. Lois Ewen, dean of nursing, health sciences and human services. Dr. Ewen joined Tusculum College in 2012. She earned her Ph.D. degree in curriculum and instruction with majors in adult education and measurement and statistics from the University of South Florida and a Master of Science in nursing degree from Barry University. Her career in academics includes dean’s positions are at Tallahassee and Columbia State Community Colleges and faculty positions at Hillsborough, St. Petersburg and Miami-Dade Colleges.  She also has extensive experience in various nursing positions, including assistant director of nursing, director of education, and nurse manager.

Dr. Ewen teaches nursing classes where she engages and challenges students to develop their critical thinking and decision making skills.  Her research interests are primarily with enhancing critical thinking and indicators of success in nursing programs.

The Pioneer Award was established by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association in 1962 and is presented each year to an outstanding alumnus or alumna, in recognition of outstanding or meritorious achievement in his or her chosen field; for distinguished service to church, community, country and humanity; and for continuing and loyal service to Tusculum College.

This year’s recipient, Beverly Roberts is a 1990 graduate of Tusculum College. When the University of Connecticut defeated Syracuse University, on Tuesday, April 5, during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship game, a Tusculum College alumna was right in the middle of the action. Roberts was selected to serve as one of the game officials at this year’s Women’s Final Four, held in Indianapolis. Roberts was one of the three referees working the national title game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, shown on ESPN. Serving as referee in big games is not new for the Kingsport native.

She officiated the 2008 NCAA Final Four in Tampa, FL, and has worked in 10 consecutive NCAA tournaments. This was her first national championship game. Roberts officiates women’s games in the Big Ten, Big 12, Missouri Valley Conference, Southeastern Conference and Conference USA. Officiating runs in the family. Beverly’s father, Garry Roberts, is a basketball official in the South Atlantic Conference.

The Frontier Award was established by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association in 1995 and is presented each year to an outstanding alumnus or alumna in recognition of outstanding or meritorious advancement in his or her career. Consideration will be given to former students who have been graduated from the College at least five years, but no more than fifteen years. Consideration for this award should include continuing and loyal service to Tusculum College.

This year’s recipient, Dr. Jessica Epley Burchette is a 2006 graduate of Tusculum College. She went on to be a proud 2010 graduate from the inaugural class at ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, Dr. Burchette obtained further post graduate training with a Pharmacy Practice residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, TN followed by an internal medicine residency with a secondary focus in academia at ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Burchette joined the faculty at ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy in August 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice. She maintains practice sites at Johnson City Medical Center and Holston Valley Medical Center working with interdisciplinary inpatient family medicine teams. In addition to her practice, Dr. Burchette also coordinates and teaches several courses within the curriculum. She enjoys teaching students about pulmonary disorders and basic critical care concepts in the classroom.

In the fall of 2013 Dr. Burchette was honored to become a faculty advisor for Kappa Psi and the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Recently, she also became a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist. She holds memberships in ASHP, ACCP, AACP, Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, Kappa Psi, TPA and TSHP.

The National Alumni Recognition Award was established by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association in 1996 and is presented each year to an outstanding member of the Tusculum College Community. The purpose of the National Alumni Recognition Award is to bestow recognition on those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the college.

This year’s recipient was Roxanna Jaynes, catering director for Sodexo, the food service provider for Tusculum College.

Jaynes has been a familiar face at Tusculum College since her arrival on campus in 2001, when she joined the staff of Sodexo as a card swiper and greeter in the cafeteria. Jaynes has become one of the most well-known and most-hugged people on campus as her job places her in contact with everyone involved with Tusculum College, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, Board members and special guests to the College.

Students she has tended to, long gone from campus and now alumni making their way in the world, stay in touch with Jaynes. She gets phone calls, texts and the occasional wedding announcement. Her relationships are strong, lasting, and she has shed many a tear on commencement days. Jaynes is the lady who takes care of everything and everyone at luncheons, celebrations, sports gatherings, meetings and just about anywhere on campus where food is served.

Shortly after, the “State of the College” began with an introduction by Kristopher Adams, the Student Government Association President. Newly-appointed college President James Hurley spoke on the State of the College. “We’re pioneers,” said Hurley, “Tusculum has been the pioneers for 224 years. Greeneville College was that pioneer and as we move forward, we have to think about what’s next.”

Alumni gathered outside to watch the parade, lining up from the Niswonger Commons to the football field. The Homecoming court drew loud cheers from the gathered crowd.  Members of the homecoming court of 2017 could be seen getting pictures with alumni, some of whom had won homecoming in their years at Tusculum.

Inside the slowly-filling stadium, people gathered their food and prepared for the game. Cheerleaders practiced and soon enough, the band played the national anthem and the game began. Homecoming itself was full of excitement as the homecoming court was introduced and rewarded.

The King and Queen of Homecoming 2017 were Jesse Harrell, a senior sports management major from Bulls Gap and Katie Odoms, a senior creative writing major from Bristol. The prince was Carlos Duarte, a junior criminal justice major from Cordova and the princess was De’Erica Garrett, a junior business major from Greeneville.

Homecoming 2018 has been set for October 11-13.



By Sydney McCallister, English and history major from Greeneville

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Meen Center for Science and Mathematics officially dedicated with Tusculum College ceremony

Meen Center for Science and Mathematics officially dedicated with Tusculum College ceremony

Posted on 19 October 2017 by

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and many members of the community gathered on Thursday, Oct. 19, to dedicate the new Meen Center for Science and Mathematics on the Tusculum College campus.

Many in the Tusculum community have been watching excitedly as the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math reached completion. The building will meet strategic needs as the college continues to grow in enrollment and programming offerings.

The dedication included a tribute to the late Verna June Meen who asked that the building be named in honor of her late husband, Dr. Ronald June Meen. The dedication prayer was issued by Rev. Angus R. Shaw III, a life trustee of Tusculum College. Other speakers included Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Tusculum Board of Trustees, and Joe Woody of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ground was broken on the facility in fall of 2013, and on Jan. 10, 2017, the first classes were held in the new center. The opening of the Meen Center for Science and Math has created a strong sense of excitement on campus, particularly for the students, faculty and staff who were the first to experience this state-of-the-art facility.

Interiors include wings for biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, and two wings for nursing programs. There are laboratory spaces 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 is included on the ground floor.

The facility was been made possible in part to the late Verna June Meen, whose $3.875 million gift towards funding the facility in memory of her husband, Dr. Ronald H. Meen, allowed the leadership of the college to move forward with plans for the facility. Additionally, the college just completed a $26 million capital campaign and was assisted by a $4.7 million low-interest loan from USDA. Much of the technology and equipment in the facility was purchased through a $381,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The Meen Center will impact students in the areas of math, science, computer science, biology, chemistry, environmental science and nursing for generations. Verna June and Ron Meen’s legacy will live in perpetuity through the lives of the countless number of people who pass through these doors, graduate and serve communities throughout the United States and the world.


Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Math and Scie

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Homecoming 2017 – Oct. 20-22

Homecoming 2017 – Oct. 20-22

Posted on 16 October 2017 by

Homecoming 2017 is coming very soon, and we have many exciting events planned for the weekend of October 19-22!

We invite all alumni to return to their Alma Mater to enjoy the many Homecoming activities.



10 am – 4 pm – Registration – Lobby of Annie Hogan Byrd

11:30 – Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Mathematics Building Dedication – Erwin Hwy entrance of building

12:00 – Meen Center Dedication Luncheon – The Board of Trustees invite you to join them as we celebrate the Meen Center.

Tours of the Meen Center to follow luncheon.

6 p.m. – 1960’s Alumni Party – Hosted by Ann ‘Butch’ Van Buskirk ’61 at her home.  For address and directions, please contact the Alumni Office at 423-636-7303.


8 am – 4 pm – Registration – Lobby of Annie Hogan Byrd

Tours of the Meen Center throughout the day.

11:30 am – Lunch with students – Enjoy lunch with students on the terrace of the Thomas J. Garland Library – $10

1 pm – Campus Tours – Revisit and Rediscover. The tour will showcase our growing and changing campus, and offer you the chance to experience Tusculum with the President’s Society, a group of elite residential college students. Tours will depart from Garland Library Lobby.

1 pm – Golf Tournament – Enjoy some friendly competition on the Link Hills CC Golf Course. Registration is at noon pm with shotgun start at 1 pm. Alumni, spouses, faculty, staff and friends are invited to participate. Dinner will be provided for participants in the golf tournament as well as those who may want to join them following the tournament.

2 pm – Ice Cream Social and Tusculum College Alumni Travel Preview – Chalmers Conference Center – Join alumni and friends as they learn about the exciting destinations that the Tusculum College Alumni Travel will be offering in the coming year as well as Cicero’s Steps in 2019. Hear from those who traveled the Rhine in 2017. This event is open to all Tusculum College alumni and friends interested in travel. Visit with classmates, friends, and family you may have traveled with in the past and those you look to travel with in the future.

6 pm – Dinner at Link Hills CC – Join us for a buffet dinner.

7 pm – Volleyball vs Lenoir-Rhyne – Pioneer Arena

7 pm – Bonfire and Pep Rally – Welty Craig/Haynes Lawn – Quad Area


8 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Registration – Living Room of Niswonger Commons

8 am – Memorial Service – Garland Library Lobby – Join us in remembering alumni who have passed away since Homecoming 2016.

8:30 am – Alumni Breakfast – Chalmers Conference Center – Come enjoy breakfast with alumni and friends. – $15

9:00 am –Sports Hall of Fame Induction – Chalmers Conference Center – Come celebrate the newest sports hall of fame award honorees.

9:30 am – Alumni Softball Game – Red Edmonds Field

10 am – Alumni Awards and Alumni Meeting – Chalmers Conference Center – Celebrate the newest alumni, learn the latest about the alumni association, and hear an update on the College.

10 am – Alumni Band – Join the current Tusculum College Marching Band for rehersal and event performances.

11 am – Class Photos – In front of Niswonger Commons – $10 each

10:30 am – Alumni Tennis Match – Roger M. Nichols Tennis Complex

11 am – 5th Annual Civil War Scrimmage (Lacrosse Alumni Game) – IPF – Current men’s lacrosse players and alumni will hold their 5th annual scrimmage game. (Coach Carrington, x5378)

11:30 am – Student Support Services Luncheon – Alumni who were in the Student Support Services program or ARCHES are invited to a BBQ cookout and other festivities at the Patton House (near Pioneer Park). Donations are optional, but welcome and can be made at the cookout.

Noon – Homecoming Parade – Watch the 14th Annual Homecoming Parade along the route between the Charles Oliver Gray Complex and Pioneer Park. The Golden Pioneers will serve as Grand Marshals.

12:30 pm – Volleyball vs Catawba – Pioneer Arena

12:30 pm – Tailgate – Enjoy a Tusculum College Pioneer Tailgate Party. – $10

2:30 – Tusculum Pioneer Football vs. Catawba – Cheer on the Pioneers as they take on Catawba at Pioneer Field.

Alumni Dinner and Dance – GMI

    • 6 pm – Alumni and Friends Social Hour – General Morgan Inn
    • 7 pm – Alumni and Friends Dinner – General Morgan Inn – Join us at the General Morgan Inn for dinner. A cash bar will be available throughout the evening. – $45
    • 8 pm – Alumni and Friends Music and Fellowship – DJ Donnie Bunch will provide music. – $15 if not eating

7 pm – Alumni Baseball Game – Pioneer Park

6:00 pm – Orange and Black Game – Women’s Basketball inter-squad scrimmage – Pioneer Arena

7:30 pm – Orange and Black Game – Men’s Basketball inter-squad scrimmage – Pioneer Arena


Attend the church of your choice.  First Presbyterian Church of Greeneville (110 N. Main Street) is the mother church of the College.  Early service at 8:30 am, Sunday School at 9:30 am, the traditional service at 10:45 am.  Learn more at



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Tusculum professor receives DAISY Award for nursing

Tusculum professor receives DAISY Award for nursing

Posted on 11 October 2017 by

Greta Robinette, assistant professor of nursing at Tusculum, has been awarded the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The DAISY Award is given to nurses’ whose clinical skills and compassionate care exemplify the kind of nurse that is seen as a role model for others.

To receive the award, DAISY nurses must have made a significant difference in the life of a patient or the patient’s family, form a sense of family, always display a caring attitude and must develop key relationship. DAISY Nurses may be nominated by patients, visitors, nurses, physicians or team members.

Greta Robinette

“Greta is a compassionate nurse who strives to provide the best possible care to her patients,” said Dr. Lois Ewen, the dean of nursing. “Her strong clinical skills and her desire to assist individuals are an asset to the nursing programs. Students have commented about her enthusiasm for nursing and her willingness to assist students outside of the classroom.”

Robinette joined Tusculum in 2013 and holds a master’s degree in nursing from King University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She earned her bachelor’s degree from King University as well, in the RN to BSN program.

She has taught pathophysiology, nursing foundations, leadership, nursing in adult care and nursing ethics, and has worked as an RN, Level II at Indian Path Medical Center in Kingsport, and as a senior primary RN at Holston Valley Hospital and Medical Center, also in Kingsport.

By Sydney McCallister, freshman English and history major from Greeneville

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