Tag Archives: Chairman

Where in the world is the world?

8 Jul

Checking out the nearly completed Math and Science building earlier this week, I couldn’t help but notice that there was something missing. Actually, there are a lot of things missing at this point, but amid the dust and debris of building crews putting the finishing touches on the main lobby, my eye was drawn to what’s not there. At the center of the lobby area, across from where crews have taken great care to install stately marble, stands an area that is clearly waiting for something. The marble, which was reclaimed from the walls of the former Baptist Hospital in downtown Knoxville, adds opulence to the building even in its unfinished state yet there is still a gaping hole.


The Math and Science Building lobby.

The tiled floor lays the ground work for what is to come. If you were to walk in the main entrance of the Math and Science Center today, you would see a large square with three poles waiting for something. What in the world are we waiting for? Well actually, it’s the world.

Months ago, LMU Chairman Pete DeBusk commissioned Top Stone to create a four-foot rolling sphere fountain and it’s to be installed in the lobby as soon as it arrives. The globe etched sphere can be turned, spun and stopped by hand. However, if left alone the North Pole goes back to the north position. The 5,500 pound sphere floats on a thin layer of water. Top Stones uses unique technology in their fountain. It’s surely a lesson in physics, which is only fitting for the Math and Science Center.

A globe etched stone fountain similar to this on is on its way to LMU.

Top Stone announced the shipment of the LMU fountain in a press release on May 29, 2012. The completed work has been en route every since. The extreme spring and early summer weather and storms have slowed its journey. Approximately two weeks ago, University officials were notified that it had arrived in the New York Harbor and was sitting on a shipping vessel.

We can only assume that it is now on its way to Harrogate, Tenn., by truck. With just over three weeks until LMU-DCOM Class of 2016 orientation is slated to take place in the large auditorium on the first floor of the Math and Science Building, let’s hope the world is here to greet them.






DeBusk honored as Health Care Hero

2 Sep

From O.V., Autry and so on, you can call Pete DeBusk a lot of things. Just this week he added a new title to his repertoire which already includes: chairman, CEO, president, founder, entrepreneur, inventor, innovator, trustee, commissioner, son, father, friend, donor, supporter, husband, grandfather and philanthropist. His newest synonym: Health Care Hero.

On Thursday, LMU’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees was honored with the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s Health Care Hero award for lifetime achievement. During a luncheon at Knoxville’s Foundry, Greater Knoxville Business Journal Publisher/Editor Amy Nolan honored six individuals and one group of religious women for their contributions to health care in the region. DeBusk was recognized for his work at DeRoyal and the legacy he is creating at LMU. In her introduction of DeBusk, Nolan noted that she expected graduates from the programs that DeBusk had a hand in creating would be recipients in the future.

Besides recognition at the luncheon, DeBusk was also featured in the pages of the September issue of the Greater Knoxville Business Journal. In the profile, DeBusk expresses the joy he finds in leaving his legacy through LMU. In his acceptance speech he noted he was not done yet.

I accompanied photographer Leslie Karnowski while she was capturing images of DeBusk for the feature. Over the nearly three and a half hour shoot, I really got to see the joy that LMU brings to DeBusk. Karnowski later confessed to me that she was often sent on shoots where editors had deemed the subject to be difficult or uncooperative. She said that no one had expressly told her that would be the case with DeBusk, but she was surprised at how enthusiastic he was about the shoot. I told her she had two things working in her favor.

1–She was new to LMU and had never stepped foot on our campus before. From six years of working at LMU and with DeBusk on many projects, the one thing that rings true about him is how proud he is of the progress his alma mater has made in the last decade. And he is eager to introduce people to LMU and that progress.

2—She was allowing him to play in the dirt, something that he adores. DeBusk remarked once that LMU’s master plan was laid out in dirt more so than on paper and he has often eluded to the site preparation work in progress right now as his way of controlling things from beyond the grave. He told Karnowski how he was much more comfortable in his “work clothes” than his business suits and how much he enjoyed mixing it up with the work crews. In his acceptance speech he acknowledged the same things.