Tag Archives: Tennessee

A close call, close to home.

11 Mar

If you have ever visited Kresge Hall or been to a University Advancement event, then likely you know who Angela Jordan is. If not, you are missing out. This remarkable woman puts all of us at UA first. She never ceases to lend a hand, help out or just listen to whatever may be on your mind. Her official title is administrative assistant to the vice president for University Advancement, but she really does so much more than assist for our entire division. More than just an assistant, Angie mothers us all.

No matter how many times she has been recipient of one of my eye rolls when she fusses at me for carrying too much, she still cares enough to chastise me any time I lift more than I should. She often tells me that she doesn’t care if I think I can do it, she knows that I shouldn’t. There is never a day that I leave work without her telling me do drive safe and take care.

When the devastating storms hit Harrogate on Friday, March 2, 2012, Angie’s house was struck by one of the tornados that ravaged neighborhoods across the street from LMU. She and her husband were thankfully unharmed, but the house and property sustained much damage. Angie asked me to help her thank the community who came to her aid. She said that she felt a thank you card wasn’t enough and wondered if I would print something in our University newsletter, CampusLinc, which I assured her I would. I also encouraged her to share with me her story and the following is just that…

 

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Tennessee’s highest court coming to LMU-DSOL

29 Aug

Anyone visiting the LMU-Duncan School of Law on Wednesday afternoon can expect a heavier than normal security presence. While the University has round-the-clock security at the law school, it’s never as noticeable as it will be on Wednesday when the Tennessee Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in LMU-DSOL’s Courtroom on the third floor.

Pictured in the courtroom at the Supreme Court Building in Nashville are (seated) Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark (standing left to right) , Justice Janice M. Holder, Justice William C. Koch, Jr., Justice Gary R. Wade and Justice Sharon G. Lee.

Tennessee’s highest court goes on the road a handful of times each year to promote access to educational institutions.  Through the Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students (SCALES) program the Court visits high schools and high school programs. For instance this year they heard oral arguments to both Tennessee Boys State and Tennessee Girls State. The Court has also heard arguments at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. It will be the first such engagement for LMU-DSOL, though the Courtroom was specifically designed to hold five justices on the bench in hopes that the Supreme Court would one day sit there.

Not only will the students of LMU-DSOL be fortunate enough to witness the Court in action, the docket for the afternoon includes a death penalty appeal. Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark and Associate Justices Janice M. Holder, Gary R. Wade, William C. Koch, Jr., and Sharon G. Lee will preside over  Leonard Edward Smith vs. State of Tennessee, Allstate Insurance Company vs. Diana Lynn Tarrant, et al and SNPCO Inc., dba Salvage Unlimited vs. City of Jefferson City, et al.

The Smith case originated in Hamblen County and is a post conviction appeal. Smith is appealing orders of the Hamblen County Circuit Court denying his initial and amended petitions for post-conviction relief challenging his 1985 conviction and life sentence for the first degree felony murder of John Pierce, his 1989 conviction for the first degree felony murder of Novella Webb and his 1995 sentence of death for that murder.

In accordance with the security requirements of the Court, LMU-DSOL will be limiting access to the building throughout the day. The third floor will be restricted in the afternoon when court is in session and everyone entering the building should expect to be wanded by security.

The arguments will be heard beginning at 1:30 p.m. The proceedings are open to the public.

 

 

And then I jumped…

12 Aug

1 – 2 — 3 — Zip! And with that I walked off the plank. What came next was shear exhilaration as I soared over forty feet off the ground spanning the 500 foot valley of Democrat Hollow in about 15 seconds. It was quick, but it certainly qualified as the most fun I have had on the job in a long time. Had I not had important public relations duties to attend to, I probably would have stayed there all day or at least taken the plunge one more time.

The zipline is the final high element of LMU’s High Adventure Ropes Course, which has been a fixture in Democrat Hollow since 2009. The High Adventure Ropes Course combines fun and adventure with team building and leadership development. Designed and built for the University by Challenge Tours, the course consists of six low ropes elements and three high ropes elements.  

LMU’s High Adventure Ropes Course Coordinator Turner Bowling agreed to take a group the University Advancement staff out to the course to experience a few of the elements. The best part, we all got to wear some really cool harnesses that are extremely flattering to our figures (I hope you can feel the sarcasm in that statement). Seriously, the best part was having fun with my co-workers and trying something new. To fully capture, and share, this experience I even rigged my own helmet cam by duct tapping a Flip Cam to the helmet. The result is a pretty shaky video, but you can get a sense of what the zipline experience is from the video.

The zipline is pretty self explanatory. Turner took our group two at a time to the plank, which has been built about forty feet up on one side of the valley. A wire is suspended across the valley attached to poles on each side. For lack of a technical explanation, the “zipliner” zips across the wire, suspended by a rope connected to your harness on one end and a pulley on the other. There is not a lot of team building to this exercise, but some technique is required to successfully “land.” Since Turner was on his own on this outing, he asked for one of our group to volunteer to “catch” for him.

 

LMU High Adventure Coordinator Turner Bowling demonstrating an easy landing.

I wanted to capture some video and photos of everyone, so I volunteered to catch. A successful landing involved landing on your feet and running up the hill building on the momentum off the zipline. It sounded easy enough in theory. Turner demonstrated how easy it should be.

LMU Director of Alumni Services demonstrates a not-so-easy landing.

Once my first team member came crashing into the earth, about 20 feet lower on the hill than I was set to catch him, I realized that it might be trickier than it looked. After three other failed catchings I was relieved of my catching duties and headed to the plank armed with my observations on the landings. My teammate ahead of me, who had also had the benefit of observing other landings, did manage to land on his feet.

When it was my turn, Turner reminded me that I would start to twist after take-off. He said it was important that I throw my weight the way the rope is turning, so that I am square with the ground on the landing. Amazingly, I executed a near perfect landing. After watching person after person slide into the other side of the valley, I was just happy not to be covered in mud.

My group decided, because of time constraints, to skip the ultra scary Pamper Pole. Another high element of the course, the Pamper Pole involves climbing to the top of a pole (picture a telephone pole), standing straight up and jumping off to hit a ball that is suspended about five feet off the pole. It’s the ultimate trust fall, as you have to trust your team, which is managing the belay, to ease your decent.

 I’m not sure if I’m crazy or just still high from the adrenaline from the zipline, but I definitely want to try the Pamper Pole on my next visit to the High Adventure Ropes Course. That’s right, I said next. I’m totally hooked. I wonder why it took me two years to get out there in the first place.


 

 

A graceful take off.

 

 

My smooth landing. Notice the helmet is over my eyes.

 

Tennessee Tax Holiday-Ready, set, SHOP!

5 Aug

In case you have been stuck under a rock and haven’t heard, this weekend is the Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday. No, it’s not a weekend set aside to celebrate the extra 9.25% Tennesseans pay the state on every purchase we make. It’s a welcome break from that 9.25%.

The state’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday is held every year on the first Friday in August and ends the following Sunday night. It’s a measure Tennessee has taken to ease the stress that back-to-school places on residents’ wallets. The Tax Holiday is valid on clothing under $100, school supplies under $100 and computers under $1,500.

Tennessee is not the only state that closes their coffers for a weekend. Virginia’s Tax Holiday is also taking place this weekend.

Not reserved for parents and students alone, everyone who purchases clothes, school supplies or computers will save money. Most retail stores and shopping malls are offering even more incentives to draw shoppers in.  It is the perfect opportunity for college students to get prepared to head back to campus.

Though students are mainly on their own in college with no supply lists from the professors, there are still some key supplies to stock up on. Class supplies like pencils, pens, notebooks and highlighters are a given. So are the wardrobe staples – jeans, sweats, sweatshirts, t-shirts, underwear and pajamas. It’s also a good idea to purchase some jump drive (memory sticks, USB drives etc.), batteries, blank CD/DVDS and a good calculator. Other items to think about include 3M Command Hooks (to hang things in your room), a cork board, a ruler, dictionary, paper clips/binder clips, a power strip with surge protector, folders, sticky notes and scissors.

The College Board has a complete check list to get you ready to get back to class. It’s available at http://www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/college-success/9763.html and can even be printed out to take on your shopping adventure. Happy shopping!!  

 

What is in a name?

1 Aug

Today’s blog post was inspired by @BenjaminMerry who tweeted “Got a letter in the mail inviting me to apply to Lincoln Memorial University. We name schools after objects now?”

Okay here is a history lesson for anyone who might wonder who or what Lincoln Memorial University is named for and how the University came to be (Hint- Abraham Lincoln had a hand in our founding). Benjamin, I guess that means you.

First, I would like to note that Lincoln Memorial University is one of thousands of dots on maps across the country that bears the name of our 16th president. There are automobiles (Lincoln), toys (Lincoln Logs), cities, towns, tunnels, battleships, vessels and forts. There are Lincoln Counties in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Bottom line, LMU is not original. Or is it?

General Oliver Otis Howard

Lincoln Memorial University is nestled in the heart of the Cumberland Gap, where Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia converge.  How a college came about in this setting is a testament to President Abraham Lincoln and a group of determined visionaries near the end of the 19th century. During the Civil War this area around the Cumberland Gap remained staunchly loyal to the Federal Government. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln met with General O.O. Howard and expressed his desire to repay that loyalty after the war. Remembering that comment, on February 12, 1897, Howard helped charter Lincoln Memorial University as a living memorial to Abraham Lincoln.  The University’s mission would be to provide educational opportunities to the then isolated citizens of Appalachia.

 

Courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum

 

 

Monuments and memorials to the slain President began popping up immediately following his assassination. And demands for a national monument were voiced well before Congress passed the first bill to provide for planning and funding for the endeavor in 1867. The initial design never gained the support needed to see it through and hope for a national memorial fell into doubt. It wasn’t until December 13, 1910, that a final bill passed. The Lincoln Memorial Commission had its first meeting the following year under President William Howard Taft.

From the time the Civil War ended to 1912 when the national monument for Lincoln got off the ground, many schools, tunnels, roads and memorials here dedicated throughout the Northern Union states. Naturally, the Southern Confederate states were less apt to honor the “Great Emancipator.” But, in Tennessee one remained that Lincoln himself had a hand in creating.

Now, back to Benjamin’s original query: ‘We name schools after objects now?’ Though I am sure that there are some colleges out there named after an object, Lincoln Memorial University is not one of them. In fact, as a member of our communications team, I stress that we always refer to ourselves as Lincoln Memorial University or LMU, just to be sure there is no confusion with the Lincoln Memorial.

That is not to say we aren’t big fans of the Lincoln Memorial, because we certainly are. Every year we have the honor of being the only educational institution to lay a wreath at the wreath laying ceremony in honor of Lincoln’s birthday. The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum on the LMU main campus also contains a number of Lincoln Memorial artifacts. Our collection includes a casting used in sculptor Daniel Chester French’s studio during the design of the interior sculptor around 1916. The casting was a working model, never meant for display and is one of a handful of such that exist. Several poses were proposed during the design process and the LMU French casting is actually very close to the final marble figure.

So to answer the great debate of which came first, LMU, with a founding date of 1897, wins over the Lincoln Memorial, with a completion date of 1922. But no matter where we stand in the chronology of entities named after the 16th president, we wear his name proudly.