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More than 225 receive degrees during Winter Commencement

More than 225 receive degrees during Winter Commencement

Posted on 15 December 2014 by

Graduating from Tusculum College during winter commencement ceremonies were 227 individuals in a ceremony held on Saturday, Dec. 13.

On Saturday 81 students earned Bachelor of Science degrees and 80 earned Bachelor of Arts degrees. In addition 36 graduates earned Master of Arts degrees and 20 received Master of Business Administration degrees.

The new graduates were addressed by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, who recognized the hard work of the path to graduation, saying “you have made a commitment and stuck with it to the point that you have forever changed the direction of your life for the better.” Adding, “I am confident that you learned to think critically, not to accept at face value everything you read, hear, or see. You demonstrated your ability to debate ideas and to see both sides of an argument before making judgment. These are a few of the qualities of an educated person.”

She told the group, “May you be fortunate enough to earn in the years ahead, and may you be wise enough to return some of your blessings to those who aspire to follow in your footsteps.”

Two student speakers addressed the graduates, including Jacquelyn Waddell of Greeneville, who received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.

Waddell spoke of the challenges of adult learners whose lives are already full of family and work responsibilities. She encouraged her fellow graduates to use whatever they have learned, but also take time to enjoy their accomplishment. “This is your moment.”

Also speaking was Martin Jorgensen, a residential sports science major from Beder, Denmark.

Graduation speakers representing the Class of 2014 were Jacquelyn Waddell, left, and Martin Dan Jorgensen.

“Every day is a new beginning,” he told fellow graduates. “I think of the friends I’ve made and the education I’ve earned. All of it can be used as a springboard into the real world.”

He encouraged his fellow graduates to be “like the weather” and not stagnate. “Although you don’t want to change constantly like the weather in East Tennessee, you do want to keep moving if the weather stagnates, you have a drought.”

Mark Stokes, college chaplain, presented a sermon titled “Great Expectations.” He told the audience, “Like beauty and brilliance, we are not responsible for having them, but we are very responsible for what we do with them. Our lives are gifts of God’s grace.”

He added, “Successful life management is a matter of exchanging a life you cannot keep for a life you cannot lose. It is trading the temporary goods of this world for unending, secure treasure. No matter how much or how little you may have in ability, opportunity or wealth, you can manage your life in such a way as to become very rich.”

Among those earning diplomas, by type of degree, were:

Lisa Yvonne Crowder
Alexandra Nichole Dalton
Vikki Hunt Dillard
Lyndsey Renee Elrod
Valerie Savannah Harrell
Kelli Patricia Heard
Toni Michelle Hobby, Honors
Amy Lynn Inman
Kristin Marie Mays, High Honors
Vicky LeAnne McCarter
Rebecca Rankin McKee, Honors
Courtney Bare Miller, Honors
Angela Kay Ott
Lori Paxton Ricker
Mark Anthony Seal
Benjamin Coy Willings

Amy Shyanne Bales
Carrie Michelle Bledsoe, Honors
Christa LeighAnn King, Honors
Charles Arthur Painter, High Honors

Robert William Minton

Emily Campbell
Patricia Ann Carroll
Tonya Mechelle Greenlee
Michelle Hawkins, Honors
Jane Pate Hutton, High Honors
Markus Eugene Jackson, Honors
Lisa Regina Kirk, Honors
Wendy Danielle Robertson
John Harold Rode
Tiffany Dee Rose, High Honors
Stacey Marie Sayne, Honors
Andrew David Traugot, High Honors
Anton V. Tuz, Honors
Vincent Whitright, Honors

Patrice Yolanda Blue
Justin Conley Harvey
Britney Marie Hopkins, High Honors
Lindsay Hope Welch, Honors

Matthew P. Albert
Jeffrey Michael Bowles
Paul Henry Britt Jr.
Lonnie Marc Burns
Dale L. Butler
Kevin Bradley Carter
Angela Marie Daugherty
Christopher Carl Gibbs
Crystal Ann Hill-Fields
Ryan S. Holliday
Sandra Lynn Lawson
Jessica Leach
Jose B. Lopez
Julie Ann Lopez
Michael James McClendon
Michael Ryan Newport
Jennifer Zubko Reynolds
Charles Michael Snow Jr.
Jeffrey Scott Yeomans

Alexis Blake Anderson
Nequoiah C. Anderson
Michael Clark Ayers
Thomas James Bitner, Cum Laude
Joseph Wade Borden†
Katharine Marie Chadwick
Aisha Noelle Collins
Darien Crank
Jarrod Daniel Cupp
Mia Karina Damico
Cassidy Rose Ebers
Zackery Tres Elliott
Lindsay Nicole Firster
Samuel Taylor Foster
Mason Andrew Fox
Melinda Jayne Franklin
Keagan Thomas Graham
Amanda Marie Grempel
Paris Tanashia Hardnett
Kristin Marie Hensley
Joshua Ronald Jaro
William Anthony Jennings
Martin Dan Jorgensen, Summa Cum Laude*
Stacie Marie Justis, Cum Laude
Katheryn Michelle Kolodi
Cyrus Jackson Lampley
Anthony Bernard Latimore Jr.
Melissa Raye Mauceri
Jennifer Dawn Mayo
Tyler James Miller
Corrinne E. Moore
Amy Leigh Morford, Cum Laude
Jonathan Ryan Norton
Georgia Paturalski
Leah Katelyn Powell
Jordan Tyler Rhinehart
Jeffrey Daniel Roberts, Magna Cum Laude
Jamie L. Rossman, Magna Cum Laude*
Jack Emile Scariano III
Tynan L. Shadle
Scott Charles Simmons Jr.
Madison Lashea Stephenson
Chelsea Elyse White

Lindsey Nicole Daniels, Magna Cum Laude
Rachael Jeanette Frantz
Kristi Leigh Seymour
Lauren Victoria Wallace, Cum Laude

Melissa Ann Alsip, Cum Laude
Abby Christina Anders
Kathryn Elizabeth Branam
Stephanie Michelle Brennan, Cum Laude
Yancey Britte Lynch
Steven Donald Mull
Ryan Clifford Ogle, Magna Cum Laude
Anthony Neal Palmer
Courtney Campbell Parton
Courtney LeAnn Payne
Natalie Ruth Saunders
Jeffery Dewayne Smith II
Emily Rebekah Teague
Madison Nicole Weems
Margaret Lynn Woods

Caroline Elizabeth Barton
Amanda Day Brooks, Cum Laude
Linda Gail Burton, Summa Cum Laude
Matthew Christopher Casey
Sarah Marie Cedillo, Cum Laude
Leslie Alicia Clemmons
Jennifer Ann Conner
Christina Renee Davis
Jamie Elizabeth DePriest
Melissa Gail Dunlap
Karen Jane Hatfield
Kimberly Joann Hayes
Brian Martin Hensley
Tammy Bray Johnson, Cum Laude
Jessica Briann Jones
Melissa S. Kelley, Cum Laude
Melanie Renee Kimbrough, Cum Laude
Pamela Christine Lamb
Leah Faye Lawrence
Jessica Machluf
Trena R. Russell
Tiquasia Deloris Simmons
Kyra Joelle Smallwood
Tracy Nicole Wells Vandiver
Jacquelyn Clintina Agee Waddell, Summa Cum Laude
Kavaldeep White

Mary Lyda Anderton
Logan Samuel Callahan
Sabrina Darlene Clark
Casey L. Cline, Magna Cum Laude
Tiffany Dawn Coffey
Hannah Sidney-Nicole Collins
Sara Len Douglas
Jordan Tyler Elkins
Robert Patrick Espinoza, Cum Laude
Hayley Elizabeth Fields
Gary Allen Fryman, Cum Laude
Angela Montgomery Gibby
Rachel Ilene Hazen Hale
Christopher Joel Hartwell
Angela Sue Hill
Amy Darlene Hinkle, Cum Laude
Eric Lynn Hinkle, Cum Laude
Tim Holseberg
Jason Hykle
Eric Barton Johnson, Magna Cum Laude
Matthew Jerry Johnson
Kay Jones
Renee Eileen Khan, Magna Cum Laude
Nathaniel Devin Lawrence
Dale Allen Linkous
William Keith McCord III
Dana Ruth Mihovch
Adam Ray Nelson
Ashley Ann Paulson
Patricia Ann Polfus, Magna Cum Laude
Tommy Lee Price II, Cum Laude
Nancy Denise Proske, Cum Laude
Justin Mark Reaves, Cum Laude
Joshua Michael Reeves
Mark Timothy Roberts, Cum Laude
Heather Juette Rollins, Cum Laude
Regina Sue Rose
Monica L. Smith
Dawn Marie Spangler
Nancy LeAnn Sutton
Jake Evan Turnmire
Michael Ryan Winstead

Brianna Hope Allen
Joseph Rhyne Brent
Stephen Wayne Buchanan, Magna Cum Laude
Lauren Elizabeth Bullerdick
David Anson Cagle
Jennifer Joy Cagle
Ashley Christine Carver
Susan Kaye Cutshall
Kristen Marie Johnson Dalton, Cum Laude
Brian Joseph Decker
Christopher Walter George
Eric Lee Henderson, Cum Laude
Zachary Hunter Holcombe
Renee Johnson
Kerri Ann Keaton
William Thomas Kidwell, Cum Laude
Bobby James Lambert
Tabitha Nicole Linkous
Tokena Decia Love
Jennifer Anne Mann, Magna Cum Laude
Shannon Ellison Marion
Michael Eugene Meade
Jared Houston Moore

Jessica Lynne Moore
John Timothy Nelson, Cum Laude
Marita Nicole Robinson
Maria Antonia Salami Tobuasiche
Clinton David Serman
Justin Grant Sewell, Cum Laude
Deanna Dolores Sheffey, Cum Laude
Megan Nicole Slack
Deborah Smith
Jordon Tyler Smith
Megan Elizabeth Smith
Sierra Grace Stair
Malinda Beth Thrasher, Cum Laude
Russell James Vandermeeden


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Tree Lighting and Christmas Band Concert set Tuesday, Dec. 2

Tree Lighting and Christmas Band Concert set Tuesday, Dec. 2

Posted on 14 November 2014 by

People gathered and sang carols following the tree lighting during last year's ceremony.

Get into the holiday spirit Tuesday, Dec. 2, 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 Christmas favorites. The Concert Band will be performing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo,” “Merry Christmas Darling,” “Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” and “Wonderful Christmastime.” The Jazz Band will be performing “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Three Guys.”

The Handbell Choir will be performing three traditional carols, “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” “The Ukrainian Carol of the Bells” and “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.”

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.


Come enjoy some refreshments between the tree lighting festivities and Band concert.

The College's Concert Band performs during last year's concert.



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Doak House Museum prepares to celebrate holidays with two programs

Doak House Museum prepares to celebrate holidays with two programs

Posted on 12 November 2014 by

The Doak House Museum is preparing to celebrate the holidays with a Christmas Open House on Dec. 6 and with its popular children’s program, “Storytelling and Gingerbread” through Dec. 18.

An open house will be held at the museum on the Tusculum College campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6. Free tours of the museum will be provided along with refreshments, crafts and games for the children, storytelling and specials in the museum’s gift shop with proceeds going toward the museum’s programs. A storyteller will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and tours will offered throughout the event.

The museum, which is the 1830s home of Tusculum College co-founder the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, will be decorated in a charming 19th century style, as a home would be during that time period.

“Storytelling and Gingerbread,” the Doak House Museum’s most popular children’s program, will be continuing through Dec. 18. Molly Mouse is the guide for the children as they experience holiday customs that the Doak family enjoyed in the 19th century. They learn about holiday foods from the period, gift giving and decorating customs as people lived them 200 years ago.

The program is open to public and private school groups as well as home schooled children. The museum is also able to offer Title I schools a discounted admission.

On Friday, Dec. 12, the program will be offered for home school children. One adult per family will be admitted free of charge. The program will begin at 1:30 p.m.

For more information about the Open House, contact Leah Walker at the museum at 423-636-8554 or

To make a reservation for the “Storytelling and Gingerbread” program, please contact Dollie Boyd at 423-636-8554 or

The Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library are operated by the Department of Museum Program and Studies of Tusculum College. In addition to the museums, the department is responsible for the College Archives and offers one of the few undergraduate Museum Studies degree programs in the country. The two museums are also part of the National Historic District on the Tusculum College campus. Follow the museums on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest news and upcoming events or visit its Web site at to learn more about the variety of programs offered at the museums.

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More than 700 served through RAM free health care clinic hosted by Tusculum

More than 700 served through RAM free health care clinic hosted by Tusculum

Posted on 11 November 2014 by

Through the Remote Area Medical health care clinic hosted by Tusculum College on the Greeneville campus this weekend, 761 people received professional medical care completely free of charge.

Remote Area Medical is a Knoxville-based organization providing free medical care for the uninsured and underinsured.

“What an experience to be part of this project and see a critical need in our region being met by hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend,” said Dr. Nancy Moody, president of the college.

During the weekend clinic, volunteers provided medical services, dental work and optometry services and glasses on-site free of charge. Health care services provided included comprehensive screening for diabetes and hypertension, procedures such as retinal screening using telemedicine technology, chest x-rays, pulmonary function studies, chiropractic services and some gynecological procedures.

During the Tusculum clinic, $413,494 in medical services were provided free to anyone in need, including $338,102 in dental care, $71,737 in vision care and $3,655 in medical services. Additionally, 319 pairs of prescription eyeglasses were given out. More than 6,700 volunteer hours were dedicated to the event, from more than 500 volunteers, two-thirds of which were professionals in medical-related fields. Volunteers included staff, faculty, alumni and students from Tusculum College, medical students from other colleges and universities and hundreds of volunteers from the community.

Tusculum nursing students were among the volunteers taking vital signs and making notes about patient's medical histories in the "triage" area each visited prior to getting in line for either vision or dental services.

“It was a very humbling experience to see the critical nature of what the RAM organization has adopted as its mission,” said Mark Stokes, Tusculum chaplain and planning committee chairman. “This community responded with such incredible generosity, it is impossible to thank everyone who supported the event.”

Businesses, churches and community organizations responded by donating time and resources at a tremendous level. Food for volunteers, transportation resources and equipment were just a few of the needs met by the local community, according to Stokes.

Students came from Tusculum College, University of Buffalo Dental School, Virginia Southern University, Middle Tennessee State University, East Tennessee State University, the Southern College of Optometry, the University of Tennessee, Lincoln Memorial University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. More than 40 Tusculum College nursing students worked throughout the weekend, alongside their faculty and dean, Dr. Lois Ewen.

Dental students from the University of Buffalo received valuable experience during the clinic performing tooth extractions and fillings.

“Many of these students talked about how the experience had changed their lives, as well as giving them a learning experience that was invaluable,” said Dr. Ewen.

Dr Moody added, “What a sense of real impact was felt by everyone involved in this project. We were aided by many community organizations, including the East Tennessee Foundation, which provided a grant of $12,000 through the Dr. J. G. Hawkins Memorial Fund. I am personally awed by the students, faculty, staff, alumni,  friends and local businesses who dedicated their time, talent and resources to make this happen for those in need.”

Planning Committee members included Stokes, Dr. Moody, Dr. Ewen, Steve Gehret, vice president and chief executive officer; Audrey Brackens, administrative assistant for the School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Psychology; Jennifer Hollowell, Arts Outreach coordinator; Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement, Jon Gresham, campus safety director; David Martin, director of facilities; Suzanne Richey, director of college communications; Mike Hollowell, executive director of the Greene County YMCA, and Vickie Andrew, vice president for chamber operations at the Greene County Partnership.

Patients seeking vision care were given a thorough exam and those needing new prescription glasses were able to get them at the clinic as well.

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‘The Addams Family’ coming to the stage Nov. 14-16, 20-23

‘The Addams Family’ coming to the stage Nov. 14-16, 20-23

Posted on 03 November 2014 by

Erin Hensley-Schultz (Morticia) and Chris Greene (Gomez) rehearse a scene from the musical, based on the beloved Charles Addams' cartoon characters.

They’re spooky, a bit kooky and they’re coming to the stage soon in Northeast Tennessee.

Theatre-at-Tusculum is presenting “The Addams Family,” the first time the Broadway-award winning musical has been staged in East Tennessee. The musical, based on the beloved Charles Addams’ cartoons, will be presented  at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14-15, 20-22 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 23 in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus.

Well known and respected actors from the Northeast Tennessee fill the cast for the musical that finds the weird and wonderful Addams family with an affinity for all things macabre with a developing crisis. Wednesday Addams has fallen in love with nerdy Lucas Beineke, who is from a “normal” family. Meanwhile, well meaning Uncle Fester has been working behind the scenes with the Addams family ancestors, who set about helping the family with its new challenging situation, and the fun ensues for the audience.

Under the direction of Marilyn duBrisk, the talented cast includes Erin Hensley-Schultz, a well-known Johnson City thespian, who is bringing Morticia to life, opposite Chris Greene who is portraying the suave Gomez.  Wednesday Addams is brought to life by Hannah Faith Rader, who has performed in Jonesborough and Johnson City productions, and her love interest, Lucas Beineke, is talented Parker Bunch, who many will remember from his role as Bob Cratchit in Theatre-at-Tusculum’s 2013 production of “A Christmas Carol.”

Undertaking Fester and also acting as assistant director is Brian Ricker, who has become a local favorite through his many roles in the Theatre-at-Tusculum program. A relative newcomer to the local stage, but who is also quickly becoming a favorite, is Audrey Shoemaker, who is being transformed for the show into 102-year-old Granny Adams. Young newcomer Tate Brumit plays obnoxious and cheeky little brother while Mike Willis, who delighted audiences as the Ghost of Christmas Future in “A Christmas Carol,” will bring the memorable Lurch to life. Lucas’ parents, Mal and Alice Beineke will be portrayed by Josh Davis, who has starred in roles in Morristown productions, and Jodi Carter, another veteran of Theatre-at-Tusculum productions.


Hensley-Schultz practices a dance with the Addams Family Ancestors during rehearsal. From left are Angie Willis, Austin Bird, Josh Beddingfield, Hensley-Schultz, Charlene Kight, Laura Berry, Zach Gass (partially hidden) and Toni Bates.

Portraying Gomez has meant lots of practice in using a Spanish accent for Greene. “It has been challenging, but a lot of fun.” Audiences will find lots to love about the show,

Greene says, and he has especially enjoyed the music. “The music in this show is great. It is different from the other musicals – the songs are a lot more in the rock and jazz vein.” Greene is a local favorite, and some of his memorable leads include The Cat in the Hat in “Seussical,” the Scarecrow in “Wizard of Oz” and Sir Toby in “Twelfth Night.”

Hensley-Schultz is returning to the Theatre-at-Tusculum stage as Morticia, a role she has wanted to play since a child. She recalls seeing the Addams Family movies and finding the Morticia to be the “coolest character” because of her dark beauty and graceful movements. Hensley-Schultz was in duBrisk’s productions while in high school and then moved away from the region and recently moved back to the region.  Among her memorable roles are Patsy Cline in “Always Patsy Cline,” Winifred in “Once Upon a Mattress” and Columbia in “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Bringing the “very loaded” character of Wednesday to life has been a welcome challenge to Rader. Falling in love has pulled Wednesday in a new direction from the dark world that is her norm. “The Addams Family” is a show that has something for everyone, Rader says. “It has a great message in terms of love,” she said. “Although the Addams family members are weird, they are all about family, they look out for each other.” Rader’s recent work includes Jonesborough Repertory Theatre’s “Hairspray,” and Blue Moon Dinner Theatre’s production of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” She also appeared in several productions while in college at Carson-Newman University.

Wednesday’s new love, Lucas Beineke, is portrayed by Bunch, who finds himself playing a shy teenager in love, much like the character of Peter in Theatre-at-Tusculum’s production of “Anne Frank,” but unlike his own outgoing personality.  Audiences will find the musical to be funny, with lots of great music and costumes, he says. Bunch has been featured in such plays as “Christmas Carol,” but says he especially enjoyed being part of last spring’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.”

The role of Uncle Fester is much like The Cat in the Hat in “Seussical” in moving the action along, said Ricker of the role. Uncle Fester also has some interaction with the audience. “I love that,” he said. “It is sort of like improvisation – it makes you be on your toes and focused.” Ricker is also taking on the additional role of assistant director, which has been a fun challenge. “I can’t say enough about the amazing cast, they are absolutely brilliant,” he said, noting that it will be difficuult for him during the performances to stay focused on his character as he will also be thinking about things that need to be happening backstage and onstage.

Shoemaker says it has fun but challenging to play a 102-year-old. “The lines are awesome,” she said of the part, but the role is also physical as Granny’s body language is as important as the lines. Shoemaker’s past Theatre-at-Tusculum roles in such shows as “Carnival,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Seussical,” have all been strong character roles, which has been an enjoyable change. Prior to coming to Theatre-at-Tusculum, she was primarily cast in leading roles, but she said she is more comfortable in playing the character roles such as Granny.

The youngest member of the cast is Brumit, whose portrayal of Pugsley is his first leading role. While the play has been fun, he says, it has also been a lot of work. “Most of my parts are in the first act. It is hard because I go on and off stage several times.” Brumit’s experience in the theater began with a role in “Seussical.” “I really liked it a lot and enjoyed being in it with my friends.”

A veteran of both Morristown and Greeneville theater, Davis has been tasked with playing the much older character of Mal Beineke, Lucas’ father. Returning to work with duBrisk and a talented cast has been the best part of his experience with the Addams Family, Davis says, and invites audiences to come enjoy the fun musical. “The Addams Family are American icons and it is fun to see them brought to life on the stage,” he notes. “There are some things about the show you will not be expecting but there are different things you should expect. It is very funny, and there are lots of surprises.” Audiences have enjoyed Davis in such roles as Lord Farquaad in “Shrek the Musical” and as the lead role in the production of “Sweeney Todd” at Walters State Community College in Morristown.

Portraying Mal’s wife Alice is Carter, who agrees with her stage husband that the best part of the production has been the camaraderie among the cast. A music teacher in the Greene County School System, Carter’s first experiences under the tutelage of duBrisk was as a participant in the GLAWPIGT (Great Literature Alive, Well and Playing in Greeneville, Tennessee) program for students in grades 3-12). She has had lead roles in “Seussical,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Oliver.”

The production staff includes Angie Clendenon, music director; Chris Beste, accompanist; David Price, percussion, and Kim Berry as the show’s choreographer. Frank Mengel is technical director and set designer; Barbara Holt, costume director; Suzanne Greene and Jim Holt, stage management; Zach Holdich, lighting design; Margo Olmsted and Sandy Neinaber, props management; Trenda Berney, make-up director; and Jennifer Hollowell, house manager in charge of the box office.

Parents are cautioned that while “The Addams Family” is family friendly, it is rated as a “PG” show due to a few instances of rough language.

With  music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and story by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice,  the original show opened in April 2010 with Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia.  The show won a Audience Award for Favorite New Broadway Musical and played 722 performances before closing on December 31, 2011.  It then went on tour both in the U.S. and Internationally.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over, and $5 for children 12 and under.  To reserve tickets, please call 423-798-1620 or email

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Tuition, other fees at Tusculum College will not see increase in 2015

Tuition, other fees at Tusculum College will not see increase in 2015

Posted on 17 October 2014 by

There will be no increase in tuition and room and board rates for Tusculum College students in the 2015-2016 year, as members of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees voted to freeze fees for the upcoming year at their fall meeting on the Greeneville campus, October 15-17.

The board met for three days, which included the kick-off celebration for the Tusculum First Capital Campaign held on Thursday night.

“We are pleased to announce that tuition, room and board at Tusculum College will remain at the same rate,” said President Nancy B. Moody. “It is our challenge and our duty to control costs for our students to the best of our ability.”

The tuition freeze will be applied to both the residential and the Graduate and Professional Studies programs.

In other business, the board approved revised floor plans and construction budget for the Dr. Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math.

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

The building features the environmental science wing with a loading dock, as well as larger general classroom spaces and classrooms equipped for distance learning programs. A large lecture hall will also be included on the ground floor. Additional space is earmarked for new yet-to-be-determined academic programs.

“We are ready to see this vision become a reality,” said Dr. Ken Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees and a 1970 graduate of Tusculum College. “With the announcement Thursday night of the Tusculum First campaign and approval today on a construction budget for the science building, we have made giant strides in moving Tusculum College forward.”

Upon the recommendation of the faculty, the board approved changes in the number of credit hours required for graduation and credit hours earned per course for a large number of offerings in the academic program. Students will be required to earn 120 credits to graduate, down from 128. It is anticipated that this change will be implemented with the input of faculty, staff and administration by fall 2016.

Also approved was a fully-online degree program for the Bachelor of Science in management program.

In other action, the board gave approval to the 2014-2015 operating budget, approved December graduates and elected officers.

Officers elected included: Chair, Dr. Bowman; Vice Chair, Dr. Jerry Ward; Treasurer, Dwight Ferguson, and Secretary, Mark R. Williams.

Bowman, who currently resides in Apollo, Pa., has been a member of the board since 1998 and chair since 2006.

Dr. Ward resides in Greeneville and has served on the board since 2009.  He has served as assistant principal, principal and superintendent of schools in the Greeneville City School System. Dr. Ward served on the faculty of Tusculum College from 1994 until 2004, serving as distinguished service professor of education, department chair and division chair.

Ferguson joined the board in 2009. He is retired from Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., located in Erwin, where he served as president and chief executive officer from March 1992 until January 2009. Williams, of Greeneville, joined the board in 2001. He is a broker with Century 21 Legacy.

Also re-elected for an additional term as board members were Dr. Ward, Dr. Alan B. Corley, Dr. Judith Domer, Anna Gamble, Dr. Paul E. Stanton, Frank Horsman and Dr. Angelo Volpe.

The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees will be in February 2015.

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Tusculum College kicks-off $25 million capital campaign

Tusculum College kicks-off $25 million capital campaign

Posted on 17 October 2014 by

Tusculum College kicked off a $25 million dollar capital campaign Thursday night in a gathering of college alumni and friends at the General Morgan Inn.

More than 150 people attended the dinner held in conjunction with Homecoming 2014 and the October meeting of the Board of Trustees. The campaign, Tusculum First, is designed to strengthen the college and what is offered by the institution to the community and the region.

Campaign Chairman Scott Niswonger, an alumnus of the college and member of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees, announced that to date, $18 million had been raised.

“By giving to the Tusculum First Campaign, donors will provide resources that enable Tusculum to continue to grow and thrive,” said Niswonger. “To reach our goal, we are appealing to everyone in our community – alumni, students, parents and friends of the college – to join us in making our community first in education.”

According to Niswonger, Tusculum First is designed to address the college’s areas of greatest need including a new center for science and math, growth of academic programs, endowed scholarships, student life improvements, technology, an environmental resources and facilities center and support to the Tusculum Fund.

The campaign, which follows the college’s long line of firsts, “was initiated to improve and expand Tusculum College and its programs for the benefit of both the internal and external community. It is designed to improve the areas that most affect student success and inspire them to be contributing members of society,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, the college’s president.

Moody went on to explain that the campaign is a continuing effort to keep Tusculum first, and that it will provide improved academic programs and scholarship opportunities to help students develop as global citizens. The overall goal of the campaign is to give the Tusculum community the best education environment possible.

“Tusculum College is in a state of becoming, one we hope to continue for centuries more. Tusculum First will make these transformational opportunities a reality,” added Moody. “The success of Tusculum First depends on every member of the Tusculum community joining together to set the next stage of transformation.”

Dr. Ken Bowman, a 1970 alumnus of the college and chair of Tusculum’s Board of Trustees, told the group how proud he was to be part of continuing the tradition of firsts that is so prominent in the institution’s history.

“We have a duty, a responsibility, to be stewards of what has been passed forward to us since the days our founders chose to take on the task of providing higher education to those on the frontier,” said Bowman. “We are up to the task, and if we stand together, can provide for our future through what we can offer to generations to come.”

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New meditation garden dedicated at ceremony Tuesday afternoon

New meditation garden dedicated at ceremony Tuesday afternoon

Posted on 23 September 2014 by

A dedication ceremony was held for the meditation garden located at the Honor Program House at Tusculum College on Tuesday, Sept. 23. The garden was a service project of several Tusculum classes, including students in the biology and visual arts programs. The garden was designed not only as a beautiful campus space, but as an ongoing project in support of ASafeHarborHome, an organization that assists domestic abuse victims and homeless with a disability. With the help of Office of Institutional Advancement, the biology class solicited donations to purchase plants and supplies. With each group donation, a plant identification marker will be placed to represent organization or departments/group on campus. Students from the “Service Learning in the Arts” class repaired, cleaned and re-tiled the benches; repainted the bird feeder; and created the stepping stone that is a feature in the garden. Students in service-learning classes taught by Robin Fife have worked with ASafeHarborHome for several years and continue to work the non-profit organization.


The meditation garden was created as a partnership between Tusculum College and ASafeHarborHome.

Lilly Gonzelez and Daniel Velez

The dedication ceremony included a welcome from Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. Denise Coffey, student intern at ASafeHarborHome, shared what the meditation garden means to her. Dr.Melissa Keller, assistant professor of biology; Aurora Pope, assistant professor of art, and Fife described what their students did as part of the project. Daniel Velez, chief executive officer of ASafeHarborHome, Inc., and his wife, Lilly Gonzalez, expressed their appreciation of the Tusculum students and College community for their work. Velez said it is an example of people working together to meet a common goal to better the lives of others. Tusculum Chaplain Mark Stokes offered a prayer of dedication for the garden. Rev. Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement, invited those in attendance to explore the garden.


Lowe's of Greeneville provided donations of some of the landscaping elements used in the garden.

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Tusculum announces 2014 Sports Hall of Fame class

Tusculum announces 2014 Sports Hall of Fame class

Posted on 18 September 2014 by

The 2014 Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame class has been announced and three new members will be inducted next month.  This year’s inductee class includes: Pioneer golf coach Bob Dibble; 2003 All-American football linebacker Craig Pritchett; and 2007 South Atlantic Conference women’s golfer of the year Shannon Palenkas Stone.

The induction ceremonies will take place Saturday, October 18th during the College’s Homecoming weekend festivities.  The ceremony is part of the alumni breakfast, which will be held at the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Student Commons on the Greeneville campus.

The 2014 induction class will also be honored prior to the homecoming game against Carson-Newman University.


For the past quarter of a century, Bob Dibble has directed the golf fortunes at Tennessee’s oldest college. Dibble, a native of Peoria, Illinois has coached the men’s team for 25 years and started the women’s program in the 1997-1998 season.

His teams have captured seven conference titles and two region championships during his tenure. He guided the TC men’s squad to five consecutive national tournament appearances from 1993-1997. In the women’s inaugural campaign, the Pioneers placed 13th at the NAIA National Tournament.  In all, he has guided the Tusculum golf programs to an amazing 45 team tournament titles during his tenure.

He has been honored by his peers as conference coach of the year on nine occasions during his career, including the 2011-2012 campaign as he was named the South Atlantic Conference Women’s Golf Coach of the Year for a second time (He earned the inaugural SAC Coach of the Year accolade during the 1999-2000 season).  He led that team to a berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament as his team finished third or better in six of its 11 events, including two tournament titles.

He has mentored three All-Americans, 45 All-Conference players, four conference players of the year and three SAC Freshmen of the Year.  He has coached eight players who qualified for NCAA Division II region play, including three-time All-Conference standout Rachel McFarland who advanced to the 2003 NCAA II National Championship where she finished 16th individually.

Dibble’s players have also excelled in the classroom as 24 players have garnered All-America Scholar Athlete recognition, while five of his squads have captured the SAC Team Academic Award. He has also coached five SAC Scholar Athletes of the Year.

Dibble served as head professional at Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn. from 1978 to 2000. He turned pro in 1957 and became a Professional Golf Association member in 1964. Dibble also squeezed in a stint serving in the United States Marine Corps.

Dibble served as Midwest PGA President from 1971-73 while living in Missouri and was a club pro in Florida as well. A veteran of the PGA Winter Tour, Dibble has qualified for the PGA National Club Pro Championship on three occasions. Junior golf has been Dibble’s passion for over 20 years. He has built one of the state’s strongest youth programs at Link Hills. Dibble has been honored on four occasions with the Tennessee PGA Junior Golf Leader of the Year Award. In 1982, he won the Tennessee PGA Horton Smith Award for his contributions to the game of golf.

Dibble played his collegiate golf at Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, Mo. He also attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he lettered on the basketball hardwood for the Kangaroos.

Dibble has been married to his wife Cindy for over 50 years and the couple has three grown children: Sandy, Tim and Chris. His son, Chris, is the head golf professional at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville. The Dibbles are also the proud grandparents of nine grandchildren.

CRAIG PRITCHETT (Tusculum, 2003)

From 1999-2003, Craig Pritchett was the epitome of the ideal college student-athlete.  He shined both on the Tusculum football field as well as in the classroom.

In his 43-game career, he recorded 277 tackles, which are the sixth-most all-time and the fourth highest tally by a TC linebacker.  He also amassed 39 tackles for loss, which are sixth in the TC record book, while his five fumbles forced and five fumble recoveries are the third and fifth most ever by a Pioneer, respectively.

The two-time All-South Atlantic Conference selection earned second team honors in 2002 and first team accolades in 2003.  He was a four-time team captain and led the Pioneers to a 31-12 combined record, which is one the most successful four-year periods in program history.  His teams recorded wins over three nationally-ranked opponents, including two times against arch-rival Carson-Newman.

During his 2000 rookie season, he posted 66 tackles, including nine for loss, two sacks and four interceptions, which are tied for the third most in a TC single-season.  He also forced two fumbles, recovered two more and tallied seven passes defended.  For his efforts, he was named the 2000 SAC Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Pritchett recorded 82 tackles in 2001 as the Pioneers posted an 8-2 record and finished the season ranked 21st in NCAA Division II.

In 2002, he finished with 90 tackles, including 17 hits behind the line of scrimmage, which are the third most tackles for loss in school history.

In his 2003 senior campaign, Pritchett made 39 tackles, while leading Tusculum to a 9-2 record, a No. 19 national ranking and the program’s first South Atlantic Conference championship.  He was named to the Daktronics All-Region Team and the All-America team.

In the classroom, Pritchett finished his undergraduate career with a 3.76 cumulative grade point average while majoring in visual arts.  He was named the SAC Football Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2002 and again in 2003.

The two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection was also recognized for his numerous community service endeavors with his selection to the 2003 American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team® and was one of only 11 players from NCAA Division I FCS, NCAA II, NCAA III and the NAIA to be chosen.

In 2003, he was also the recipient of the Tusculum College President’s Award and the Walter T. Dette Spirit Award.

He graduated from Tusculum in 2003 with magna cum laude honors and was a nominee for the Eisenhower Scholar Society.

Pritchett is in his 10th season on the football coaching staff at his prep alma mater Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Georgia.  He has served the last five years as RHS co-defensive coordinator and has guided Ridgeland to playoff appearances in eight of his 10 seasons, including 2012 where his squad advanced to the state championship game.

He is married to the former Susanne Chesney, who is a 2003 Tusculum graduate and they are the parents of a seven-year-old son, Braylon and five-year-old daughter, Chesney.


Shannon Palenkas Stone accounted for one of the best playing careers in the history of the Tusculum women’s golf program.

From 2003-2007, the Maryville, Tenn. native posted a career scoring average of 83.44, which was a school record upon her graduation and is currently the fifth lowest in the Tusculum record book.

She garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors on three occasions, including two times on the first team.  In her senior campaign, she shot a then-school record 78.28 scoring average, which is the fourth best currently by a Pioneer.  In the 2006-2007 season, she won two individual tournament titles and was named the SAC Player of the Year.

She claimed the 2006 Tusculum Fall Classic crown with her two-day score of 148, which is the sixth-lowest 36-hole score in school history. Included in that tally was a career-best 71 (-1).  She would later cap off her stellar career by winning the 2007 SAC Tournament title.  She is the only women’s golfer in TC history to sweep SAC Player of the Year and SAC Tournament MVP honors in the same season.

The three-time SAC All-Tournament honoree finished in the top-20 on 24 occasions, including 14 times in the top-10 along with six top-5 performances.

At the end of the 2006-2007 academic year, she was named the Tusculum College Female Athlete of the Year, becoming the first women’s golfer to earn the College’s top athletic honor.

She graduated from Tusculum in 2007 with a degree in business administration.  Shannon is a creative service manager with the Pilot Travel Centers Corporation.

Shannon is married to Cody Stone, who was a point guard on the Pioneer men’s basketball team and graduated from Tusculum in 2004.  The Stones live in Maryville, Tennessee and they are the parents of two daughters, Ella and Harper.


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Two Events Set for September at the Doak House

Two Events Set for September at the Doak House

Posted on 08 September 2014 by

Join staff and volunteers at the Doak House Museum on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Fall Fun Day. The museum is hosting this family-friendly event featuring make-and-take learning stations, live animals, living history and more.

There will be art demonstrations, costumed historic interpreters, a dance performance, a booth sponsored by Hands On! Museum and several interactive learning stations. There is no charge to attend the event; donations will be accepted for make-and-take activities.

Later in September, the museum will host a Volunteer Appreciation Picnic for all who have given their time to the museum in the past and those who would like to volunteer in the future. The picnic will be Thursday, Sept. 18, at 5:30 p.m. Food and drinks will be provided and RSVPs are requested.

For more information about either event or to RSVP to the picnic invitation, contact the museum’s Facebook page, call 423-636-8554423-636-8554 or email


Children learn how to write with a quill pen at the Doak House Museum.


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‘Pioneer Pete’ tailgate Sept. 4 to feature live music, activities for all

‘Pioneer Pete’ tailgate Sept. 4 to feature live music, activities for all

Posted on 26 August 2014 by

Live music, games, food and activities for all will be part of the Pioneer Pete Tailgate Party Thursday, Sept. 4, prior to the Tusculum football team’s home opener.

The community is invited to come and be part of the fun, which includes a performance by Carson Peters, the 10-year-old fiddler who has appeared on the Jay Leno Show and performed at the Grand Ole Opry. The tailgate will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the area just outside the Niswonger Sports Complex and Pioneer Field.

Carson Peters

The Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band also include his father, Jamie Peters, and two Greene Countians, Tom and Bobbie Dier. Carson, who began playing fiddle at three, says his main inspiration is using “the talent God gave me to make people smile!”

The tailgate will include games, inflatables, face painting and other activities for all ages.

Tasty food will also be plentiful as Creamy Cup, Auntie Ruth Donuts and Soft Pretzels and other concessions will be part of the tailgate.

There is no charge for any of the activities except for food and a ticket to the game. Tusculum  will be taking on the College of Faith with kickoff scheduled at 7 p.m. Fireworks will follow the game.

The Pioneer Club will also be having a tailgate on Thursday with information available about how to become a member and support Tusculum student-athletes and athletic programs.

Games and inflatables will be part of the Pioneer Pete Tailgate Party.

The Thursday night game is the first of six home games for Tusculum this season. The other home games include against North Greenville (Sept. 20), Newberry (Oct. 11), Carson-Newman (Oct. 18), UNC Pembroke (Nov. 1) and Brevard (Nov. 6).

Tusculum hosts North Greenville on Saturday, Sept. 20, as the Pioneers will be celebrating Local Heroes Night and Take-A-Kid the Game Night at Pioneer Field.  Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free.  It will also be Youth Football Night as all players of the Boys & Girls Club, Greene County YMCA Flag Football League, and the Greeneville/Greene County Youth Football Association will  be admitted free.  All youth players are asked to wear their game t-shirt or game jersey to gain free admittance. (All youth must have adult supervision).  All youth football players will lead the Tusculum team out onto the field prior to kickoff.

As Local Heroes Night, the College is inviting all law enforcement, fire and emergency medical professionals and members of the Armed Forces to attend the Sept. 20  game free of charge. Members of the aforementioned agencies may either present their ID badge or be in uniform for free admission to the game. The ID badge admits the public servant and one (1) guest.

Tusculum hosts South Atlantic Conference foe Newberry College on Saturday, Oct. 11, for Breast Cancer Awareness Day and Local Church Day.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as the Pioneers and their fans will be donning pink and will be raising funds and awareness in the battle against breast cancer.  Tusculum will also be recognizing and honoring churches in the community as the Pioneers take on the Wolves at 2:30 p.m.

The Pioneers will take on arch-rival Carson-Newman on Saturday, Oct. 18. for Homecoming 2014 as the game is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m.  Be there for all the pageantry and tradition of homecoming weekend with the parade, alumni reunions and the homecoming court.  It is also Sports Hall of Fame weekend as members of the 2014 induction class will be honored.


Tusculum hosts 2013 NCAA Playoff participant UNC Pembroke at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, for Senior Day.  The Pioneers will honor its senior members of the football team as well as the senior members of the cheerleading squad and the Pioneer Marching Band prior to kickoff.  It is also Family Weekend on the Greeneville campus.


The Pioneers will host South Atlantic Conference foe Brevard for a rare Thursday night battle on Nov. 6, at 7 p.m.  Following the regular-season home finale, there will be a fireworks show.

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“Grills Gone Wild” barbecue cook-off and festival coming to campus Sept. 12-13

“Grills Gone Wild” barbecue cook-off and festival coming to campus Sept. 12-13

Posted on 26 August 2014 by

Going for the hardwood smoked, tasty goodness prize, those who think they know barbecue will be on the Tusculum College campus in September for the first-ever Grills Gone Wild barbecue cook-off and festival.

The event is scheduled for September 12-13 on the Tusculum College campus. The Grills Gone Wild Barbecue Festival is organized by the Inferno Group of Harrogate, Tenn., and will feature top-flight barbecue masters competing for the $5,000 competition prize.

This is the first year for the event, and organizers hope to draw people from around the region to participate and attend the festivities. The event has previously been held in London, Ky.

Grills Gone Wild is a family-friendly event, which will include a barbecue cook-off, a car show, a 5K fundraiser run and many other activities. The event will be held in front of Pioneer Park.

The public is cautioned that professional barbecuers will not be offering samples of their barbecue, but there will be food vendors available during the Festival.

On Saturday, the car show begins at 2 p.m. and will include awards for Best of Show, Best Engine, People’s Choice and many others.  The “Run in Glow Motion” 5k Run/Walk begins at 8 p.m., with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m.  A post-race party will be held at 9:30 p.m. Registration for the race includes a gift bag with t-shirt, glow glasses and various glow products.

Other weekend activities include vendors, inflatable attractions for children, live music and a cornhole tournament.

This is a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned event, where the teams will prepare their best ribs, chicken, beef brisket and pork.

Grills Gone Wild activities will be tied in to Orange Rush weekend on campus, a series of events on the Tusculum campus to encourage engagement among new students joining Tusculum as freshmen or as transfer students.

“We are very excited to blend the events of this festival with those set for Orange Rush Weekend,” said Dr.  Lisa Johnson, interim vice president for Academic Affairs. Encouraging our students to become part of the community is a big part of what the Orange Rush Weekend wants to achieve.”

For more information on the event, contact David Martin, director of facilities at Tusculum College at 423.636.7300.

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