Tag Archives: Service

Where do campus buildings get their names?

29 Aug

What’s in a name?

IMG_3064            If you have been in The Village on LMU’s campus in the past week, you have probably noticed a change.  The two newest residence halls, formerly referred to as DB3 and DB4, now have names.  Many students are aware that the other residence halls in The Village are either named after alumni donors (Shelton and Langley) or former university presidents (Burchett and McClelland).  Now that DB3 and DB4 have been named, there is a great deal of curiosity surrounding the origination of these names. However, there is no real mystery here as these two are also named for donors and a former president.IMG_3061

Norton Hall, formerly known as DB3, is named after a residence hall that once stood near the main entrance of campus, across from LP Hall.  The original Norton Hall was built in 1912. The construction was made possible through a generous contribution from Mary and Ella Norton of Norwich, Connecticut. The sisters honored their father’s lifelong commitment to philanthropy through their support of LMU and many other organizations. Many LMU alumni made great memories in this dorm, as it also contained a kitchen and dining hall.  In 1923 and 1924, Norton Hall served as an infirmary during a typhoid epidemic.  Now, many more memories will be made in the new Norton Hall.


Dr. Martin Peters participating in commencement exercises.

Dr. Martin Peters participating in commencement exercises.

DB4 is now named Peters Hall after Dr. Ralph Martin Peters and his wife, Lorraine Daniel Peters.  Dr. Peters completed his undergraduate degree at Lincoln Memorial University.  He was a member of both the baseball and basketball teams during this time.  After completing his master’s and doctorate degree at the University of Tennessee, he returned to LMU to serve as the director of admissions and alumni services.  He was also a professor of education and chair of the Department of Education.  He later served several positions at Tennessee Technological University.  In 1992, he returned to LMU as a professor of graduate education.  He then served as interim president and a member of the LMU Board of Trustees.  He has been honored as a member of both the LMU Educators’ Hall of Fame and the LMU Athletes’ Hall of Fame.  Lorraine Daniel Peters also earned a bachelor’s degree from LMU.  She then earned a master’s degree from Tennessee Tech, where she taught for 29 years.

Dr. Martin Peters and Cynthia Whitt award the R. Martin Peters Young Alumnae of the Year award  during homecoming in 2006.

Dr. Martin Peters and Cynthia Whitt award the R. Martin Peters Young Alumnae of the Year award during homecoming in 2006.

The Peters legacy lives on as the R. Martin Peters Young Alumnus of the Year Award, the Martin and Lorraine Peters Endowed Scholarship and the Lorraine D. Peters Endowed Nursing Scholarship are awarded each year. The R. Martin Peters Young Alumnus of the Year Award is awarded at the Alumni Banquet during homecoming to an individual who embodies his ideals. Additionally the Martin Peters Endowed Fund for Athletics exists to fund scholarships and other athletic needs.

Both residence halls will be formally dedicated during the 2014 Homecoming activities October 9-11.


1067 lbs of produce?

11 Jul
The Gardeners Grove is home to the LMU Organic Garden Project

The Gardeners Grove is home to the LMU Organic Garden Project

Lincoln Memorial University is on a mission to serve underserved populations in Appalachia and beyond. You probably know that the University pursues that mission by providing educational opportunities. An email in my inbox this morning reminded me that although LMU fulfills this mission with class offerings, new programs and professional degree opportunities; it also uses swimming pools, stethoscopes, paintbrushes and produce.

Produce? Yes, as in squash, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Say what? Yes, 1067 lbs., of squash, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes to be exact. And that doesn’t account for the summer crops that have been planted and haven’t started to yield a crop. Oh, and all of these crops are organically grown. What does all this produce have to do with LMU or her mission?

In January of 2010 the LMU Board of Trustees set aside a small portion of the LMU Main Campus’s 1,000 acres in Harrogate, Tenn., to establish an organic garden. The goal was to provide a place for community members, both from LMU and the surrounding counties, who might not have access to land or resources to grown their own food and learn organic gardening.

IMG_2212The LMU Organic Garden facilities are located on the south side of campus past LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine near the roundabout. Today the garden includes two green houses and is split into two sections. The adult garden consists of 75 raised beds and ¾ of an acre community garden. The adult section includes three wheel chair accessible raised beds. The children’s garden consists of 25 raised beds and a ¼ acre community garden. Additionally, there is a ¼ acre produce market garden which is used to teach young adults successful market skills. Garden members have the opportunity to grow their own food in individual beds. Additionally they have access to a classroom/kitchen to attend weekly meetings each Monday, which often include guest speakers. Classes are offered for planting and soil preparation, canning and healthy eating. Produce is shared with local families and community food banks. Funded in part by grants from Grow Appalachia in Berea, Ky., and the Cumberland Natural Resource Association, the LMU Organic Garden offers free beds, seeds, home gardens and plants to its members.

The high tunnel gives gardeners more options during the growing seasons.

The high tunnel gives gardeners more options during the growing seasons.

While the growth at the garden has been gradual, progress is apparent as the roots of the group take hold. A high tunnel has been added in the last year providing another opportunity to multiply the crops. That 1067 lbs. of produces is up from 325 pounds a year ago. There are 52 families, a total of 132 individuals, participating in the garden and their weekly classes are usually filled to the brim. The group joined the Harrogate Farmers Market and the spring plant sale generated $674 and 200 vegetable plants were donated to local food ministries. All told, between providing healthy food to the participants, selling produce at the market and donating plants to ministries, the garden is extending LMU’s mission by providing for the underserved.

The LMU Organic Garden is managed by Bill Clayton and Sue Granger. Bonnie Banks is the green house manager and administrative duties are handled by Debbie Clayton. Applications are available by contacting Bill Clayton at organichillbilly_lmu@yahoo.com; or Sue Granger at doglovercaery@netscape.net or Debbie Clayton at debbiehoneybee9@gmail.com. For more information on the organization call Bill Clayton at 423.441.9133.

The LMU Organic Gardening Project is a partner site of Grow Appalachia, http://www.growappalachia.org an outreach education and service project of Berea College. It is funded by the generosity of John Paul Dejoria, co-founder and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc. Grow Appalachia emphasizes food production in order to introduce as much no-cost, fresh healthy food as possible to the region. The basic goal is to help as many families grow as much of their own food as possible. Additional financial support has come from Walmart in Tazewell and the 2014 Youth Garden Grant from the National Gardening Association.

The garden also produces honey from these bee hives.

The garden also produces honey from these bee hives.

One of two greenhouses at the garden.

One of two greenhouses at the garden.


Extending a helping hand

9 Mar

A week ago, our mild winter erupted into an outbreak of damaging storms which lashed out across the Southeast. At LMU, two rounds of tornado warnings came down during the day on Friday, March 2, before the most damaging storms arrived around 8 p.m. Through it all, LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., was spared damage. Reports from that night included just wind, light rain and a short burst of hail. Some of our historic trees lost a few limbs, but the University had seen worse.

Our neighbors just across Highway 25E did not fare as well. The initial reports on Friday described as many as 10 houses that were totally destroyed. Those same reports placed them all in the City of Harrogate in the area behind Ellen Myers Elementary School. And the reports were fairly accurate.

By the time the weather service confirmed that an EF2 tornado touched down in the area earlier this week, the clean-up effort was already well underway. Emergency responders rescued trapped residents and helped guide people around downed power lines immediately following the storms on Friday. In the light of day on Saturday, more volunteers joined the efforts as neighbors helped neighbors to assess the damage and start to clear the debris.

After a weekend full of reports from the storm damaged areas, the burning question on most people’s minds on Monday was, how could LMU help? The Student Services division was contacted by several students about going into the community and helping in any way possible. On Wednesday, a team of about 15 students, including most of the Lady Railsplitter volleyball team, and the entire Student Services staff assisted in clean-up efforts at two residences.

A camera crew from LMU-TV followed the LMU volunteers and filed this report.

On Thursday, the student services team was at it again, helping two more families clear debris around their homes.

 I had the privilege of being a part of the clean-up yesterday. Seeing the destruction up close was remarkable. Even more remarkable, was the spirit of community that radiated out of this devastation. Sure, a few homeowners shared stories of people salvaging through debris and looking to take advantage of the people affected by the storms, but, the majority had also experienced complete strangers coming up and assisting in the clean-up.

LMU is about service. The University believes that one of the major cornerstones of meaningful existence is service to humanity. Our students routinely volunteer in their communities. What is so impressive about this service, is that it was a grassroots effort initiated by students. The students went to administration looking for a way to help. The Student Services division, inspired by the students’ request went to President B. James Dawson and asked for permission not only to take the students over to help, but to volunteer as well. The Student Services division went on to sacrifice two days to assist their neighbors and the work isn’t complete yet.

Student leaders and the administration have reached out to a number of the relief organizations working in the area, offering to recruit and organize teams of student volunteers as the recovery efforts turn to rebuilding.

Knoxville’s WBIR-TV also sent a reporter to cover the recovery efforts. A link to reporter Mary Scott’s story is below.



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

22 Nov

With Thanksgiving breaking getting closer with each passing class, it’s hard to believe that Winter Commencement and then the Holiday and semester break is just about a month away. Then again, the first level of Kresge Hall has been looking a lot like Christmas for weeks now.

The holidays took over our humble abode. It came in a wave as silent auction items from LMU’s Women of Service flowed in. One day the University Advancement division was holding its weekly staff meeting and the next the conference room was overtaken with gift baskets, jewelry and holiday décor. Then the trees started to trickle in and Christmas claimed not only the Kresge conference room but more than half of the creative suite, home to our web team. And just this week the LMU grounds team has been hard at work hanging wreaths and putting up all the holiday lights.

For many years the University has kicked off the season by hosting a Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra (KSCO) concert and an Annual Tree Lighting. The Tree Lighting has grown changed and moved around as the landscape of the campus has evolved, but the KSCO has always been a highlight not only for the University but the community at large. The concert is always free and open to the public thanks to the University and its generous donors.

The holiday silent auction is a new event for what is being billed as LMU’s Christmas Festival. It is a fundraiser for the Women of Service, which supports students and provides cultural opportunities for students. The auction will include a myriad of holiday goods available for bids under a heated tent on the quad. Items include wreaths, centerpieces, jewelry, decorated trees and much more.


Web designer Liz Murphy Thomas uses her design skills for the WOS auction


 For my part, I will be donating baskets of home baked goods. Generally, I am a fairly modest person, but I do brag about my cookies. I’ve actually been told on more than one occasion that if this PR gig doesn’t work out, I could fall back on baking. Chocolate chip cookies are my specialty, but I plan to include all my favorite holiday treats, with the recipes (including my grandmother’s classic sugar cookie cutout recipe).  

Following a couple years of standing room only crowds at the KSCO concert, the University found additional underwriters to fund two performances by Knoxville’s premiere music group this year. The performances will take place before and after the tree lighting which will also feature music by LMU student groups and festive story telling.


Holiday gift basket that will be up for auction.

The tent and bidding will open at 3 p.m. The first KSCO concert is set for 4 p.m. in the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center in the Duke Hall of Citizenship. The Annual Tree Lighting will take place on the quad near the Harold S. Finley Learning Resources Center in the Carnegie Vincent Library at 6:30 p.m. The final KSCO performance will follow at 7:30 p.m. The bidding at the silent auction will close at 10 p.m.

So mark your calendars, December 1 will be here before the turkey leftovers run out.



Women of Service

23 Aug

As undergraduate and graduate classes at LMU got underway this morning, the University also launched a new initiative, Women of Service.

University Advancement invited alumni, friends and donors of LMU to invite other women to a special luncheon at Club LeConte in Knoxville.  The goal was to start a group of women to pursue service opportunities on behalf of and benefiting the University and its students. Gathered on the 27th floor of the First Tennessee building, not even the swaying of the earthquake could shake this group (for the record I didn’t feel anything, but there were those in attendance who said they could).

LMU Vice President for University Advancement Cindy Whitt presents her vision for LMU Women of Service.

Vice President for University Advancement Cindy Whitt kicked off the program, presenting her vision for the group as well as highlighting a handful of LMU alumnae with strong records of service. Whitt defined the mission and purpose of Women of Service as encouraging women to live with passion while serving others.

Service may seem self explanatory, though sometimes it is difficult to define and not everyone looks at service the same way. Dr. Natalie Shirley, assistant professor of anatomy at LMU-DCOM, was the featured speaker at the luncheon and she did a great job explaining how service can mean different things. She went on to tell her story of service.

LMU-DCOM Assistant Professor of Anatomy Natalie Shirley

Shirley, beyond being a brilliant professor and dedicated teacher, is a rising star in the world of forensic anthropology. Her area of expertise is skeletal maturation. She has studied in the world renowned University of Tennessee Anthropology Department and now serves the international community with her involvement in training forensic team in Columbia. She has spent a lot of time in Columbia teaching her counterparts her craft. It’s this work that she counts as her most valuable service to humanity.

Over 140 women from all walks of life came together to brainstorm about what the goals for the program will be.  The thread that ran through most of the ideas was mentorship for LMU students. There were many different ways mentoring was suggested, but ultimately it came down to a group of professionals reaching out to the students and mentoring them.  

As the group moves forward, the ideas will be fleshed out and a leadership team will be established. The group will next meet on December 1 in Harrogate.