Benefactors are donors, past and present, whose generosity has reached or exceeded $1 million through their cumulative gifts and pledges. The Benefactors of Tusculum University are listed in chronological order.
Nettie Fowler McCormick and family
Nettie Fowler McCormick was Tusculum University’s first benefactor. Her generosity included construction of five campus buildings in the late 1800s and early 1900s: McCormick Hall, Welty-Craig Hall, Virginia Hall, named for her daughter; Rankin Hall, originally called Gordon Hall in honor of McCormick’s son, and Haynes Hall. She also provided the furnishings of Virginia and Haynes halls and made possible the University ‘s purchase of land for the President’s House and the acreage used for the short-lived College Farm in 1915.
William L. Tredway ’33
His lifelong commitment to the University culminated with a gift that exceeded $1 million through his bequest after his death in 1985. An attorney by profession, he was an active member of the Alumni Association and served on such groups as the University ‘s Development Council. Mr. Tredway was also interested in home town of Chester, N.J., and its history. He served as counsel for the Town of Chester. His sense of duty and obligation, and his character as a kind and gentle man, were praised by all who knew him.
Harriet Reaves Neff ’21
Mrs. Neff remained dedicated to her Alma Mater throughout her life, serving as a trustee until her death in 1989. She taught French at the University in the 1920s and her legacy is reflected through a Chair of Fine Arts and two scholarships that were established in her name. Education was a priority of Mrs. Neff and in addition to Tusculum, she was also a generous benefactor to Tennessee Wesleyan College and Emory & Henry College. A talented actress, she became a strong supporter of Abingdon’s Barter Theatre and the Little Theatre in Greeneville.
Edna Tate Smith
The late Mrs. Smith served on the University’s Board of Trustees. Her father, Albert Columbus Tate, was the valedictorian of the class of 1894. In recognition of her gifts to the University , the library was renamed in her father’s honor when it was rededicated in 1991. Mrs. Smith was an active member of the Board of Trustees and a supporter of the introduction of the block system at the College. In her home community of Tallahassee, Fla., she served on the boards of the Tallahassee YMCA and the Tallahassee Music Guild and was financial advisor to the Tallahassee Little Theater.
Nikki & Scott M. Niswonger ’87 H’06
Dr. Niswonger and his wife are the University’s most generous Benefactors. His gifts have supported many endeavors on campus, including the commons building, the library expansion and renovation, and the sports complex, which has his philosophy inscribed – “Learn, Earn and Return.” His Niswonger Foundation provides opportunities for individual and regional growth through educational programs, scholarships and other charitable activities. He is an active member of the Board of Trustees and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.
Stanley R. Welty, Jr. ’51 H’05
Dr. Welty’s dedication and commitment to Tusculum University was evident not only by his gifts but also his many years of leadership on the Board of Trustees. He was a Distinguished Service Award Winner and held an honorary doctorate from his Alma Mater. He served for several years as the chair of the Board of Trustees. His contributions to the University were recognized with the renaming of Craig Hall to Welty-Craig Hall. At the renaming ceremony, he provided a surprise donation of the original 1892 construction cost of the residence hall ($8,533.96) to be used for residence hall needs on campus.
Stella Lawing Percy ’30
A resident of Virginia Hall when she was a student, the late Mrs. Percy was instrumental in the building’s renovation and reopening in the 1990s. She served on the Board of Trustees and was a recipient of the Pioneer Award and the Distinguished Service Award. The reception area in Virginia Hall is named in her honor. She served on the Board of Trustees in the 1990s. Through her estate, Mrs. Percy left a generous bequest to the University with instructions that it be used for capital projects and to create an endowed scholarship for students from her native Greene County.
Francis J. Nanarone ’52
Students for many years to come will benefit from the generosity of Mr. Nanarone, whose estate gift established an endowed scholarship fund after his death in 2002. A classroom in the Thomas
J. Garland Library is named in his memory and his portrait hangs nearby. Mr. Nanarone came to Tusculum as a student after serving in the military during World War II and was an active student. After graduation, Mr. Nanarone began a career in the civil service in New Jersey, and although he had not returned to campus since 1953, he kept an strong interest in the University in his latter years.
The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation
The Whitehead Foundation has supported the University for more than 35 years with scholarship grants for deserving female students from the Southeast. It was created by Conkey Pate Whitehead as a memorial to his mother, an accomplished business-woman and philanthropist. Lettie Pate Whitehead was one of the first women to serve on the board of directors of a major American corporation. She served as a director of the Coca-Cola Company for almost 20 years. Her generosity included support of colleges, orphanages and religious organizations.
Hubert C. “H.C.” Smith, Jr. ’53
The late Mr. Smith maintained a lifelong interest in his Alma Mater and he faithfully supported it. His estate gift is providing scholarships for present and future Tusculum University students. Mr. Smith attended Tusculum after serving in the U.S. Navy and suffering a serious injury that limited his mobility for the remainder of his life. However, that injury did not hinder him from having a positive attitude and determination to live an active life. He credited his Tusculum education as providing the knowledge and skills he needed to financially manage his farm.
Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, Inc.
The CharlesA. Frueauff Foundation Endowed Work-Study Fund provides work-study opportunities for Tusculum students and also provides latitude to assist middle-income families who do not qualify for federal financial aid. The Foundation has supported the University for more than four decades. It was founded n 1950 through the will of Charles A. Frueauff, a successful New York attorney who gave his time and resources to many New York charitable organizations. In addition to education, the Foundation provides funding for human service organizations, hospitals and health agencies.
Ronald H. & Verna June Meen
The new science and math facility at Tusculum University will bear the name of Mrs. Meen and her late husband, Dr. Ronald H . Meen. Mrs. Meen made the gift in memory of her husband, who was an organic chemist for Eastman Chemical in Kingsport and held a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Toronto. Mrs. Meen was a “pioneer,” attending college at Indiana University at a time when few women attended and then entering the professional field as an accountant when not many women were working in those types of positions.
Judith Kofroth Domer ’61 & Floyd Domer
Dr. Judith Domer is a 1961 graduate of Tusculum University. She is a member of Tusculum Board of Trustees and has served on the Tusculum University Alumni Executive Board fo r several years, including serving as the Board president from 2005-2007. Throughout her career Domer performed a great deal of research, but she also mentored postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who did research in her laboratory and taught both medical and graduate students in the areas of medical mycology and immunology. She received appointments to various study sections at the National Institute of Health at the Veterans Administration and as a reviewer for Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellowships. Dr. Domer has been the president of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas, has served on the editorial boards of several journals, most notably “Infection and Immunity” and “Clinical Microbiology Reviews,” and served as the chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee for the American Society for Microbiology. She was awarded a Ph.D. from Tulane University where she worked, eventually receiving the title of acting vice chancellor for Graduate Studies at their medical center.
Carmen & Larry Brotherton ’70
Dr. Larry Brotherton is a 1970 graduate of Tusculum University. Dr. Brotherton is a member of the Tusculum Board of Trustees and a native son of Greene County He is a research scientist, and industrialist and a generous philanthropist. His excellence in science and industry enhances the educational reputation of Tusculum and his character and generosity exemplify the Civic Arts. Dr. Brotherton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Tusculum and went on to the University of Tennessee, where he received a doctorate in chemistry in 1974. He has had a successful career as an industrial entrepreneur, research chemist and businessman. He founded and leads Ortec, Inc., a custom chemical manufacturing company he created in 1980 and also Ortec Racing, LLC, which serves the NASCAR market. He has given generously of his time to professional and civic boards and of course to Tusculum. During his tenure on the Board of Trustees, he has served on the Audit Committee, the Finance and Investment Committee, the Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Executive Committee. Larry’s wife, the former Carmen Keller is also a Greene County native. The two have been strong supporters of Tusculum throughout their lifetimes.
Jennie & Arthur E. DeSimone ’40
Arthur DeSimone was a 1940 graduate of Tusculum University . He passed away in 2015. While at Tusculum, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and history and was a member of the swim team. He was also a member of a music group “High Cotton and the Cottontails,” and he was known as “Count.” He was married to his wife Jennie DeSimone for 69 years before her death in 2013. Financial limitations kept him from attending medical school and he became a biology teacher and then later a guidance counselor at several schools including Chester High School and the Colonial School District, where he is especially remembered for his excellent service as the Dean of Counseling at Whitemarsh Junior High School. He ultimately earned a master’s degree in 1951 from Temple University.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation
The Presbyterian Foundation is a nonprofit corporation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Foundation was established by the General Assembly of 1795, which authorized the formation of a corporation for the purpose of encouraging voluntary participation in funding “for the cause of ministerial relief and other pious or charitable uses.” The Foundation was given the responsibility to obtain and administer funds for the spread of the gospel and the compassionate work of the church. The Presbyterian Foundation gathers, stewards and distributes funds for mission and holds the endowments, planned gifts, and mid- to long-term investments of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), or PC(USA), and receives and administers gifts from individuals.
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