Week of events will bring alumni back to campus, honor multiple individuals during Tusculum’s Homecoming

GREENEVILLE – With the beautiful scenery of the season taking shape and classes in full swing, Tusculum University is embarking on its traditional and beloved Homecoming celebration.

Tusculum has developed a comprehensive list of events that will not only draw alumni back to campus but also honor individuals of distinction, deepen the university’s connections with the community and highlight the importance of faith. Homecoming, which runs Tuesday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 24, will be fun for all participants.

Dr. Scott Hummel, Tusculum’s president, said Homecoming adds special meaning to the fall semester at Tennessee’s first higher education institution.

“We are fortunate to meet with many alumni throughout the year, but to see so many of them on campus at the same time reliving that momentous period in their lives is really special,” Dr. Hummel said. “Homecoming is also wonderful for us because we hear about their experiences as students and how Tusculum helped prepare them to be career-ready professionals. That week is meaningful because it reminds us once again how important Tusculum is to our region and the positive impact we have on the students we serve.”

The most prominent Homecoming event will be Dr. Hummel’s inauguration as Tusculum’s 29th president at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 22, in Pioneer Arena. U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is scheduled to be the guest speaker. That event will be immediately followed by the Inaugural Luncheon in the Quad in front of the Scott M. Niswonger Commons and later by the President’s Inaugural Dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Center.

Homecoming begins and ends with events focusing on faith. From 8-9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, Tusculum will hold the Pastors’ Prayer Breakfast, which will allow clergy and Christian community leaders to pray for the university; its faculty, staff and students; and Dr. Hummel and his family. Then, on Sunday, Oct. 24, Dr. Hummel will preach at First Presbyterian Church, Tusculum’s mother church, after which the congregation will hold a reception for the university.

The week will present multiple opportunities for Tusculum to recognize individuals who have excelled. Tusculum will honor one of its cherished former employees and a highly regarded theater professional in the region with the dedication of the Marilyn duBrisk Theatre inside the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. duBrisk retired in 2020, having dedicated 29 years of service to Tusculum and raising the curtain on about 70 productions as artist-in-residence.

At the Annual Alumni Meeting and Memorial Service at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, the Alumni Association will announce the winners of four awards. They are the National Alumni Recognition Award, the National Living Faculty Award, the Pioneer Award and the Frontier Award. That night, the Athletic Department will hold its Hall of Fame ceremony honoring women’s basketball player Lydia Taylor Panke, football player Aaron Claridy and golfer Brad Hawkins, who graduated in 1998, 2003 and 2016, respectively.

On Sunday, Oct. 24, Tusculum will unveil the Jane Shanks Pilloni ’59 Room on the first floor of the Meen Center. Pilloni, who passed away in 2020, was a life trustee for Tusculum and fixture at the university’s football and basketball games. She and her husband Bill created the William and Jane Shanks Pilloni Endowed Scholarship.

Another event will be Farm to Table – the Pioneer Way, a dinner featuring home-grown items from the Doak House Museum and Rural Resources. The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Doak House, with activities starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Athletic Department will hold a number of events, including the Let’s Glow & Run: 3K Run/Walk starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and alumni games Saturday. The highlight will be the football game between the Pioneers and Barton College Saturday at 2 p.m.

“We love Homecoming at Tusculum and encourage the community to join us in this week of diverse activities,” said Nicole Rader, director of alumni engagement and special events. “Homecoming is a major highlight of the year for Tusculum, as it builds more memories for our alumni and allows the community to enjoy the ambiance of the university. Participants will see our pioneering spirit on full display throughout the week.”

To see the list of Homecoming events, please visit https://go.tusculum.edu/homecoming/schedule/. Event registration is available at https://go.tusculum.edu/homecoming/2021-homecoming-registration-form/. People can learn more about the university at www.tusculum.edu. Anyone with questions can contact Rader at nrader@tusculum.edu or 423-636-0565.