The Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) is proud to announce its second class of Hall of Fame inductees. TICUA and its member institutions have proudly selected 24 alumni, highlighting their contributions to our state, country and world in a variety of disciplines.
“We launched the TICUA Hall of Fame last year to honor the accomplishments and impact of graduates and the institutions who helped to prepare them,” said TICUA President Dr. Claude Pressnell. “We are proud to once again recognize an astounding group of alumni who have made significant contributions to their institutions, communities, and society. Their stories are worthy of recognition and accolade and, on behalf of our member institutions, we are proud to offer this small token of our appreciation for their achievements.”
The 2021 class of inductees includes civil rights and women’s rights activists; veterans; civic and faith leaders; news, entertainment, and business professionals; and passionate philanthropic and humanitarian leaders, all hailing from Tennessee private non-profit institutions.
Dr. C.T. Vivian, a 1960 graduate of American Baptist College, is one of the civil rights leaders recognized in this year’s class. He earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., leading boycotts and marches across the South. Though he was arrested, jailed, and beaten many times, Dr. Vivian remained a disciplined advocate for nonviolent resistance. “Even as nonviolence forced us to risk our lives for the changes we desired,” Dr. Vivian said, “that risk itself made our lives more worth living.”
Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni is considered one of America’s foremost and widely-read American poets and an outspoken civil rights activist. A 1967 Fisk University, she often returns to campus to engage, teach, and mentor Fisk students—including a semester tenure as a visiting distinguished professor.
Joe Birch accepted an internship with WMC Action News 5 in Memphis while a student at Christian Brothers University. In 1978, he accepted a full-time job offer on the day he graduated and just five years later became the station’s news anchor, where he still serves today. Birch is an Emmy Award winning journalist and a member of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.
The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed much of our nation’s healthcare systems. But, under the leadership of Southern Adventist University graduate and CEO Terry Shaw, AdventHealth developed a program to redeploy clinical and non-clinical staff from low demand areas within its 50-hospital and 1,200 healthcare site network into areas experiencing higher demand. At its height, the organization was able to redeploy more than 1,800 team members per day. Shaw’s innovative leadership helped address staff needs in busier areas, minimize staff redundancies, and undoubtedly save lives.
There are many stories just like these throughout the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Every inductee exemplifies the value of a liberal arts education and how it can be used in a variety of career fields. The TICUA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 are:
- Dr. C.T. Vivian – American Baptist College
- Steve Bachus – Aquinas College
- Denese Shumaker – Baptist Health Sciences University
- Harry Allen – Belmont University
- Dr. Ken Hanna – Bryan College
- Ted Russell – Carson-Newman University
- Joe Birch – Christian Brothers University
- Howell Edmunds Jackson – Cumberland University
- Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni – Fisk University
- John DeBerry – Freed-Hardeman University
- Dr. Martha Raile Alligood – Johnson University
- Dr. Catherine Peeke – King University
- Donald Hollowell – Lane College
- Eugene Ward – Lincoln Memorial University
- Pat Boone – Lipscomb University
- Mary Wilson McTeer – Maryville College
- Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon – Meharry Medical College
- Nathaniel Owens – Sewanee: The University of the South
- Terry Shaw – Southern Adventist University
- Dr. Glen Steele – Southern College of Optometry
- Dr, Lynn Massingale – Tennessee Wesleyan University
- Dr. Melvin Welch – Trevecca Nazarene University
- Dr. Larry Brotherton – Tusculum University
- Dr. George Savage – Union University
About TICUA: TICUA engages Tennessee’s private, non-profit colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to better serve the State and its citizens. TICUA membership includes 34 member institutions comprised of four-year colleges and universities and professional colleges. In fall 2020, TICUA member colleges and universities throughout the State enrolled over 80,000 students and employed 21,000 faculty and staff. For more information about TICUA, please visit our website at www.ticua.org.