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Page 1

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends

spring 2020

Building in NASHVILLE pg.4 IMPACTING the world pg.30

Vol. 15 No.1

Cover: The George Shinn Center opened in September, offering an impressive multi-use event hall for community use, a student welcome center and academic spaces for the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts. See more details on page 4. Above: Students showed their Lipscomb spirit at Social Club Square Day this fall. Delta Omega cheered on the Lipscomb community in Bison Square, as did the 10 other student social clubs.

Senior Vice President of Strategy Susan Galbreath Editor Kim Chaudoin Senior Managing Editor Janel Shoun-Smith Writers Anna Moseley Cate Zenzen Kim Chaudoin Mary Kate Grant Janel Shoun-Smith Kalli Groce Photography Kristi Jones Lauren Scott Lipscomb Athletics Andrew Hooper

Design Hailey Speciale Zach Bowen Will Mason Produced by the Office of Public Relations & Communications. Lipscomb Now is published by Lipscomb University®. Go to lipscomb.edu/news to read more. Postmaster: Send changes of address to Lipscomb Now, Alumni Relations Lipscomb University One University Park Drive Nashville, Tennessee 37204-3951 ©2020 Lipscomb University. All Rights Reserved.

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends spring 2020 Vol. 15 No.1

Departments 3 …….. A Letter from the President 9 …… Lipscomb News 54……. A Word from Alumni Relations 56 ……Class Notes

4 —

LipscombLEADS A faith-driven, forward-thinking campaign. George Shinn Center taps into the power of storytelling to enrich the community and future students.

16 —

Lipscomb lights up!

20 —

Take it to the hoop

15 years after the first collaboration with Amy Grant, Lighting of the Green is still heating up the holidays.

Athletics took the ball to the hoop and started a new chapter in the

annals of Lipscomb’s basketball lore when the university hired two head basketball coaches at once.

24 —

Cracking the code to success James Murrell, College of Business alumnus, established a

pioneering escape room company just down the street from his alma mater.

30 —

Worldly wise Lipscomb is expanding its impact on the globe as students and

alumni are receiving Fulbright awards from the U.S. Department of State in numbers greater than ever before.

42 —

Paving the way for women Three alumnae are helping women enter male-dominated careers nationwide.

To see more of the Lipscomb Now features and the latest Lipscomb news log on to LIPSCOMB.EDU/NEWS.

The Lipscomb community is experiencing an unusual spring with the impact of the March 3 tornado in Nashville and the COVID-19 outbreak, but even with the uncertainty that comes with this the university remains firm in its commitment to an education that transforms the lives of its students.

A Letter from the President

IN CHALLENGING SEASON LIPSCOMB COMMUNITY REMAINS STRONG Welcome to Lipscomb Now, where we proudly share Lipscomb’s story. While I hope you will be inspired by the recent achievements and advances of the university featured in these pages, I know that what is on all our minds at the moment is health and safety, including the health and safety of the Lipscomb community. Since this publication was completed, the Nashville community has been faced with two significant challenges. There was a devastating tornado that struck the Nashville area March 3, leaving the campus unharmed but swaths of the city in ruins. Several employees and students lost their homes and belongings. Characteristic of the Lipscomb community, there was an urgent response to serve friends and strangers alike by donating labor, money and resources through churches, campus and community organizations, and GoFundMe campaigns. Together they dug through rubble and gathered to pray. Like the rest of the world, Nashville is facing an extraordinary public health crisis created by the coronavirus. With guidance from local and state health officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, we closed all study abroad programs and brought those students home, moved all classes to online delivery for the remainder of the semester, required nonessential employees to work remotely and cancelled all university spring events and activities.

While these unprecedented measures were taken to assure the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, our top goal remains to provide students with continued excellence in academic instruction. We are working to assure every student continues the trajectory of their degree plan without interruption and for the Class of 2020 to receive their degrees in May as planned. We will continue to share updates about this fast-moving situation on our website at www.lipscomb.edu/ covid-19 as new information becomes available. As a community that continually holds to God’s truths, we know this trouble will pass. As an important part of our community of relationships, I invite you to read the university’s stories in the pages that follow and stay engaged with the Lipscomb community through our website lipscomb.edu/news, Twitter: @lipscomb, Facebook: lipscombuniversity, Instragram: @lipscombuniversity, and Linkedin: lipscomb.


L. Randolph Lowry President




AN EXCITING NEW CHAPTER IN LIPSCOMB’S STORY George Shinn Center taps into the power of storytelling to enrich the community and future students

“We dedicate the George Shinn Center to the work of Lipscomb University, to the lives of those who will be enriched by it and to the God who invites all of us into his story of creation, redemption and love.” With those words, Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry formally dedicated the $11 million, 33,000-squarefoot George Shinn Center, the latest milestone completed in the $250 million Lipscombleads initiative, on Oct. 24, 2019. In an event focused on the power of stories to enrich faith, life, success and education, Lipscomb University celebrated its newest


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on-campus facility, the George Shinn Center, devoted to training students in the best ways to tell stories effectively, involving the community in the shared stories of our society and the beginnings of a new chapter in the story of prospective students who visit campus looking for the college that is right for them. “George Shinn has a story. And he wants to spend his life and his wealth helping people live into God’s story,” said Lowry of the man whose $15 million donation made the new center possible.

Shinn, the former owner of the Charlotte/ New Orleans Hornets, was first introduced to Lipscomb at a 2011 event to benefit the Lipscomb Athletics department. At that time, “it was clear he wanted to do good in his adopted city,” said Lowry. Shinn founded the George Shinn Foundation and regularly uses his Franklin, Tennessee, property, outfitted with a barn full of classic cars, as a venue to raise money. His various humanitarian efforts have included funding a medical clinic in Haiti, rebuilding homes in post-Katrina New Orleans, assisting needy families during the Christmas season and establishing a


Tennessee retreat center for ministers and missionaries. At the center’s dedication ceremony, Shinn shared his personal story of faith, describing how he came full circle to embrace the faith his mother gave him when he was just a child: “If you have the courage to get down on your knees and ask God for help, it will all work out.” Now the facility Shinn has funded at Lipscomb will spur many future generations to craft and tell their own stories. On the main floor, the center includes a Welcome Center space that tells the Lipscomb story through colorful exhibits on Lipscomb’s history, academics, campus life, career placement and the benefits of learning in the city of Nashville. “Every single prospective student who comes to this university will come to that Welcome Center. They will walk down those stairs wondering what their story is and how it will be affected by this community,” said Lowry, gesturing to the space behind the crowd gathered in the Shinn lobby. Rylee Russell, a Lipscomb student and admissions tour guide, highlighted the impact the Welcome Center will have on the future of Lipscomb: “I can tell you for a fact that the first few moments on a college campus are a really important part of the admissions process. Those first few moments have the ability to change the trajectory of a person’s life,” she said. The George Shinn Center plays host to CEA Studios (top three photos), an innovative space for the arts college’s creative incubator for film, music recording, animation and graphic design. The Welcome Center in Shinn (two photos at left) greets prospective students with colorful exhibits on Lipscomb’s history, academics, campus life, career placement and the benefits of learning in the city of Nashville.

The second floor of the center includes a multi-use event hall that can seat up to 1,000 people. “Hundreds of thousands” of people will meet in this hall over the coming years, said Lowry, noting that more than 150,000 people visit the Lipscomb campus each year for some type of activity. “They come and are invited into a story and then take part of that story away with them,” he said.




According to Walt Leaver, vice president of university relations, 21 events had already been held in the Shinn Center between its opening in September and the October dedication and 4,500 people had already come through its doors in that time. Finally, the rest of the main floor is filled out with collaborative classroom and studio space for the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts. The university-run creative production house, CEA Studios, serving as a resource for the Nashville community and a creative incubator for students and faculty is housed in a complex including a collaborative gathering space and studios in film, music recording, animation and graphic design. CEA Studios provides an organizational umbrella for the four creative areas and will utilize students, staff and faculty who hail from companies such as Disney and VeggieTales in the production process, said Mike Fernandez, dean of the college. “In a time when the role of the church to shape culture is diminished, it is the call of the artists to step in to the gap and tell stories that will shape culture and impact lives,” Fernandez said at the ceremony, which concluded with Lipscomb students singing a song from the university’s fall 2019 production titled Bright Star. “Use this space and the faculty and resources you have to tell stories that will move hearts and minds for generations to come,” Fernandez said. “My hope is that this space will be a beacon of light and that your creative work will be a bright star to the world.” The Lipscomb community gathered on Oct. 24 to dedicate the newest facility on campus — the George Shinn Center, which includes spaces to serve students, prospective students and the entire Nashville community.


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The multi-use event hall, which can be set up for concerts, performances, dinners, lectures or events of varying sizes, has already hosted many of Lipscomb’s signature events since its fall 2019 opening.


BREWER CAMPUS EXPANSION IS AN HISTORIC INVESTMENT IN STUDENTS’ FUTURE 22,000-square-feet of new space will encourage collaborative and creative learning

The students of Lipscomb Academy’s Lower School learn not only from books or their teachers, but they learn from the very space around them. By August, Lipscomb’s pre-K through 5th-grade students will have a brand new, larger space strategically designed to foster creative, innovative and practical thinking among children from pre-K to fifth grade. “When many of us think of education, we think of quiet study and desks that literally keep a student in isolation. But to prepare young people for today’s world, a much different approach is needed,” said Jonathan Sheahen, head of the Lower

School, which is in the middle of constructing a $16.5 million expansion at the Brewer campus at Granny White Pike and Harding Place. “In today’s world collaboration, creativity and innovative thinking is required. To learn that takes not isolation, but continuous interaction, hands-on practice with problemsolving, relationship building and encouragement to think freely.” In the past few years, the Lower School has incorporated furniture styles that are more mobile and interchangeable

to reflect this approach to education. With the new construction, “We’re expanding this idea into the very walls.” For example, in the new wing for fifth-graders, the walls themselves will be collapsible to allow changing the number of classrooms or encouraging collaboration. The learning commons will not only serve as the Lower School’s library (at four times the size of the current library), but will include a storytelling space for younger children and a Makerspace (with equipment such as a 3D printer

The first phase of the Brewer Campus expansion will include 22,000 square feet of new construction and 1,500 square feet of renovated space.


and building materials) for older children, he said. Including future phases expected to reach up to $25 million in improvements, the new construction is the largest investment Lipscomb has committed to its K-12 students. This first phase of the expansion will include 22,000 square feet of new construction and 1,500 square feet of renovated space. The academy’s teachers, students, board members and supporters gathered in April for a special groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the beginning of the project. In addition to the learning commons and the fifth-grade wing, the project includes doubling the size of the cafeteria to create a student commons that will include updated finishes designed to promote a family atmosphere

during meals and the equipment needed to make it usable for performances. The student commons will be a more appropriate size for gatherings that are currently held in the gymnasium and will boast much better sound quality, Sheahen said. Another improvement will be The Solly School, a designated learning and therapy space that provides special education and support services for students with special needs. The Solly School will eventually serve up to 20 students annually. The current phase of the campus expansion includes space for The Solly School to carry out physical, speech and occupational therapy. This includes equipment such as ceiling lifts to safely move students in wheelchairs and an activity room to allow for safe and therapeutic physical education classes for students who

BECOME A LEADER TO MORE THAN 5,000 STUDENTS. The path of success is filled with Lipscomb leaders like you. Help lead the way for future Lipscomb leaders by giving today. PROVIDE IMMEDIATE HELP We are daily sustained by contributions to the Lipscomb Fund.. Those donations have an immediate impact. They help us sustain essential programs and rapidly launch initiatives for growth. Immediate donations can also be made to support Lipscomb Academy and Athletics. lipscomb.edu/gift

ENSURE THE FUTURE Planned giving, whether through a current or estate gift, helps to ensure the future of Lipscomb and all our students, while at the same time creating substantial benefits for you and your family. lipscomb.edu/giving/gift-planning 8

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may not be able to be integrated into the existing P.E. classes, said Janna Woodason, the new director of special needs programs.

“A library is where you are quiet and absorb knowledge. We see the learning commons as being the opposite— inviting, interactive, participatory.” JONATHAN SHEAHEN



One of Lipscomb’s Fulbright fellows, Courtney “Coco” Stewart (’17), was selected by the National Institutes of Health to participate in the NIH Academy Enrichment Program, a program for recent college graduates to perform world-class research at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and learn about health disparities. Stewart, a Spanish and Bible graduate from Houston, spent her 201718 Fulbright placement teaching English and creating a healthy living curriculum for a school in the small town of Haro, in La Rioja, Spain. Her experiences there galvanized her decision to switch gears and pursue medical school.

Her one-year placement with the NIH, a postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award, provides recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time research at the NIH. Participants in this program work sideby-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. She began work at the NIH in September studying health disparities regarding sickle cell disease. Stewart will be exploring the ethical distribution of newly acquired genomic data and physicians’ responses to patients based on socioeconomic and ethnic status. Stewart’s position is part of the NIH Academy Enrichment Program, which offers competitive funding to trainees interested in learning about



Kevin Monroe is one of five in-residence faculty providing C-suite level instruction and mentorship to Lipscomb’s business students.

The College of Business has appointed Tennessee State Board of Accountancy chair and former Deloitte partner Kevin N. Monroe as its first partner-inresidence for the accounting program. Monroe, a CPA, recently retired as audit partner with Deloitte. As partnerin-residence in the College of Business, Monroe will co-teach auditing courses, assist in curriculum development, mentor graduate and undergraduate students, and participate in international trips for accounting students. Monroe has more than 35 years of auditing and accounting experience in a variety of industries, including insurance,

Courtney “Coco” Stewart is conducting research on health disparities regarding sickle cell disease, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

health disparities, studies that focus on health conditions that are unique to socioeconomically disadvantaged subpopulations and medically underserved, rural and urban communities.

To see more on Lipscomb’s 12 Fulbright fellows awarded in the past 13 years, see page 30.

retail, manufacturing, governmental and not-for-profit. At Deloitte, he most recently served as the professional practice director and senior technical and consultation audit partner for the firm’s Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte and Raleigh offices, with responsibilities for audit and accounting consultation matters, compliance, risk management and quality control. Prior to moving to Nashville, Monroe was assigned to the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, where he served clients in the insurance and utilities industries as the deputy director of professional practice. In 1996, Monroe was selected as a White House Fellow. As one of only two certified public accountants appointed in the 54-year history of the non-partisan White House Fellowships Program, he served as special assistant to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman.




Make a gift that will

Your generosity can make a lasting impact in the lives of students for years to come when you make a planned gift to Lipscomb University, while also potentially providing benefits for you and your fam



l empower generations.



To learn more about gift planning at Lipscomb, contact Paul Stovall, director of the university’s Center for Estate and Gift Planning, at 615.966.5251 or paul.stovall@lipscomb.edu.





The women justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court spoke all together for the first time at Lipscomb in February in honor of 100 year of women’s suffrage.



In honor of 100 years of women’s suffrage in Tennessee, the six former and current women justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court spoke at an event all together for the first time on the Lipscomb campus for a student and community event. The Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice and Society, housed in the College of Leadership & Public Service hosted a dinner and conversation with the women of the Tennessee Supreme Court and a forum for students on Feb. 10. The student forum featured a discussion on law, the court and the lives of these women who have

made significant contributions to their community and to the field of law. The institute dinner centered around a discussion of social, political and legal matters impacting the United States today. The speakers were: Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Justice Sharon Lee, Justice Holly Kirby, former Justice Janice Holder, former Justice Penny White and justice Martha Craig Daughtrey. The student forum was moderated by Kimberly McCall, adjunct faculty in the Fred D. Gray Institute, and students Jayla Williams, Mimi Vance and May Hartness.

The work of the Career Connection and the Center for Business As Mission were both highlighted in the Poets & Quants article naming Lipscomb’s College of Business one of 10 to watch in 2020.


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Poets & Quants for Undergrads, the leading online publication for undergraduate business education news, named Lipscomb one of ten undergraduate business schools in the nation to watch in 2020 due to its jump from 86th to 46th on its annual national rankings list. In addition, in the Poets & Quants alumni survey of 2017 graduates, one factor in the overall rankings by the organization, Lipscomb was the No. 1 top scorer on the question “Would you recommend the business program to a close friend or colleague.” “In the alumni survey, business graduates also ranked Lipscomb among the ten-best for networking opportunities, faculty availability, overall experience and being worth the cost,” wrote Poets & Quants, considered the most comprehensive assessment of undergraduate business programs in the country. Poets & Quants “10 to watch” list also included the likes of: Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business; New York University, Stern School of Business; University of Michigan, Ross School of Business; and University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. “Now in its fourth year, this feature honors the trendsetters that are increasing, inventing, innovating and investing. From rising in rankings to rolling out new resources, these programs are setting the standard for what students can expect and schools can achieve,” stated the Poets & Quants article, released in February.


Cicely Woodard, winner of the NEA Foundation’s Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, values encouragement in the classroom.


NEA HONORS DOCTORAL CANDIDATE FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE Cicely Woodard, a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Education program, took home one of public education’s most prestigious honors at the 50th annual NEA Foundation’s “Salute to Excellence” Gala. Woodard, who was honored as the Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2018, won the NEA Foundation’s Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence in 2019. The NEA Foundation is a public charity founded by educators for educators to improve public education for all students. This year, 46 educators nominated by their state affiliates were selected and awarded for their teaching excellence. “Cicely has been selected for this award by her peers not only because of her mastery as an educator, but also because of the empathy and compassion she shows for her students,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Like so many educators



across the country, she is dedicated to making sure that her students develop confidence, resilience and a love of learning.” A Memphis, Tennessee, native, Woodard taught seventh- and eighth-grade math in Metro Nashville Public Schools for 13 years and currently teaches eighth grade math in Franklin Special School District at Freedom Middle School in Tennessee. “Teaching can be time-consuming, challenging and sometimes overwhelming,” said Woodard. “But the impact that we make on the lives of students and that they make on us is powerful, life-changing and enduring.” Woodard said she values encouragement in the classroom, and she teaches her students how to be good encouragers through class cheers and circle time.

Lipscomb Academy has once again been named National Primary School of the Year and Tennessee Primary School of the Year by the National Energy Education Development Project. This is the fifth time the Lower School has been awarded these honors for its energy education project called Building Energy. Ginger Reasonover and Becky Collins, academy faculty and coordinators of the academy’s environmental program called the Green Team, and several students attended the NEED Youth Energy Conference and Awards in June in Washington, D.C. Lipscomb Academy’s Green Team is comprised of students from kindergarten through fourth grade who study ten sources of energy each school year. The NEED curriculum is the framework used for energy education at the academy. Each November, the Green Team organizes an annual America Recycles Day event, during which several tons of household waste items are usually collected for proper disposal. Students also assist with maintaining gardens and landscaping on school grounds. The Green Team also conducted an energy audit of a new wing that added 10,000-square-feet of classroom space at the Lower School in 2018. This year, the Green Team is assisting in maintaining the environmental integrity of the Lower School campus as work continues on the Brewer Campus Expansion Project. “This award is affirmation that what we are doing at one school in one city does make an impact— and that others are watching and learning from what we do,” said Ginger Reasonover (far left), academy faculty and cocoordinator of the 2018-19 Green Team, pictured here.



LIPSCOMB NEWS Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry (right) and UT-Martin chancellor Keith Carver (left) sign the Rural Leadership Scholars Partnership in December.



Lipscomb’s College of Leadership & Public Service recently launched a new Rural Leadership Scholars Program and announced the University of Tennessee at Martin as the first partner in the program, designed to develop leaders across Tennessee with a particular focus on those from the state’s 70 rural counties. As part of the partnership, students earn their undergraduate degree at UT Martin and a Master of Arts degree in leadership and public service. Students who agree to return to an officially designated rural community in Tennessee after graduation will receive support and scholarships. As part of their master’s studies, students will continue to live in their rural community and serve their community through projects and work, with the goal to produce educated rural leaders who will commit to developing the rural segments of the state. The program includes immersive learning experiences throughout the state in cities as well as many of Tennessee’s smaller cities, towns and rural communities to learn the dynamics of leadership and governance in a variety of contexts and to explore how the policy development process works from current leaders. The program may be completed in one year, and the first cohort of students will enter the master’s program at Lipscomb in fall 2020. In addition to coursework, students will also study with and be mentored by top leaders from across Tennessee and will develop a statewide support system and network of resources.


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FOUR ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDENTS SELECTED FOR STANFORD UNIVERSITY INNOVATIVE FELLOWS PROGRAM Four students have earned University Innovation Fellows status from Stanford University following a rigorous application process that included a proposal to increase Lipscomb’s campus engagement in entrepreneurial and innovative thinking and activities. Lipscomb students Lydia Baker, Matt Stuart, Jeremy Beeman and Josh Hayslett were among 360 students from 90 colleges and universities in 13 countries to be accepted by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design University Innovation Fellows program. The fellows program empowers students to become

agents of change at their schools. Fellows create student innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, facilitate experiential workshops, work with faculty and administrators to develop new courses and much more. In spring 2020, Lipscomb’s fellows will have the opportunity to participate in the program’s signature Silicon Valley Meetup in California. As part of the six-week application process, the four Lipscomb UIF fellows were immersed in high-level training on design thinking concepts that involve stakeholders on campus as part of the process, said Jeff Cohu, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and associate professor of management in the College of Business. Then students applied their ideas to Lipscomb and developed a proposal for strategies to increase campus engagement in entrepreneurial and innovative thinking and activities, he said.

As UIF fellows for a year’s time, they will engage stakeholders across the campus in preliminary discussions and will continue to work on making those connections more deliberate and focused. Lipscomb’s UIF fellows enjoy a group that hails from Georgia Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, The Ohio State University, Vanderbilt University and Yale University among others. A senior from Lincoln, Nebraska, Baker is majoring in entrepreneurship and human resources in the College of Business. Beeman is an electrical engineering major who plans to be a product designer or to work for a company which engineers devices to help those underprivileged. Fellow Stuart is a sophomore accounting major from Memphis, Tennessee, and Hayslett is a finance major from Memphis, Tennessee, who plans to work in asset management following graduation then transition to entrepreneurship.



LIPSCOMB BRINGS THOUGHT LEADERS AND PIONEERS TO CAMPUS, COMMUNITY This past year brought four pioneers in innovation and business to Lipscomb’s venues. In April, engineering students, professors and professionals gathered to hear keynote speaker Christine Darden (01), one of the African-American “human computers” described in Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book Hidden Figures, at a Global Day of the Engineer breakfast celebration. Darden, a NASA engineer and trailblazer for African American women in math and science, shared stories of the barriers she broke along her journey. During her 40-year career at NASA, Darden spent 25 of those years creating computer programs and test planes in an effort to minimize the sonic boom. More than 800 donors and friends gathered on April 15, for an evening of storytelling by former Aspen Institute CEO, author and journalist Walter Isaacson (02) at Imagine 2019 in Allen Arena. Isaacson, former chairman of CNN and editor of TIME magazine, examined the theme of leadership in innovation. A renowned biographer, Isaacson shared insight and lessons learned about innovation and leadership through the research of his most recent biography, Leonardo da Vinci (2017), which offered new discoveries about da Vinci’s life and work. “Ben Franklin to Einstein to Steve Jobs to Leonardo da Vinci—they are people who understood that you have to be at the intersection of the arts and the sciences to be imaginative,” he said. Former Google and Facebook executive Marissa Orr (03), spoke to

students and the community about the concepts outlined in her bestselling book Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power and the Workplace, a counter to the highly popular Lean In, published in 2013. Orr calls for an overhaul of the business world’s paradigm of what constitutes a successful leader in today’s day and age, with a particular focus on women. Sponsored in part by Women In Business in Lipscomb’s College of Business, the goal of the talk was to encourage the audience to think outside the box of modern feminist rhetoric or, as Orr would call it, to challenge the belief that women have to be the same as men in order to be equal, said Marcy Binkley, instructor in accounting and coordinator of the event. Hosted by the College of Leadership & Public Service, the 2019 Don R. Elliott Distinguished Presidential Lecture in October presented Jonathan Haidt (04), New York Times bestselling author, TED Talk speaker and professor of ethical leadership at New York University. Haidt is a social psychologist whose research applies moral psychology to rethink the way business ethics is studied. Haidt discussed what Christian groups and individuals can do to address the philosophical and political divide in the nation today in his speech titled “Becoming a Healer and Bridge Builder in a Polarized World.” He warned that Americans should not take the existence of democracy for granted, should actively work to reduce outrage in our society and should join a group devoted to increasing awareness and understanding among people who disagree politically.

Did you know that many of the world-changing speakers who visit the Lipscomb campus can be seen on video online? Check out youtube. com/lipscomb for guest lecturers and keynote conference speakers.






The Lipscomb Scene 01 This first week of classes of the 2019-20 school year brought a new look for one of the hottest student spots on campus—Starbucks, as well as President L. Randolph Lowry himself pouring free cold brew for students after the first chapel session of the year. 02 Students turned out in force to enjoy Salsa in the Square in Bison Square. 03 The Hutcheson Gallery hosted the second annual Animators After Dark exhibit, featuring the after-work-hours creations of the animation faculty, which includes former Disney animators. 04 Lipscomb founder David Lipscomb (portrayed by local actor and Lipscomb supporter Chip Arnold) paid a visit to the games and festivities in Bison Square on Founder’s Day in October 2019. 05 Homecoming & Family Weekend 2019 included a chance for alumni and visitors to sign Lipscomb’s famous Bison statue. 06 The Class of 2023 started the 2019-20 school year with the traditional Initium ceremony, where faculty encourage academic excellence among the university’s newest students and light the flame of curiosity by lighting candles.


07 Musician Sheryl Crowe and her son were among the performers at the Music City Mustang Stampede, a series of free concerts held for the community before the fall 2019 Lipscomb Academy football games. 08 Lipscomb’s social clubs had a busy weekend during Homecoming & Family Weekend, including the chili cook-off, keeping spectators of the Homecoming parade warm in the chilly afternoon. 09 This March Lipscomb’s Foundation Dance Theatre performed its annual dance concert, Elevate: A Heavenly View. The performance features all styles of dance including jazz, ballet, tap, theatre, modern and more. 10 Among many highlights of the fall semester for students is the ruthless dodgeball tournament, held in the courtyard of Fanning Residence Hall. 11 02



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Tennessee Governor Bill Lee spoke at a fall Nashville Business Breakfast, an on-campus networking event for local businesspeople to learn about issues of local economic importance.










Lipscomb Lights


he weather is always cold, but the audience is always kept warm with exciting entertainment (and some hot chocolate and a few blankets) at the annual Lighting of the Green, Lipscomb’s annual kick-off to the Christmas season that celebrated 15 years this past November. The free outdoor concert, always held the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, started in 2005 with just Amy Grant, Nashville’s own awardwinning songstress, and Lipscomb’s student choirs and jazz ensembles on a stage in front of then-Burton Bible Building. “If someone had told me the night of our first small gathering on the front steps of Burton that we would still be doing this 14 years later, I don’t know if I would have believed it,” Grant said at the 2019 event. “You never know when you initiate a dream, how long it will last. But tonight, we’re here for the 15th gathering and it has been quite a journey. Some years have been wet, some years have been cold, but every year our hearts are warmed by the gathering, and the memories and the music of my family and friends.”

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Guy Penrod

Buddy Greene




Melinda Doolittle

Amy Grant

Point of Grace

The Martins

Steven Curtis Chapman

Cody Fry Over 15 years, the event has evolved into a holiday spectacular featuring students and guest artists such as Michael W. Smith, Brenda Lee, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Lennon & Maisy from the hit ABC show “Nashville,” Vince Gill, Nicole C. Mullen, Mandisa, Melinda Doolittle, Point of Grace and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, among many others. While canned food and monetary collections for the Second Harvest Food Bank were a staple in the first few years, the event has also been used to benefit Youth Encouragement Services, the Barefoot Republic Camp and Retreat Center, and scholarships for Lipscomb students.

Lelan Statom

Valerie & John Guerra

Vince Gill

Dave B arnes

Danny Go key

Nicole C. Mullen

Sarah Ca nnon Cha pman

David Phelps Brenda Lee

Amy Grant & Co rrina Gill


Ta Randa Greene The year 2010 brought the debut of the Merry Marketplace, a collection of holiday vendors who donate a portion of their proceeds to benefit scholarships to Lipscomb, and in 2014 the university announced the first Amy Grant Endowed Scholarship, recognizing Grant as “one of her generation’s most influential advocates of Christian faith in America and the world” and for her volunteer leadership of Lighting of the Green.

Jordan Smith

Drew Holcomb

Grant is the best-selling contemporary Christian artist in history. She has been recognized with six Grammy Awards, 25 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and numerous other honors. She has achieved two number-one singles on the pop music charts. The great-granddaughter of the late A.M. Burton, a former Lipscomb board

Michael W . Smith

Ellie Holcomb member and one of the most influential figures in Lipscomb’s first 100 years, Grant attended Lipscomb Academy elementary school and charted a new course for her family’s association with Lipscomb by giving life to Lighting of the Green in 2005.




Men’s and women’s cross country teams advanced to the NCAA national tournament in fall 2019.



This November brought victory to three Lipscomb athletic teams, as the men’s and women’s cross country teams and the women’s soccer team all walked away with ASUN conference titles, sending them on to compete in the 2019 NCAA tournaments. These successes come on the heels of the 2018-19 season, Lipscomb’s most successful year in postseason play in the university’s NCAA era history. Five teams and two individuals, Courtney Brenner, senior, and Jonathan Imes, sophomore, both in track and field, competed in their respective national tournaments during the 2018-19 season. Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams made trips to their NCAA tournaments and bested their first-round opponents. The Lady Bisons softball team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third time. Both men’s and women’s cross country squads traveled to the NCAA tournament, and the men finished 14th with a total of 346 points. Since Lipscomb made the move to NCAA Division I in 1999, the university’s various athletic teams have advanced to their respective NCAA national tournaments 32 times.

The ASUN Conference awarded Lipscomb its sixth All-Academic Trophy and two Beam Awards for record-breaking performances by the men’s basketball and men’s and women’s soccer teams in 2019. Last year was the fifth time Lipscomb has nabbed the All-Academic Trophy in the last six years and the sixth time overall. The trophy goes to the conference school with the highest percentage of student-athletes with a 3.0 or higher GPA. This past year, 87.5 percent of Lipscomb’s student-athletes hit that mark, a percentage that continues to increase each year. The men’s soccer team led the charge compiling the highest team GPA in a season. Also leading the way for the Bisons was track and field’s Courtney Brenner, senior, who was named Scholar Athlete of the Year for cross country and indoor track. Brenner compiled a perfect 4.0 GPA this year. The ASUN Beam Award recognizes a school program that breaks new ground in ASUN achievement and enhances the reputation for achievement at their school and the conference. The ASUN awarded the men’s basketball team for coming back from a tough loss in the ASUN final to play in the semifinals of the National Invitational Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Bisons knocked out Wichita State to become the first ASUN team to ever play in the NIT Championship.



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Lipscomb brought home its sixth AllAcademic trophy and its first two ASUN Beam Award trophies in 2019.

The conference also awarded Lipscomb for becoming only the fourth ASUN program ever to earn an NCAA bid as ASUN Tournament Champions in both men’s and women’s soccer. In the NCAA, Lipscomb became the first ASUN representative to win first-round games in both men’s and women’s soccer. The women defeated Mississippi State, while the men defeated Washington. The men advanced to the Sweet 16 with a second round win over UCF.


Volleyball Coach Brandon Rosenthal (center) hit a milestone with 300 wins in September.



The Battle of the Boulevard is an intense rivalry no matter what Bison team is on the competition field. For the Lipscomb volleyball team, defeating down-thestreet rival Belmont in four sets on Sept. 10 took on an extra special meaning as it marked the 300th career win for head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “I don’t know if I ever dreamed of coaching this long, but this number is special to me because of the girls. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t get to play a point. It’s all about the ones who have been a part of this program from the beginning. And I’d be lying if I told you getting a milestone victory against Belmont isn’t cool. I just want people to know how hard these girls work to take this program to new heights,” said Rosenthal. In an interview with Lipscomb Now in 2010, Rosenthal shared insight into his approach to coaching volleyball, which he said has more to do with management than Xs and Os.

“I approach the coaching position as a director or CEO,” he explained at the time. “I read business books that on the surface don’t seem to have anything to do with athletics and yet they have everything to do with athletics.” Passion and ownership are two business principles that Rosenthal has woven into his program. And his approach —in addition to his obvious acumen for the game—has paid off. In his 17 years as head coach, Rosenthal has led the program to:

• • • •

Six ASUN Tournament Championships: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016. 13 consecutive trips to the ASUN tournament. A 46-game conference unbeaten streak. Nine seasons with 20 or more victories. Two undefeated ASUN seasons (20-0 in 2009, 10-0 in 2010)



For the second consecutive season, the Lipscomb women’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA National Tournament. The women traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for a match against the Louisville Cardinals in November. The Purple and Gold (13-5-2) clinched their second-straight NCAA berth after claiming the ASUN regular season and tournament championships. They won the conference tournament in dramatic fashion by defeating No. 5 seed Kennesaw State, 4-3 in a penalty shootout. The women’s soccer team’s advancement to the NCAA national tournament this past fall marked the 32nd team or individual from Lipscomb to compete nationally. lipscomb.edu/news



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THIS PAST SPRING, LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS TOOK THE BALL TO THE HOOP AND STARTED A NEW CHAPTER IN THE ANNALS OF LIPSCOMB’S RICH BASKETBALL LORE WHEN THE UNIVERSITY HIRED NOT ONE, BUT TWO, HEAD BASKETBALL COACHES. The following is a reprint of a spring 2019 interview. The 2019-20 season saw the men’s basketball team head to the ASUN championship game for the third consecutive year, with both programs laying a strong foundation for great accomplishments in the future. Find extras including complete bios and additional comments by both coaches at bit.ly/BisonBballcoaches.

On April 23, Lauren Sumski, former head coach at Rhodes College, was introduced to Bison Nation as the new head coach of the women’s basketball program. The following day Lennie Acuff, former head coach at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, met Bison fans for the first time as the newly appointed head coach of the men’s basketball program. Over the last year, both have been busy building coaching staffs, recruiting, learning the strengths of their teams, practicing and preparing for their debut in this past season. Lipscomb Now recently spent time with each new head coach to learn more about what to expect this season, their coaching philosophies and about their love of the game.

LAUREN SUMSKI Lipscomb’s first female and fifth women’s basketball head coach and first female women’s basketball coach Sumski comes to Lipscomb after serving as head coach for the Rhodes College women’s basketball team where she compiled a 35-21 overall record in her first head coaching position. As a high school player, Sumski was rated the 28th-best high school prospect in the nation by ESPNU Hoopsgurlz 100. In college, she played one season under the legendary Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee in 2010-11. She played her final three seasons with Rhodes, leading the nation in points per minute and finishing second in the nation in scoring. Passing on numerous professional





Lipscomb Now: What do you love about basketball? Lauren Sumski: As a coach, I love the people that I have been able to meet and all of the relationships that the sport allows me to develop and grow. I love the process of unique individuals from different backgrounds and experiences all coming together to form a cohesive unit with the same mission and goals. I love how team sports like basketball requires everyone to do a specific job or have a role for the betterment of the whole. It’s just the idea of putting the needs of others before yourself and participating in something much bigger than me. LN: You have learned from some of the best teachers of the game. How did they help shape you as a coach? LS: Yes! I was so fortunate to have been coached by Hall of Famers like Coach Pat Summitt, Coach Holly Warlick and Coach Mickie DeMoss at the University of Tennessee. I also got my collegiate coaching start under Hall of Famer Mark Campbell, who is a former Bison, while at Union University.


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I was able to learn so much about their philosophies, their coaching styles/approaches and what made their teams successful from a win/loss standpoint. I’ve incorporated things from all of them, while fitting in my personal coaching philosophy and personality. However, the greatest lessons that I learned from each and every one of them (in their own way) was how important it is to continue learning, keeping things in perspective and seeking balance from a family standpoint early in my career. LN: Every coach has guiding principles or philosophy. What is Lauren Sumski’s philosophy of coaching? LS: My philosophy is pretty simple. My mission is simply for everyone in my program to be better every day, in every area of their lives. I believe my job is to help everyone in my program to realize their gifts, to continually develop those gifts and to learn how to be good servants so that they will be markedly better people than when they arrived and ready for leadership after Lipscomb. I try to do this by loving my players, encouraging them, supporting them, holding them accountable and challenging them every day. LN: What is your vision for the future of the Lipscomb women’s basketball program? LS: My vision for the future of the Lipscomb women’s basketball program is for us to leave a legacy as a program that is simply set apart, a

light to the world because of who we are and why we play. I want our program to be known as one of the premier Christian women’s basketball programs where we do things the right way, our players go on and serve/lead others the Lipscomb way, and we win lots of championships. The championships definitely won’t be the validation or even the primary motivation, but I do believe they will be a byproduct of how we do things. LN: Tell me what we can expect to see from the Bisons on the court? LS: There’s no question about it that we will be a team that finds our identity in our defense, our toughness, our intelligence and our togetherness. Those are things we talk about every day. That’s not to say we won’t work on or focus on other things, but we should be set apart in those ways. LN: What do you want Bison fans to know? LS: I’d like to tell our fans how much we appreciate them! I’d also like them to know that we have some of the best young women and young men (practice squad) that I have ever met and had the pleasure to coach. We will all work hard every single day and be extremely grateful for their support. Lastly, I’d like them to know that this is a special group. They are so spiritually mature and really committed to their faith walks. They are definitely a light to me and a light to this campus!

basketball playing opportunities, Sumski decided to pursue a career in coaching and was awarded her first coaching opportunity as an assistant coach on Mark Campbell’s staff at Union University in August of 2014.

Lipscomb’s 19th men’s head basketball coach with more than 550 career wins For the past 22 years, Acuff was at the helm of the University of Alabama in Huntsville men’s basketball program where he built them into a national power with a 437-214 overall record. Acuff has been named the NABC District Coach of the Year four times and has been honored as the GSC Coach of the Year eight times, a conferencerecord. Highly respected by his peers in the collegiate coaching ranks, Acuff is one of just two NCAA-DII coaches to serve on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Board of Directors. A graduate of Shorter College in 1988, Acuff had an outstanding basketball playing career, setting a number of school records and is a member of the Shorter Athletic Hall of Fame. Lipscomb Now: What do you love about the game of basketball?

Lennie Acuff: It’s the ultimate team sport. From October when we start practice to when we stop playing in March or April, it’s 15 to 16 players plus a coaching staff who spend their time working toward one goal. But there’s no way we can be as good as we can be without everyone being on the same page. I love that

part of it. I love the challenge of that. It’s also a sport that you can get a lot better in if you have a commitment level individually. If you’re willing to work at your craft and are willing to spend time by yourself in the gym or weight room, you can see a real upward trajectory in your improvement individually. Then apply that to a team. That’s what attracts me to it. LN: You have learned from some of the best teachers of the game. How did they help shape you as a coach? LA: Former Lipscomb Coach Don Meyer is one of the most impactful. I learned from him that you can be demanding without being demeaning and to always put the program over the team. It’s about having a program of substance that resonates throughout the campus. I remember coming to camp as a high school player…and then coming to clinics as a coach and then ultimately getting to coach against Coach Meyer. He was the best teacher the game has ever had. I cannot tell you how much he taught me, how much I learned from him and the level of respect that I have for what he built here. Three of the guys on my high school team played on the [1986] national championship team. So I would have loved to have been a Bison! My high school and college coach also had a tremendous impact on me. I learned so much from those guys. As a coach I’ve tried to be a lifelong learner and draw upon what I learn from other coaches.



LN: What is your coaching philosophy? LA: Ultimately it’s to be impactful for the young men in our program and for those young men in turn to be impactful on our campus and community. If we do that, we are on the right page. One thing we talk about is our core values and staying true to who we are. Nothing in our core values says anything about winning. Trying to build young men of character, young men of faith. I tell our players that at some point you have to fall in love with the process and then the process will love you back. We have six core values that we talk about on a weekly basis. They are being selfless, thankful, humble, driven, committed and responsible. They’ll hear those things in their sleep because we are hammering them every day. LN: What can fans expect to see from the Bisons on the court? LA: I hope that in time people will say that they play the game the right way, that they play with respect for the game and for their opponents, that they are fun to watch and that the way they play, it makes me want to come back. People like to see a group of guys who are better collectively than individually.





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to escape the Lipscomb Lair, full of massive amounts of homework and endless exams? Watch for mysterious codes within this article. If you can decode them and collect the clues, you could receive a reward! Details on page 27.



ne of his many work days involves ciphers, locks and hidden keys, black lights, magnets, puzzles and secret doors. That’s because Murrell (’11) is the executive vice president of operations, culture and brand for The Escape Game, one of America’s earliest escape room attractions, that he founded along with two partners in Nashville. Today a tourist can barely go to any hot locale without seeing some version of an escape room, defined by Wikipedia as “a live‐ action, team‐based game where players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to progress and accomplish a specific goal in a limited amount of time.” But back in 2013, escape rooms were still undiscovered by most of the population, located in only a handful of cities in the U.S. That didn’t stop Murrell and his partners, his brother Johnny Murrell and Mark Flint, from creating their own escape room from scratch after Flint was blown away by the interactive experience in London. Flint visited London with his family and came across an attraction called HintHunt, an early escape room company founded in 2012. Flint came home with inspiration for a new business. At the time, live-action escape rooms were successful in pockets around the globe but were not widely known in America. The Murrell brothers and Flint were acquaintances through their church congregation. The three entrepreneurs got together and decided they had cracked the code to a successful new business. Today The Escape Game has 132 stores in 18 U.S. cities and top rankings on consumer review websites nationwide. 2019 brought the opening of new sites in New Orleans, San Francisco and New York City. There were plenty of twists and turns on Murrell’s treasure hunt to success. Murrell links his early entrepreneurial influences to his father, Steve Murrell, a missionary who built a large, successful church— Church of Victory Christian Fellowship—in the Philippines, where Murrell grew up. Dghpo’ ygqbpn, Oqptp Hsnnpff, co ijv knpocmpiq jy Ptpnx Igqcji, gi jnzgicagqcji mptjqpm qj kfgiqciz ubsnubpo gim ughkso hcicoqncpo ci ptpnx igqcji jy qbp vjnfm.

“It required a lot of practical and business knowledge,” he said of his father. “I learned all my business skills from watching him— organizational leadership and servant leadership.”



Murrell and his brother, who spent their high school years between Franklin, Tennessee, and the Philippines, have always been do-it-yourself businessmen. They dabbled in entrepreneurial ventures such as teaching tennis lessons in the neighborhood. “I didn’t want a regular job,” said Murrell. His entrepreneurial spirit grew at Lipscomb, where he and his brother (who attended Belmont University in Nashville) won second place in Lipscomb’s annual pitch competition with the idea for a dorm food company.

Qbp ujhkpqcqcji, ijv msrrpm qbp Ecqqnpff Kcqub Ujhkpqcqcji, co gi pfptgqjn kcqub ujiqpoq qbgq gvgnmo oppm hjipx qj oqsmpiqo vcqb kjqpiqcgffx hgnepqgrfp cmpgo yjn g rsocipoo jn knjmsuq.

The Murrell brothers also won startup cash at Belmont’s pitch competition with the same idea that morphed into their first company, Candy Galaxy, now an online store that sells wholesale candies for weddings, corporate events and parties. That’s where the brothers learned the day-to-day basics of running a business. “It gave us a platform,” he said. So the Murrells knew if they could solve the Candy Galaxy riddle, they could solve The Escape Game riddle as well. The three founders decided to start in Berry Hill, in Nashville, just a few miles from the Lipscomb campus. Flint and Johnny Murrell developed, tested and re-tested games in a basement. James Murrell focused on guest hospitality, a factor that would become a hallmark of their company. On opening day, the escape room concept was completely unknown in Music City, Murrell said. The first game at the Berry Hill site was the Nashville game, where participants search for a lost contract to gain their big break, which customers can still enjoy today. “We had no idea how it would work. The first day no one came,” Murrell said. “But we were obsessed with guest hospitality, and that’s a concept not really


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All three founders are still running The Escape Game. Today Murrell’s team handles employee training and new store openings, including the look and branding of each location and website marketing and communication. So Murrell’s job may have become more “regular” now, but “I still get to do a lot of fun stuff,” he said. “Actually my favorite part is the people I work with. I believe in building business, but I love connecting amazing people to amazing opportunity.” He tells the story of one employee he hired away from a minimum wage job, thus allowing her to work her way up to the general manager of an Escape Game location. “We like to develop people and find talent. We believe in home-growing our leaders,” he said. “Besides God and family, I think vocation is one of the most important things to people. I want to create a job that gives them purpose and provides for their families, and to create an atmosphere that is healthy for them. To be able to do that for them is how I see my work impacting the kingdom,” Murrell told Charisma Leader in 2016. In similar spirit, Murrell is a frequent visitor to Lipscomb’s business classrooms, where Joe Ivey, clinical professor in the College of Business, has invited him to reveal to his senior capstone business strategy students the secret key to success.


seen in the entertainment space. We started to get amazing reviews on Trip Advisor. “At that point, we became the number one thing to do in Nashville. That created so much buzz in the summer of 2014,” he said The Escape Game was exploding, open 12 hours a day. By 2015, the company began quickly expanding to Orlando, Pigeon Forge, downtown Nashville and Austin. Today, the Nashville game is one of the easier challenges at The Escape Game, according to Murrell, where participants can now puzzle through The Heist, Prison Break, Gold Rush, Special Ops, Playground, Mission: Mars, Classified and Ruins, in three Nashville locations. The corporate headquarters is still located in Nashville, with 100 employees stationed there and a large warehouse to test new game concepts. And at the same time, the escape room industry has also exploded in America. Many of those who later started escape rooms around the country got their first clues at Nashville’s Escape Game, Murrell said, stating that his company was among the early pioneers in developing a truly immersive experience and focusing on customer hospitality. “Our goal is to guide people to the best game experience for them,” said Murrell, noting that Prison Break is the hardest game they offer, followed by Special Ops.

“Among the business leaders I know, he is one who goes the deepest into knowing his brand, crafting customer experience and providing extreme hospitality,” Ivey said. Djp Ctpx co usnnpiqfx vjneciz qj vncqp gim ksrfcob g ugop oqsmx grjsq Qbp Pougkp Zghp, bczbfczbqciz qbp ptjfsqcji jy cqo usoqjhpnupiqpnpm gkknjgub ynjh pougkp njjh yjnpnsiipn qj qjmgx’o ogqsngqpm hgnepq.

Now in the crowded escape game market in the U.S., Murrell says the founders’ goal is to make The Escape Game among the top five escape room companies in the U.S. “We’re all three former college athletes, so we are very competitive,” Murrell said. “So we invest in our people and in our stores... We don’t want to just exist. We definitely want to build a better game.”

To read more details about James Murrell’s journey to escape room success, log on to http://bit.ly/EscapeAlum.

DID YOU CRACK THE CODE? Congratulations! You escaped the Lipscomb Lair!! Enter the answers to these questions at http://bit.ly/ EscapetheLair, and if they are correct, you will receive a reward from Lipscomb in the mail! Name of Steve Murrell’s ministry today? First word in the name of the pitch competition at Lipscomb? Full name of the person working on a case study about The Escape Game?







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mong those hired was Allen Long, a corporate executive-turned-educator, who now serves as head of the upper school, including grades 5-12. Long was most recently with Williamson County Schools serving as a tenured faculty member at Edmondson Elementary School where he taught fourth grade for three years and fifth grade for four years. Recognized as Edmondson’s Teacher of the Year in 201718, he also served as the fifth-grade team lead during the 2018-19 school year. During his time at Edmonson, Long hosted and mentored student teachers, aspiring teachers and new teachers to observe and learn the art and science of effective teaching techniques in the classroom. He facilitated professional learning communities and worked with various teams to improve teaching effectiveness and outcomes. “I am passionate about the power of education and transforming the lives of students,” said Long, a native of Cadillac, Michigan. “I firmly believe God led me to Lipscomb at this time as it quickly became clear that my experience in corporate America and my tenure in education could be combined in a powerful way to serve God, Lipscomb Academy and the Nashville community as head of upper school.”

For nearly two decades prior to building a career in the field of education, Long specialized in corporate human resources and staff management for Tractor Supply Company, Carter’s/ OshKosh B’Gosh Childrenswear and Batten & Shaw Inc. Long’s expertise focused on training, organizational development and performance improvement. In the corporate world, Long is known for his ability to be a strategic human resource partner to operational counterparts, helping individuals and corporations achieve success while realizing greater customer results. While serving the human resource needs of more than 350 retail locations for the national retailer Tractor Supply Company, Long designed and executed organizational development and recruitment programs supporting growth initiatives and implemented best practices for manager training. Additionally, he developed performance appraisals for corporate and retail employees and partnered with compensation management for competitive compensation plans. As regional human resource director at William Carter Company, parent company of Carter’s and OshKosh B’Gosh, Long created programs to

New Upper School Head Allen Long (pictured here with students) brings experience from Tractor Supply Company and Carter’s/ OshKosh B’Gosh as well as Williamson County Schools.

reinforce the strategic vision of the company and oversaw employee relations and coaching. “With extensive experience in organizational development, training and education, I believe I am uniquely qualified to help Lipscomb enhance academic offerings, strengthen rigor and provide an environment where teachers and students thrive. I’m excited to draw upon and utilize my skills and abilities to accelerate Lipscomb Academy’s progress toward becoming the premier faith-based private institution in Middle Tennessee,” said Long. Long holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in communications and management, a Master of Business Administration degree from

Grand Valley State University, a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in leadership and professional practice through which he is researching and writing his dissertation on culturally responsive teaching practices. “Everything Allen does is done with excellence, and he continues to impress the educational community with his depth, knowledge, skill and dedication to his work,” Jason Thompson, Lipscomb Academy parent and executive minister at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ. “He is a ‘people first’ person, and he will build relationships with academy parents, teachers, employees and

students. Most importantly his work ethic, character and grace will make him a great asset for Lipscomb Academy.” In addition to his work for Williamson County Schools, Long has also served as adjunct faculty at Lipscomb University and Lakeland College. Allen and his wife Charla have four children: Grace, Elise, Charleigh and Alex. Their family is actively engaged as members of Harpeth Hills Church of Christ serving as leaders in the children’s ministry area, teaching Bible classes and leading children’s worship.





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NATIONS From graduate study to assistant teaching, from diplomacy to mission work, the 12 most recent Fulbrights have touched 22 nations.

en. Fulbright admitted that his was “a modest program with an immodest aim.” However, 73 years after the program was signed into law by Pres. Harry S. Truman, it has grown to become one of the most prestigious scholarship programs in the world with grants that support graduate study, teaching, relations and research in 140 countries. Over the years, Fulbright scholars and students nationwide have gone on to win Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, to be recognized as geniuses by the MacArthur Foundation and to become heads of state.

Like Sen. Fulbright, Lipscomb has its own immodestly grand vision to impact the world for good, and in 2019 the university’s efforts produced an unprecedented harvest with five Fulbright fellowships awarded to Lipscomb students and alumni. Lipscomb has been the common denominator for 17 scholars throughout the decades who have served in, studied, taught and worked professionally in more than 22 nations. Twelve of these were awarded in the modern age, since 2006. They have participated in Teach for America and in Americorps; they

have studied at Georgetown, Cambridge and Oxford; they have worked at U.S. embassies, foreign media outlets, nonprofit community organizations and universities. And the most recent ones are studying to be the future doctors, lawyers and activists who shape our world of the future. From international health to access to education, from human rights law to international affairs, Lipscomb’s Fulbrights are working toward Fulbright’s “hopeful future for humankind.”







ipscomb’s global focus is growing stronger. Not only through Lipscomb’s academic, missions, global study and social entrepreneurship programs, but also through Courtney “Coco” Stewart, who developed a healthy living curriculum for an elementary school in a small town in Spain. And through Jared Brett, a master’s graduate who analyzed the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation for the U.S. cultural attaché in Indonesia. There is Bethany Eldridge, who went to the Netherlands to research Open Education Resources as a way to boost access to education for women and girls. And Nicole Marton, who in addition to teaching English at a university in Moldova, held English conversation clubs for community members. These are a few of Lipscomb’s Fulbright fellows, students and alumni selected by the U.S. Department of State to change the world one relationship at a time. In the past 15 years, the university has allocated more resources to student research, study abroad, rigorous honors study, servicelearning opportunities and programs designed to embrace the study of language alongside another major. Those allocations have paid off with 12 students and alumni receiving Fulbright placements in Austria, Colombia, Moldova, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, South Korea, Greece and Uruguay over the past 13 years. In 2019, Lipscomb celebrated a record five Fulbright scholarships awarded to students or alumni in one year. “Lipscomb had an incredibly strong group of Fulbright candidates last year, students who had traveled extensively, who had strong academic profiles and language skills, and who had exceptional extracurricular experiences in research and volunteering,” said Paul Prill, director of the Honors College, who serves as the on-campus Fulbright advisor. A Fulbright award can open possibilities for prestigious graduate schools or for a career in diplomatic service, said Prill.

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In fact, two of Lipscomb’s most recent Fulbright recipients have gone on to study at Georgetown University, one earned a degree from Cambridge University and one plans to attend medical school after she completes a one-year research placement at the National Institutes of Health. One Lipscomb Fulbright has served as a foreign service officer in U.S. embassies for a decade. More students now arrive on campus with impressive travel and service experiences and are then bolstered by Lipscomb’s global travel and service-learning programs. Hannah Minor had lived in the Bahamas with her family before coming to Lipscomb; Brett spent six weeks in the Middle East. Experiences such as those were galvanized by Lipscomb’s semester-long study programs in Austria and Chile (and now London and Costa Rica are also offered). According to the Office of Global Learning, more than 400 Lipscomb students participated in global study in more than 34 cities around the world in the 2018-19 school year. Lipscomb’s Fulbrights also took full advantage of required internships, servicelearning opportunities and Nashville’s state capital status to be involved in community engagement and activism during their college years. Eldridge interned at Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s office for the assistant for special projects. Lila Banach volunteered at the Nashville International Center for Empowerment as an English teacher in refugee classrooms. Katie Jacoby was an AmeriCorps volunteer for a month in Philadelphia. Anissa Plattner spent a year in Los Angeles with the Episcopal Service Corps. Personal mentorship by Lipscomb’s faculty also spurred many of these students to seek the Fulbright opportunity, they said. “I can’t imagine having gone to school anywhere else and forming these kinds of relationships not only with my fellow classmates but with my superiors who have become my mentors,” said Marton.

Hannah Logsdon (left) and Lauren Borders (center), two of the 2019 Fulbright fellows, trade stories with Paul Prill (right), director of the Honors College and the university’s Fulbright advisor.





FULBRIGHTS In the past 13 years, 12 students or alumni have been selected for Fulbright fellowships from the U.S. state department.



Nicole Marton (above) requested Moldova for her Fulbright placement because of her Romanian heritage. Lauren Borders (below left) is excited to be carrying out a research project of her own design in Uruguay. Anissa Plattner (below right) was interested in the experience of teaching ESL at a university level. Courtney Stewart’s (facing page) experience in Spain galvanized her desire to go to medical school.


MEET LIPSCOMB’S MOST RECENT FULBRIGHTS Emily Royse Green (’06), an English and German major from Columbus, Ohio, worked as a Fulbright student in Vienna, Austria, in 2006-07. Green earned a master’s degree from Georgetown University and then began a decade-long career as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State, working in embassies in Tel Aviv, Israel, Conakry, Guinea, and Freetown, Sierra Leone. She also served a stint in the Office of International Health and Biodefense in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science. Katie Jacoby (’09), an English and Spanish major from Mason, Ohio, taught English in Bogota, Colombia, in her 2009-10 Fulbright year. She married a Colombian and continues to work as a translator and write for an English-language newspaper in Bogota. Bethany Eldridge (’12), a law, justice and society major from Henderson, Tennessee, spent her 2012-13 Fulbright year in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where she earned a master’s degree in society, science and technology, studying educational opportunities for girls in

developing countries. Afterwards, she worked for several nonprofit organizations in California and Nashville until moving to Great Britain to earn a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in education, globalization and international development. She then worked for VisionFund, a microfinance institution to empower women and their families in Nashville, until August, when she began Ph.D. studies at the University of Michigan on a Rackham Merit Fellowship. Jared Brett (’12), a Master of Education graduate through the Teach For America program, spent the 2013-14 year teaching English in Indonesia. During his placement, he also wrote an analysis of the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation, the Fulbright affiliate in Indonesia, for the U.S. cultural attaché in Indonesia. The San Diego native graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor’s in psychology. He taught fifth grade at John Trotwood Moore Middle School for two years before leaving for his Fulbright fellowship.


U.S. EMBASSIES One fellow has worked at the embassies in Israel, Guinea and Sierra Leone.


HONORS COLLEGE All undergraduate fellows were enrolled in Lipscomb’s Honors College.





After his Fulbright year, Brett held various management positions in companies in Pennsylvania, California and Chicago, and is currently the technical project manager for McMaster-Carr in Chicago. Nicole Marton (’16), a law, justice and society and German double major, from West Virginia, was Lipscomb’s 2016-17 Fulbright She returned from a year teaching English in the departments of history and philology, and law and public administration at the State



One fellow studied at Oxford and one studied at Cambridge.



One fellow worked at the U.S. State Department, another studied at Georgetown University and a third is a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, all in the Washington, D.C., metro area.



Seven fellows participated in Lipscomb’s semester-long programs in Vienna, Austria, and Santiago, Chile.



Three Lipscomb Fulbrights were also Nashville Teach For America corps members.


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University of Cahul in Moldova to enter the international human rights law program at Georgetown University Law School. During her studies she has interned at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Health Justice Alliance and the New York City law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. Anissa Plattner (’16), an education graduate from Nashville, received a 2019 Fulbright placement to teach English at a university in Pereira, Colombia. Plattner is an English language development specialist for Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles. Courtney “Coco” Stewart (’17), a Spanish and Bible double major from Houston, spent her 2017-18 Fulbright placement teaching English and creating a healthy living curriculum for a school in a small town in the La Rioja region of Spain. Her experiences confirmed her decision to pursue medical school. After taking some prerequisite courses at Lipscomb this past summer, she was accepted into a National Institutes of Health program and is spending a year researching health disparities in Washington, D.C., before pursuing medical school. Hannah Minor (’17), an English and German major from Kennewick, Washington, spent her 2018-19 Fulbright placement teaching English in a school in Dresden, Germany. Before coming to Lipscomb, Minor had lived with her family in the Bahamas and began learning German there. While at Lipscomb she studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, and was a member of the English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. Lauren Borders (’18), a communication major from Duluth, Georgia, received a 2019 placement at the University of Montevideo, in Uruguay, to research political broadcast journalism. Borders now works as the digital and communications coordinator at Calvert Street Group in Nashville before her Fulbright fellowship starts in March 2020. During college, Borders studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, and chose to research journalism during the Chilean dictatorship. After her Fulbright year, she hopes to work in advocacy for prison or immigration reform or possibly pursue a graduate degree in political psychology.

Melissa Edberg (’18), a Master of Education graduate through Teach For America, received a 2019 Fulbright placement to teach English in Spain. The native of Wales, Massachusetts, and graduate of Worchester State University, served as the fifth-grade chair and social studies teacher at STEM Prep Academy Charter School in Nashville, until her placement began in September. She hopes the fellowship may be the first step on the ladder to becoming an ambassador for the United States someday. Lila Banach (’19), an English graduate from Prattville, Alabama, received a 2019 placement in South Korea. Banach previously taught English in South Korea for the past two summers and left for her Fulbright placement in July. While an undergraduate, Banach started a Lipscomb chapter of Liberty in North Korea, a nonprofit that assists North Korean refugees. The group has raised more than $3,000 for the cause. She also volunteered at the Nashville International Center for Empowerment. While teaching in South Korea, Banach hopes to study “the relationship between Altaic languages like Korean, Turkish and Mongolian, and European languages like Basque and Finnish.” Hannah Logsdon (’19), a Master of Education graduate with Teach For America, received a 2019 placement to teach English in Greece. The Lexington, Kentucky, native was the fourth-grade teacher at Purpose Preparatory Academy Charter School in Nashville until she left for her fellowship in August. Logsdon holds a bachelor’s in studio art from Transylvania University and pursued a fellowship because of its “emphasis on deep understanding between cultures and the openness to all the experiences life has to offer.”

The Honors College celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. To learn more about this program that has proven crucial in developing students into Fulbright awardees log on to bit.ly/HonorsCollege30.



Nicole Marton (above) worked with students of varying ages during her Fulbright fellowship in Moldova. Katie Jacoby (below left) worked with inner-city children at a youth camp as an AmeriCorps volunteer during her years at Lipscomb. Hannah Minor (below right) served as an intern in the Tennessee Department of Treasury before her Fulbright fellowship.






JASON CARNEY (’16), owner of Energy Electives and current president of the Tennessee Solar Energy Association, was featured in a July 2019 story on National Public Radio detailing his mission to bring solar and clean energy to black communities in Nashville and Tennessee. The NPR story, reprinted here, highlighted the project he began during his master’s studies at Lipscomb to install a solar array at Whites Creek High School, a majority-AfricanAmerican, public school in north Nashville. He remains engaged with students and is developing a curriculum to enhance Whites Creek’s Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability and Logistics.

By Andrea Hsu Heard on All Things Considered A FEW YEARS AGO, JASON CARNEY CAME ACROSS A STATISTIC THAT TOOK HIM BY SURPRISE. In its 2015 survey of jobs in the solar industry, the nonprofit Solar Foundation reported that 0.0% of solar workers in the state of Tennessee were black or African American. That number caught Carney’s eye because the Nashville native is African American—and was working there as a solar installer in 2015. In fact, he was starting to design a solar array for his own home in north Nashville. Clearly, there had been an undercount. But, he thought, maybe not by much. Throughout his career, Carney, 39, has frequently been the only person of color in the room. It was true when he worked in the heating and cooling industry, and it remained true as his professional path led him into green building work and solar design. “Going into [a] boardroom, I’m the only person of color. We go to these conferences, and I’m the only person of color. We go to the U.S. Green Building Council—the local chapter—and of 200 people, it might be me and maybe one other person of color,” he says. “It was very intimidating.” Add to that, Carney says, there was just no talk about solar or clean energy within Nashville’s black

Andrea Hsu/NPR


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communities. It was a depressing reality, he thought, given that solar is booming in the U.S., with installations doubling in the past three years and set to double again by 2023, according to the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. Fearful that communities of color will miss out on the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy, Carney is working to introduce solar in places where it has yet to take off and to people who may not think that solar is for them. While Carney is focused on Tennessee, research shows that his experiences in Nashville reflect national trends… …In Nashville, Carney doesn’t know of any black household—aside from his own—that has installed solar. That troubles him, given what he knows about black neighborhoods in Nashville. Many residents, including his own grandmother, face high energy burdens, meaning they spend a large share of their income heating and cooling their homes. “Bottom line is, the houses are old. And when the houses are old, they’re less efficient,” he says. “Insulation may have never been there, according to old codes that aren’t as good as the codes are today. Or it’s old and sagging and not doing what it used to do. Roofs may need to be updated. HVAC units [may be] out of whack.” Carney says all of this contributes to monthly utility bills running in the hundreds of dollars—and to a sense of helplessness. “There is no conversation about what we can do. The conversation is always about how high my bill is. People almost get into a competition. It’s like a sad competition” about who has the highest bill, he says. Through advocacy work over the past few years at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and now at his own clean energy consulting business, Carney has tried to steer the conversation elsewhere.

And then there’s his project at Whites Creek High School, a majority-black, majority-low-income public school that is a seven-minute drive from his home in north Nashville. While a graduate student in 2015, Carney had the idea to build a solar array somewhere in the community as an educational model—a conversation starter of sorts. By providence, he says, the local high school turned out to be the perfect spot; it’s home to several career academies aimed at giving students exposure to fields such as community health, automotive technology and alternative energy. Over several years, Carney has given guest lectures about clean energy, accompanied students on field trips to Music City Solar, the local utility’s community solar project, and led the most enthusiastic students through designing and building a solar array on a grassy slope beside their school, with costs covered by grants and donations totaling around $40,000. Eighteen-year-old Daniel Van Clief spent much of his senior year working alongside Carney on the project, calculating the depth of the steel posts that hold up the frame, pouring concrete for those posts, building the frame and installing the 48-pound panels, a task that required no small amount of acrobatics. Seeing the solar array take shape, other students would drop by to ask questions and help out. “We turned this field from nothing to something,” says Van Clief with a hint of pride, giving Carney credit for inspiring him to take a leadership role. “He made me want to do this.” The new graduate hopes to continue working with Carney. “It’s kind of cool, because it’s like a reverse job shadow,” says Trevor Johnston, who teaches agriculture and alternative energy at the high school. “The professionals come to you, and you learn the same skills as if you were doing it out in the field.” Carney’s message to students goes beyond that. He talks a lot about job opportunities in clean energy and tells them they

Whites Creek High School seniors Daniel Van Clief (left) and Kelando Rogan (center) are joined by Michael MacMiller, a regional organizer for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. All three consider Carney a mentor. Andrea Hsu/NPR

Daniel Van Clief, who graduated from Whites Creek High School in May, spent much of his senior year working alongside Carney learning the skills needed to become a solar installer. Andrea Hsu/NPR


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Carney examines the work of students from Whites Creek High School, in the Nashville school system. Andrea Hsu/NPR

NO ONE CONTROLS THE SUN... RIGHT NOW ALL YOU NEED IS KNOWLEDGE... AND YOU NEED TO HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF TO GO AFTER IT. can absolutely take part. “No one controls the sun,” he says. “If someone could, they would, but they can’t. Right now all you need is knowledge. You need to understand how it works. And you need to have faith in yourself to go after it.” Carney hopes he can help fill the mentorship void he experienced in Nashville. “There’s just no other way to get this to our communities,” he adds. But he knows that rooftop solar is a hard sell in Tennessee right now. It’s part of a bloc of Southern states that, unlike much of the country, has not adopted mandates promoting renewable energy. And while the Tennessee Valley Authority, the federally owned power supplier, once offered generous economic incentives for installing rooftop solar, it no longer does so. “Our analysis shows utility-scale solar provides the best value for all of our customers across the Valley,” Doug Perry, TVA’s vice president for commercial energy solutions, said in a statement to NPR. “We can use our economies of scale to ensure it’s reliable and at the lowest feasible cost. When we do that, everyone benefits, even those who can’t afford or don’t want to install personal solar panels.”

So even with the dramatic drop in the price of solar installations—70% over a decade, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association—and even with the help of the federal solar investment tax credit, putting solar on your roof in Tennessee remains a costly endeavor, in the tens of thousands of dollars. “It’s still an investment,” Carney says. “And when you’re in communities where people are hand to mouth, they don’t have room for investment.” Still, Carney looks for signs of hope where he can find them. In early June, Nashville’s Metro Council approved a trio of bills that supporters are hailing as the city’s own Green New Deal. The legislation sets a 100% renewable energy target for the metro government, requires government vehicles to be zero-emissions by 2050 and also introduces new green building standards for government buildings. “So there are still these seeds of what can happen tomorrow,” Carney says. “But we’ve got to keep pressing.” ©2019 National Public Radio, Inc. News report titled “Stepping Into The Sun:

A Mission To Bring Solar Energy To Communities Of Color” by Andrea Hsu was originally published on npr.org on July 23, 2019, and is used with the permission of NPR. Any unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited.




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Michaela Kirk, an engineer at Turner Construction, has started a construction-focused camp for girls, held on Lipscomb’s campus, along with her fellow female engineers at Turner.

onstruction. Computation. Computers. Think of these three areas, and you are probably envisioning men. Three women of Lipscomb are taking steps to change that. Michaela Kirk. Maura Cunningham. Marla Lamont. One graduate of the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering banding together with her female co-workers to hold a summer camp for girls to learn the basics of construction and engineering. One graduate of the Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute of Civic Leadership creating an enrichment course on financial services that is now reaching out to girls across the nation. One graduate of the College of Business putting her leadership skills to work in a Nashville association mentoring and raising money for young girls who want to enter technology fields. These women are crafting a future where women will not just survive in these career fields. They will thrive, and they will lead.




TRADING HIGH FASHION FOR A HARD HAT TO PUT HER ENGINEERING DEGREE TO WORK IN CONSTRUCTION Lipscomb alumna Michaela Kirk (’15) is paving the way for women in construction one project at a time. Kirk, a business development engineer at Turner Construction, the number one health care construction manager in Nashville, is not only finding success in a male-dominated field, but she is also paving the way for future women to enter engineering and construction with Girls Build It, a two-day camp to introduce girls to the industry. Although she fell in love with the profession during her junior year at Lipscomb, construction was never on Kirk’s radar before college. For as long as she can remember, Kirk had a dream of moving to New York and becoming a fashion designer. “My mom was a model in the 70s, and that really sparked my love for the fashion industry,” said Kirk. “During my senior year, my mom told me she didn’t want me to follow in her footsteps because the fashion industry


is a cutthroat one. I thought to myself, ‘I am 18, about to decide on a college, and you’re telling me that I shouldn’t do the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do?’” Kirk decided that if she couldn’t design clothing, she would design buildings. Her plan was to major in engineering at Lipscomb and then pursue a graduate degree in architecture. It didn’t take long for Kirk to find her niche as an innovator and leader in the engineering department. In 2015, she served as the project manager on Lipscomb’s first concrete canoe team. “As the project manager, I assisted my teammates with the research. Our team went to several competitions just to learn best practices from teams that were already competing,” said Kirk. She worked with four students from her civil engineering class on the project, and today students in the engineering department still compete every year in an attempt to create an 18-foot-long canoe that will hold up to four people (650 pounds), while weighing about 700 pounds itself. Kirk discovered her passion for construction in her junior year after



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hearing professionals at a symposium discuss future construction plans for the Greater Nashville area. “It was a construction symposium focusing on health care. I went and I fell in love with it. There were architects, engineers and civic designers, all talking about what is on the forefront of design in Nashville,” she said. Once she graduated from Lipscomb, Kirk veered from the architecture path and instead went straight into Vanderbilt’s construction management program. Because most of her classes were at night, Kirk was able to work full time in an internship at Turner. That internship turned into a career when she was hired on after graduation as an assistant engineer. She now serves as Turner’s business development engineer. “My position is unique in that I get to work with all of Turner’s offices,” said Kirk. “We have offices in Nashville, Memphis and Huntsville. Any project that we pursue at Turner, I get to touch.” Kirk is also using her role at Turner to serve as a role model for young women interested in engineering and construction careers. Along with other female professionals

Engineering graduate Michaela Kirk, helped lead Lipscomb’s first concrete canoe competition team as a student and was featured in the Nashville media.

at Turner, she has established a free two-day camp called Girls Build It. “The idea for Girls Build It came from our human resources manager at Turner,” said Kirk. “A company she previously worked for in California had a similar camp. and she suggested we lead one here in Nashville. Since our paths to construction were all interesting, she thought we could be examples to these girls that construction is a viable option for them too.” The team began planning in August of 2017 and the camp officially started in June of 2018, held on the Lipscomb campus. Campers participated in hands-on sessions led by the women from Turner. From visiting landmark construction projects to building concrete lamps, campers got a view of trades, construction and engineering fields. “This camp is a great way to show high school girls that they can use power tools and wire a concrete lamp, and they can have fun doing it, too,” said Kirk. “When I was in high school, I had no idea construction was even a possibility for me, so being able to show them that it is an option, and that they are capable, is exciting.” “My advice to other girls is that the worst people can tell you is no, so it doesn’t hurt to try out anything and everything that interests you,” says the woman who wears a

hard hat but is still the style maven for her family and friends. “Don’t limit yourself to one area and don’t let others tell you what career path you should take.”

ROCKING WALL STREET WITH A NEW GENERATION OF FINANCIALLY SKILLED WOMEN Maura Cunningham (MACL, ’12) believes math can be used for even more than scientific achievements or computing marvels. It can also be used to empower women. “In the U.S., we start to lose girls in math at age nine,” said Cunningham, a former financial professional who now runs a nationwide nonprofit, Rock The Street, Wall Street. “As they age, girls report significantly lower confidence in math, despite earning equal scores to boys. Eighty percent of teachers self-report that they are not competent teaching financial literacy. “So it’s no wonder that two out I of three women state they know little to nothing about finance or financial products,” said Cunningham. That’s where Rock the Street, Wall Street comes in. The academic, year-long, financial literacy program established by Cunningham in 2013 is


designed to spark the interest of high school girls in careers of finance. “Exposing high school girls to the creative and practical sides of math—such as stock market investing—can influence their career choices and empower them to make better decisions about money,” she said. As a 25-year finance industry veteran, she knows that women often hesitate to pursue careers in traditionally maledominated occupations because they don’t believe they have the skills or confidence to be successful. “I was often the only female producer in my office. I looked around me and realized the lack of females in my field was a result of financial topics not being taught in schools along with the absence of female leaders and role models for young women to emulate,” said Cunningham. The native New Yorker worked in real estate syndication, unit investment trusts and taxable fixed income capital markets as well as built a successful practice advising high net-worth families on wealth management before powering down her





Maura Cunningham addresses girls in the Rock the Street Wall Street program, a national enrichment program she initially developed while a graduate student in Lipscomb’s Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership.

trading computer about a decade ago to leave behind the bulls and bears of Wall Street to look for a new challenge in Nashville. That new challenge ended up becoming Rock the Street, Wall Street. In 2011, Cunningham enrolled in the inaugural cohort of Lipscomb’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership. A key component of the master’s program in civic leadership is a capstone project. With this assignment, Cunningham saw an opportunity to give life to her idea: an initiative to set more young women on a path to better understand finance and to pursue careers in the financial services industry. In 2012, with degree in hand, Cunningham began the pilot stage for RTSWS at one local Nashville school. The program introduces financial concepts such as savings, investments, budgets, stocks, bonds, and college and career financial preparedness. All of these topics are taught by female financial professionals. Today Rock The Street, Wall Street has served over 1,700 high school girls and is offered in 29 high schools across 16 U.S. cities.


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These days Cunningham finds herself invited to White House conferences on STEM education, heading to speaking engagements at NASDAQ and accepting awards from the Women’s Bond Club, a 98-year-old organization in New York City that focuses on advancing women in finance. RTSWS has been featured in financial trade magazines and on local TV stations. “We hope to break the cycle of multigenerational financial naiveté so that girls have a better chance at improving their lives, their communities and the financial services industry,” said Cunningham.

USING HER BUSINESS SENSE TO BRING MORE WOMEN TO TECH Marla Lamont (MBA, ’15) began working in the telecomm industry at the start of the millennium, and at the time, she had no idea that she would someday be in part responsible for hundreds of young women making their own way into technology industries. Lamont, now director of talent acquisition at HCA, has been president of

Women in Technology Tennessee since October of 2017 and has worked tirelessly for at least five years before that in raising money for the almost $50,000 in college scholarships the organization awards to girls each year. One of her can’t miss events each year is the Adventure Science Center’s TWISTER, a one-day conference for high school girls presented by women working in STEM careers. Lamont presents two scholarships to participants at TWISTER, which stands for Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Research. “Getting to announce the winners of the scholarships to them at the actual event, just getting to see the look on their faces makes me feel really good about what I do and how I am affecting someone’s life,” said Lamont. “When you read the applications, see the challenges they have already overcome and understand how much they could achieve with the money, it makes me very passionate about it.” Lamont first worked in the telecom industry beginning in 2000, but when she switched gears to move into IT recruiting in 2005, she became acutely aware of the lack

rate, only 17 percent of these jobs could be filled In 2018, The Nashville Technology Council by U.S. computing graduates, Lamont said. awarded Lamont the Community Leader of the “We need you as women to get computer Year Award, which recognizes local leaders who science degrees and to get one of those 3.5 million are “making Nashville the destination for creative jobs,” said Lamont. “Having the diversity of and innovative technology.” thought that a woman brings to a company can ““We want to revolutionize the experience only be a good thing. The way women approach of women in tech and establish a new standard problems is different from a man, so having a of inclusion for tech culture and leadership,” said different approach will only be an advantage.” Lamont of WiTT. “It is so important to reach girls at a young age to get them interested in tech, and we are focusing on outreach programs for STEM initiatives and coding clubs, among other things, in the middle school and high school arenas.” Diversity and collaboration sparks more innovation and quality performance, Lamont said, so it’s crucial that more women make their way into tech fields, which is still not happening in the numbers needed, she said. The National Center for Women and Information Technology reports that in 2017, only 26 percent of the computing workforce were women, and the WE WANT TO REVOLUTIONIZE number of women earning degrees in computer science has been THE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN IN TECH steadily decreasing since 1990. AND ESTABLISH A NEW STANDARD At the same time, by 2026, OF INCLUSION FOR TECH CULTURE 3.5 million computing-related jobs AND LEADERSHIP are expected to exist. At the current


Marla Lamont serves as president of Women in Technology Tennessee, an organization that helps mentor Lipscomb’s female students in the College of Computing & Technology.




of women in the IT industry and the lack of female candidates to fill IT spots. The realization inspired her to become part of WiTT in 2004. At that time, WiTT had only been established for six years and was primarily focused on networking and encouragement of members to overcome the struggles of a male-dominated field. But the group started raising a little money for scholarships and now offers not only the scholarships but also an annual coding camp, programs within the schools, sponsorship of a girls’ robotics team at Merrol Hyde Magnet School and two mentorship programs at Lipscomb University and Middle Tennessee State University. Lamont became more involved with WiTT, first being elected to the board, then becoming director of sponsorships, then vice president and now president until December 2019. She will continue to be heavily involved in WiTT activities as past president for the next two years. This past winter, Lamont was excited to personally deliver a batch of the books Hidden Figures to Stratford STEM Lower School and to sponsor their participation in Engineering Day activities at Lipscomb when Hidden Figures’ author Margot Lee Shetterly spoke for the students.





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ood friends Seth Walker and Ken Brassell went across the Allen Arena stage at Lipscomb’s spring commencement ceremony not individually, but the same way they had walked around campus, to classes and labs and visiting in the student center for the past two and a half years: together. The May ceremony was the completion of a journey begun in 2014 when Brassell volunteered to become the hands and feet of Walker, who was born with cerebral palsy. Walker cannot walk or do any daily tasks of living independently. Even so, Walker wanted to obtain his college degree. When he was born, Walker wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a heartbeat. Physicians brought him back to life 30 minutes later but as a result of the lack of oxygen to his brain for that time, Walker has cerebral palsy. “Cerebral palsy affects brain function and is a lifelong condition with no cure,” said Walker, with the assistance of a device strapped onto his forehead and with the help of Brassell. “It can be severe or mild and can affect any area of the brain, from muscle control to speech to cognitive skills. My cerebral palsy is in the

middle. It affects my muscles, not allowing them to work correctly, but God has blessed me with a sharp, bright mind.” His parents knew that he would need help to fulfill his dream. They looked to their church for the perfect person to journey from class to class with Walker, assisting him in everyday and college tasks. During the family’s search, Brassell was simultaneously praying and asking God to show him what he could do to help others. “As I was praying, my computer dinged showing I had a notification from my church’s Facebook page,” said Brassell. “The new post was about a family at church looking for someone to accompany their son to college. God spoke to me and told me I would be the one to help him.” Brassell admits he was hesitant and a bit anxious about agreeing to accompany Walker to his college classes, because he didn’t have any experience caring for someone with this type of physical challenge. Although he was hesitant, Brassell said God was persistent in showing him this is what he needed to do, and when he met Walker







and his family, Walker was persistent as well, declaring he wanted Brassell to become his college caretaker. Brassell agreed and the two became fast friends, spending most of the past five years together. Because of his condition, Walker cannot do any traditional everyday tasks, such as feeding, dressing, showering or even scratching an itch himself without assistance. But he can certainly still learn, ask questions and make friends. “I am his hands, his feet and his voice. If Seth has a question in class, I raise my hand and ask the question for him.” After earning his high school diploma (with a 4.0 gpa) from Station Camp High School and an associate degree at Volunteer State Community College, he received a full scholarship to study Bible at Lipscomb. With Brassell at his side, Walker experienced a college career much like any


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other. Walker generally took two classes a day. Brassell leaves his house around 6:15 a.m., and Walker’s father drives him to campus, so the two can meet by 8 a.m. Walker usually leaves campus in the afternoon, but ventures to Bennett Campus Center whenever the two have free time. “He loves to go to the student center if we have time in between classes,” said Brassell. “Seth points out people he wants to talk to, and I push him over to whomever he wants to talk to. I can’t tell you how many friends he has made, maybe hundreds of friends, just in the student center.” Brassell is often referred to as the “Seth whisperer,” because after the five years they have spent together, Brassell is able to sense what Walker needs. What started as a request on Facebook has blossomed into a beautiful friendship, for which the two are thankful. “Seth will probably tell you he is thankful for what I’ve done, but I can tell you I am more

thankful that I did it because I think I got more blessings out of it than he did. “He is one of the finest people I have ever met,” said Brassell. “He is so smart it blows my mind. Seth is the most patient person to be with. If we were all more like Seth, the world would be a better place.” So it was fitting that the two walked across the stage together in May to receive Seth’s Bachelor of Arts in theology and ministry. In his president’s charge, Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry shared stories of how various students “overcame challenges” on the journey to their degree, but he especially focused on Walker. “Seth Walker cannot walk. He cannot feed himself. He cannot dress. He cannot roll over in bed without assistance. And yet God has given him an amazing sense of cherishing and holding on to all that life provides,” said Lowry.

Lowry went on to discuss Brassell, saying, “For the past five years, he has attended virtually every single class that Seth attended at two colleges.” So Lowry called Brassell up on stage and awarded him his own honorary bachelor’s degree. “Ken’s spirit and humor is often seen in his treatment of Seth,” said Earl Lavender, professor in the College of Bible. “He challenges Seth, jokes with Seth and genuinely enjoys his friendship. What sets Ken apart, though, is his gentle care and obvious love for Seth. “Seth’s college career has not been without severe pain. He has endured several surgeries during his studies, at times in so much pain that Ken walked his wheelchair back and forth during class to alleviate Seth’s intense suffering,” said Lavender. Walker’s goal was to continue his education and has been accepted to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. But Brassell and Walker plan to still stay in touch, remaining true friends despite distance and life’s changes. “When I get to heaven, I will take my first step,” Walker says. “I will be able to run, jump and play basketball. Also, I will be able to speak clearly. My earthly body will pass away, and Jesus will give me a glorious new body! “My focus will totally be on praising my Savior. I will be able to sit at His feet without using a wheelchair! I will then be able to praise Him by jumping for joy and by singing with my new voice. Hallalujah! Who wants to run with me?” Student news service Lumination reporter Kathryn Farris contributed to this report.

At May’s commencement ceremony, Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry shared stories of how various students “overcame challenges” on the journey to their degree, focusing on Seth Walker (below) and presenting Ken Brassell with an honorary degree (above).






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WE ALL HAVE OUR LONGTIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT. That place that has been around forever, and when we step inside we remember all the family gatherings, after-event celebrations and big personal moments that have occurred while gathered around those tables. Nashville has long been a place of hospitality, both personal and professional. The city’s tourism and hospitality industry generates close to $6 billion annually in the Middle Tennessee region with more than seven years of record-breaking growth. But hospitality is also about making sure that friends, families and maybe even new couples can enjoy those big moments of life at every meal. It’s about making sure hotel patrons sleep soundly on the vacation they will remember for a lifetime without ever knowing about a heightened security threat or disruption behind the scenes. Hospitality is about cultivating a heart for service, and Lipscomb’s hospitality program, which began its first classes this past fall, is about developing resilient leaders who can nurture that heart for service among their employees in the midst of a complex environment. “We know hospitality management includes making unforgettable moments for guests but it also involves impacting the lives of those employed in the field at every level … in these places humanity happens,” said Beth Morrow, director of industry relations in Lipscomb’s new School of Hospitality and Entertainment Management. Morrow has been working for the past year to develop the new program designed to meet workforce needs in the growing tourism and hospitality industries in Nashville and nationwide. “We see hospitality and entertainment management education and training as more than just equipping our students with the skills and knowledge to be successful,” said Morrow. “We also view developing leadership skills as crucial. That is something much deeper than


understanding the daily tasks necessary to make an event happen or a client have a comfortable stay. Learners committed to strategic financial management, decisionmaking, culture-shaping and serving others from a place of integrity will lead in the next 25 years.” And in Music City USA, there are certainly few industries more crucial and in need of leaders of integrity than hospitality and entertainment management. The industry employs 103,400 in the Nashville area and attracts 14.8 million visitors a year. Lipscomb’s school is one of the few in the country to offer a multidisciplinary approach to hospitality education. Through a collaboration of its arts and entertainment, business, and health science colleges, Lipscomb’s program is strategically designed as an integrated curriculum to provide a foundation in business

practices such as management, marketing and leadership; an in-depth study of entertainment disciplines, industries and production; food and beverage; and event planning to give students a holistic approach to hospitality studies. The program will offer undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional certificates and will have four areas of emphasis: lodging, food and beverage, tourism and entertainment. “The rich Nashville-based background of Morrow and other faculty in the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts provide a tremendous body of knowledge and network of industry leaders,” said Mike Fernandez, dean of the CEA, which houses the hospitality school. The CEA boasts a faculty stacked with music industry insiders such as Brown

Bannister, director of the School of Music, and Steve Taylor, assistant professor of film, with professional networks and deep knowledge of event production. “The entertainment industry has played a big role in shaping how we think of hospitality. For example, look at the impact Disney and cruise lines have had on the standard of quality and service that many of us expect for lodging or a vacation experience,” he said. Lipscomb has also developed an innovative on-campus hospitality rotation program for student internships. The program will use a variety of real-world, oncampus learning labs: the downtown Spark campus; a main-campus hotel that offers up to 82 rooms; Lipscomb’s entertainment and technical services department; Lipscomb’s event management department; and the

university’s food service and catering organization. These departments manage more than 177,000 guests who visit the Lipscomb campus each year. Students will have to spend a semester in a paid internship in each area under the supervision of a faculty member. “We want to instill in our students what it means to be a leader versus having management responsibilities,” said Morrow. “Beyond cultivating a heart for service, an attribute embedded for a century in our university culture, we are also committed to preparing learners to listen and work within a globally diverse industry—a world waiting to be served.”



Hello Bisons, These days, Lipscomb is all about community, and this past November brought the largest gathering of the Lipscomb community in recent memory. Students and their families, alumni from various generations and current students, faculty and staff converged on campus Nov. 8-9 for the combined Homecoming & Family Weekend. Everything from a cappella singing to NCAA athletics, from a showcase of student art or service work to an introduction of the new Nashville and revamped Lipscomb campus to graduates from 50 years ago was featured at this year’s combined event.


There are plenty of reasons to become a part of the Lipscomb community (you can see them all at lipscomb.edu/ alumni), but here are just five ways Homecoming serves as a fun and memorable way to join the Lipscomb community.

Stephanie Carroll Assistant Vice President for Annual Giving, Alumni and Parent Program LipscombAlumni



lipscomb now


Reconnect with old friends.

Sheila Hutcherson Hickman of Columbia, TN, and Lynn Duke Boyd and Karen Sharpe Bailey, both of Montgomery, Alabama, were three members of the Class of 1969 who had never been to Homecoming before, but they came in 2019 “because of each other!” said Bailey. “We met on the first day we arrived at Lipscomb and we have been friends ever since,” said Hickman.

Each year, the class celebrating its 50th year since graduation enjoys exclusive activities, such as special tours, a reunion reception and dinner.

Lipscomb University Alumni Association Lipscomb GOLD Network

@LipscombAlumni @LipscombGOLD @LipscombLBAC


Catch up on the game. Butch Stinson (’73) and Ted Jamison (’72), two members of the Athletic Hall of Fame who regularly attend to honor their fellow inductees, had fun teasing each other and catching up before the induction ceremony for the Athletic Hall of Fame. Many women athletes turned out to see Robbie Davis (’74), a former Board of Trustees member, inducted, including Angela Stinson (’76), wife of Butch Stinson, who said she played on Lipscomb Academy’s first women’s middle school basketball team. Homecoming included three athletic competitions, including the women’s soccer ASUN Championship game, which they won, and the men’s basketball game against Middle Tennessee State University.


Join the family.

Kelly Cummins, from Louisville, Kentucky, mother of two current Lipscomb students, came to campus for the Family Weekend events, including learning more about her daughter’s mission trip to Guatemala, one of several trips featured at a showcase by the Peugeot Center for Engineering Service in Developing Communities. Grandparents of sophomore Betsy Bailey, Jim and Sue Sefrit from St. Louis, say they have seen many collegs campuses, and they gave a thumbs up to Lipscomb: “We are a good judge of what university life is like, and Lipscomb is a good small-school environment,” said Jim Sefrit.

The Homecoming parade allows social clubs and academic colleges to strut their stuff with creative floats that roll around the campus.


Gimme that old time religion. Kim Yearwood (’59) was among those gathered in Collins Auditorium on Saturday for an old-fashioned hymn sing, to reminisce about one of every Lipscomb student’s enduring memories: chapel. “I enjoyed coming (to chapel) because the singing was so beautiful. They divided us up in altos, tenors, sopranos and base, so if you didn’t know how to sing that part, it didn’t take long for you to learn. And that’s why the signing was so good.” The Spirit can arise at any time during Homecoming, including this moment at the Golden Circle coffee when Pat (LA ’52) and Nick Boone (’57), led the Lipscomb alma mater for those gathered.


Partake of the arts. Alumnus Rob Hendon (’89), whose “guitar art” is displayed in offices and country music stars’ homes throughout Nashville, including at Lipscomb, stopped by during the reception in the John C. Hutcheson Gallery for “Worldview,” an exhibition of photos by students taken during global learning experiences. “I’m really excited about the future of arts at Lipscomb University. It’s crazy how much is going on,” said Hendon. Art lovers have plenty of options during Homecoming. “Bright Star,” written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, was this year’s Homecoming musical.

@LipscombALU @LipscombYoungAlumni

Lipscomb Alumni University LinkedIn Group



Jesus’ last command sh

The Jesus Who

Insights from Luke for

June 30

Join us Tuesday-Thursday at Summer Celebr and powerful praise to equip yourself and

Inspiring keynote sessions in Allen Arena • Children and te Special guest displays and sponsored meals • Breakout semina

FEATURED SPEA David Young Rhonda Lowry Dave Clayton Anthony Walker

Shodankeh Johnson Buddy Bell Lauren Calvin Cooke Joe Shulam

Worship leaders Shawn Frazier, Robin Brannon plus student groups including Lipscomb’s “

Summer Celebration is free and open to t

Register today at SUMMERCE

hould be our first priority.

o Would Be King

r modern day disciples


July 2

ration for dynamic messages, practical classes d to make disciples to impact the Kingdom.

eens programs daily • More than 100 classes over three days ars and training sessions • Bison Block Party featuring fireworks

AKERS INCLUDE: Dave Stone Uduak Afangideh Jeff Walling John Mark Hicks

Matt Reagan Jessica Stern Foster Bobby Harrington Randy Harris

n, Jeremy Swindle, Randy Gill and Chris Shields II “Sanctuary” and Pepperdine’s “Won By One”!

the public. On-campus housing is available.



Class Notes

1988 Eddie Black (BA) of Goshen, Kentucky,

At lipscomb.edu/classnotes you can post an update, share a photo, especially if it is your reunion year. For Bisons who have joined Golden Circle—that’s 50+ years since graduation—every year is a reunion year. 1963 (l to r) Amy Smithson Grant (’91), Claire Grant (’19), John T. Smithson III (’62)Smithson.

of Craven Arms, Shropshire, United Kingdom, is an author whose sixth book and first work of fiction “The Jesse Tree” was published in June 2019.

Looking back…

Fifth generation in Lipscomb family earned degree in May

When Claire Grant walked across the stage in Allen Arena on May 4 to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree, she represented not only herself, but also her mother, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather. She was the fifth generation of her family—dating back to Lipscomb’s earliest days as Nashville Bible School—to earn a Lipscomb degree. On June 1, 1911 Grant’s great-great grandfather, John T. Smithson, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Nashville Bible School. Smithson, who pursued ministry as a calling, was one of 11 graduates in the Class of 1911. Smithson’s son, John T. Smithson Jr., was a 1937 graduate who served as student body president and was selected by his classmates as the ideal Lipscomb male known as the Bachelor of Ugliness. His son, John T. Smithson III, was vice president of his class, majored in speech communication and earned his degree in 1962. Like the two generations before him, Smithson III served as a minister. John Smithson III met his future wife Ann Bandy, an English major, in the lobby of Johnson Hall (where their grandaughter Claire lived for the past three years as a student). Their daughter, Amy (Smithson) Grant, received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Lipscomb in 1991. Like her parents, Amy met her husband, John Grant, also a 1991 graduate, at Lipscomb. John’s parents, Larry and Florrye (Dunlap) (’64) Grant, also met while students at Lipscomb, so Claire also represented three generations of Lipscomb graduates on her father’s side of the family. Lipscomb was part of Claire’s life long before she was a college student. She recalls coming to campus for Impact and Summer Celebration as a youth and was baptized on campus one summer during Impact. “I have found friends and mentors through Lipscomb who I know will continue to be a part of my life after college,” says the newest alum in the Smithson family line. Grant, a native of Lebanon, Tennessee, majored in education and is teaching first grade at Nashville’s Tusculum Elementary School.


lipscomb now

Linda Gould Hurcombe (BA)

1966 David Adams (BS) of Madison is retired

from a career as a physical therapist and now donates funds to build fish ponds in thirdworld countries.

1967 Mike Kesler (BA) of Columbia serves on the Tennessee Children’s Home Board of Trustees.

1971 Ron Jones (BA) of Scottsboro, Alabama, is

is vice president and business banking relationship manager at Fifth Third Bank.

John Zavodny (BA) of Bar Harbor, Maine, is president of Main Seacoast Mission.

Amanda Roche (BS) of Dickson is principal of Dickson Intermediate School. Steve Johnson (BS) of Maryville published a 365-day devotional book “Faith in the Margins,” based on notes from 15 family Bibles that span five generations and nearly a century.

Mark Lackey (BS) of Birmingham, Alabama, was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor at Samford University. He serves as a faculty member for music theory and composition as well as coordinator of graduate studies in music.

1989 Chris Endfinger (BA) of Birmingham,

Alabama, is an emergency room physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital–Birmingham.

1992 Tracy Ayers (BS/BS) of Franklin is senior managing director at Renasant.

Robin Smith (BA and MED, ’06) of Columbia is an assistant principal at Baker Elementary School.

1993 Perry Rogers (BA) of New Orleans,

Louisiana, is principal of De La Salle High School.

a dentist at Ronald E. Jones DMD.

1973 Steve Groom (BA) of Nashville is general

Lisa Bentley Nichols of Wyandotte, Michigan, is an author. Her third book “Vessel,” was released by Simon & Schuster in May.


James Johnson Jr. (BS) of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is president of Johnson, Peaden Engineering Inc.

counsel and executive vice president of Franklin Financial Network.

Bill Forte (BS) of

Nashville is senior project manager for S&ME.

1994 Lance Bennett (BS) of Shelbyville is minister at Fairlane Church of Christ.


Marilyn Rhoades (BS) of Owensboro, Kentucky, is co-founder of Grace Marriage. Beth Haltman Harwell

(BA) of Nashville recently was named a Distinguished Visiting Professor in political science at Middle Tennessee State University. Harwell is a former state representative and was the state’s first female speaker of the House of Representatives.

1979 Robert Martin (BA) of Franklin retired

June 30, 2019. He served as vice president for advancement at Central Michigan University.

1995 Chad Estep (BS) of Rye Brook, New York, is enterprise chief compliance officer for E*TRADE Financial.

Suzie Estes (BA) of Fairview is an assistant principal at Battle Creek Elementary School. Josh McCreary (BA) of Murfreesboro is general counsel, senior vice president and secretary at National Healthcare Corporation.

David Bastin (BS) of Goodlettsville is

1983 Cindi Bradley (BA) of Tuscaloosa,

Andy McQueen (BS) of Nashville is senior

1984 Kell Holland (BS) of Brentwood is executive

1996 Byron Darnall (BA) of Bowling Green,

1982 Mark Ezell (BS) is the Tennessee State Commissioner of Tourism.

Alabama, is a human resource assistant with ZF Chassis System.

vice president at Zander Insurance.

1986 Stacy Duke Woodroof (BS) of Nashville

is vice president for finance for Tennessee and Florida with Ascension Medical Group, Saint Thomas Medical Partners-Nashville.

Christopher Sockwell (BS) of Lawrenceburg, is the circuit court judge for the 22nd Judicial District.

vice president of software engineering with Equinox Information Systems.

vice president and chief development officer with American Physician Partners.

Kentucky, is principal of Franklin-Simpson High School.

Candice McQueen (BS) of Nashville is

CEO of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. McQueen is the former Tennessee State Commissioner of Education.

1998 Lisa Finch Piercy (BS) of Medina is the

commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health.


1999 Andrea Spencer Beaubien (BA) of Dickson is principal at White Bluff Elementary School.

Tom Jackson (BS) of Nashville is chief financial officer for TriStar Centennial Medical Center.

April Burton (BS/BS) of Franklin and Ian Hooker of Hot Springs, South Dakota, were married Sept. 1, 2019 in Negril, Jamaica.

2000 Marcus Stallings (MBA) is managing director of the south region for Sol Mar REI, LLC.


John Webb (BA) of

Hermitage is deputy commissioner for operations for the Tennessee Department of Health.

2002 Allison Burgess Duke (MBA) of Nashville is a

member of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association Executive Leadership Institute Class for 2019-20. She is the associate dean for the College of Business at Lipscomb University.


Beth Hammond Guajardo (BS) and her

husband Victor of Dallas, Texas, announce the March 8, 2019, birth of son Arthur Silas Guajardo.

Jade Sampler

(BA) and her husband Nathan of Gulf Breeze, Florida, announce the Feb. 18, 2019 birth of daughter Lula Jade, little sister of Charlsie, 6, and Tripp, 4.

2006 Daniel Culbreath (BA) of Mount Juliet is assistant vice chancellor for state government relations at Vanderbilt University.

2007 Jennifer Lockman (BS and MS, ’09) of Gallatin is CEO and vice president of clinical and transitional research of Centerstone of Tennessee.


Jennifer Souder Cox (BS) and her husband Jeremy of Spring Hill announce the Sept. 28, 2018, birth of daughter Katherine Nicole.

Brooke Kimbro Scott (MBA) of Murfreesboro received the 2019 Nashville Emerging Leader Award in Technology.

2019 Lipscomb Honors recipients At a special dinner during Homecoming, Lipscomb University’s Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement honored the 2019 recipients of the Lipscomb Honors Award, the highest honor conferred upon Lipscomb alumni. The award recognizes the inspiring ways Lipscomb alumni are making a profound impact on the world. The recipients are (left to right): Ernie Clevenger (’75), of Brentwood, is president of CareHere LLC, which provides onsite medical, wellness and pharmacy management for public and private employers. It operates more than 200 clinics in 26 states. Clevenger also publishes MyHealthGuide Newsletter, a weekly newsletter with a distribution of more than 4,500 subscribers. He holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and testified before the U.S. Congress Committee on Education and Labor regarding the “Managed Competition

Act.” Formerly, Clevenger served as chairman of the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interface (HIPAA advisor to the Health and Human Services secretary during the President Bill Clinton Administration). Jeffery McGruder, of Brentwood, was a student assistant coach under Lipscomb University basketball head coach Don Meyer. He also was a recruiting assistant and walk-on player at the University of Tennessee. McGruder’s career in financial services began with Wells Fargo Financial in Knoxville. He transitioned to Regions Bank in Franklin, where he worked in management for more than 10 years before joining Pinnacle. McGruder serves on the board of directors or is involved with various community groups including KIPP Academy in Nashville, WPLN/NPR, CE McGruder Family Resource Center, Williamson County Chamber of Commerce,

Leadership Franklin and Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Jean Shelton Walker (’69), of Suffolk, Virginia, is a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She graduated from Lipscomb Academy in 1965 and received a bachelor’ s from Lipscomb in chemistry. She earned her medical degree in 1972 from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. In its “local legends” feature, the National Library of Medicine states that Shelton is known in Virginia as a leader in pediatric rehabilitation medicine. Her work focuses on treating children who have brain or spinal cord injuries or disorders such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy. Shelton established four clinical programs in pediatric rehabilitation in 1992 and an in-patient rehabilitation unit in 1999 at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia.




(l to r) Dean Smith, Cassie Smith, Robert Smith.

2009 Travis Littleton (BS) of Germantown is

an orthopedic surgeon with OrthoAtlanta Piedmont & Piedmont West.

Russ Burroughs (BA) of Old Hickory

Lisa French (BA) of Nashville is senior

is manager of the Wilmington Sharks, a collegiate summer baseball team in the Coastal Plain League.

front end manager at Stratasan.

2010 Tiffany Uram James (BSN) and her

husband Justin of Naperville, Illinois, announce the May 15, 2019, birth of son Charlie Jacob.

Looking back…

Monica Eads (BS) of Lone Tree, Colorado, named account manager for Accelerated Services in Denver, Colorado.

Tau Phi Cowboy Show celebrates 40 performances

Tau Phi, like Nashville, is known for its country music. On Sept. 28, Lipscomb’s oldest men’s social club celebrated its 40th Tau Phi Cowboy Show, hosted and performed by club members and guest musicians. The proceeds benefited Reach Across America and Room In The Inn. Steve Williford (’75), of Memphis, was there at the start in 1974. In the show’s earliest days, club members dressed as cowboys and performed songs on the steps of then-Alumni Auditorium after chapel, he noted. About 2,000 people watched the first show, he said, including notable celebrity musicians Joe Walsh of The Eagles and Marty Robbins, a famed country and western singer who heard the students sing his hit “El Paso.” Then-Lipscomb Vice President Willard Collins even got into the act, singing a number on the steps of the very auditorium that would later be named in his honor. With such history, both the show and the club have attained a legacy. Dean Smith (’92), a former member of Tau Phi and a sponsor of this year’s anniversary show, performed in the 2019 show with his son, Robert Smith, who is now a legacy member of Tau Phi, and his daughter, Cassie Smith, a member of Pi Delta, something that’s never been done before. He is well familiar with performing on stage as he soloed in the show all four years he was a student at Lipscomb. Decades later Tau Phi members were still putting on their boots for the Cowboy Show, including some who later found fame in the country music industry, such as: Thomas Rhett and Dustin Lynch (’07). Tyler Dove (’18), one of the youngest Tau Phi alumni, said that while the performance aspect is a highlight, he enjoyed the preparation of the show as well. “I grew into leadership roles in the club and got to see behind the scenes of how the show coordinates with the offices on campus. It was a great experience for me,” he said.


lipscomb now

(MALT) of Westerville, Ohio, is an assistant professor of education for The Ohio State University at Newark.

Virginia, is a financial manager with Turner Construction Co.

Jake Smith (MBA) of Ferndale, Michigan, is a

Joshua Harper

(BA/BA) of Prescott, Arizona, is associate professor of choral music at Yavapai College.

sales support analyst with Ford Motor Credit Company.

Adam Booher (BS) of Temple Terrace, Florida, is professor of music at Florida College.

Raeshon Torres (MED) of Murfreesboro is principal at Bradley Academy.

2015 Chad Huntsman (PHARMD) of

Nolensville is part owner of College Park Pharmacy.

Michaela Kirk (BS) of Nashville is a business development engineer with Turner Construction Co.

Janelle Burns (BS) of West Dundee,

Dorian Harrison

2011 Joe Fuda (MACC) of Brambleton,

Illinois, is a human rights advocate with Ann M. Kiley Development Center.

Jonathan Payne

(BS) of Oxford, Mississippi, graduated from Perfusion School at Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas, in June 2019.

Tiara Murray (BS) of Germantown is a pharmacy procurement specialist for Memphis VA Hospital.

2016 Lauren Bauer (EDD) of Franklin is

principal at Trinity Elementary School.

2012 Chris Gobble (BA) of Nashville is principal with Stones River Group.

Nate Underwood (BBA) and Taylor Davis were married Nov. 3, 2018. The couple lives in Nashville. Meredith Hrebenak (BA) of Snellville, Georgia, started a private practice, Progressive Counseling Services, in Norcross, Georgia. Macy Cate Hopson White (BS and MED, ’16) of Montgomery, Alabama, is a kindergarten teacher. Charles Chambers (MBA) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is chief executive officer for Access Products Inc.

Lindsey Benson (PHARMD) married

Tyler Cox Dec. 15, 2018, in Nashville. Lindsey is a pharmacist at Duren Pharmacy in Waynesboro.

2013 Logan Bowlds (MED) of Pensacola, Florida, is head of school at Stratford Academy.

Tammy Jones (BS) of Old Hickory is a computer instructor at Lakeview Elementary School.

2014 Jimmy Sullivan (EDD) of Christiana is

assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Rutherford County Schools.

Laura Brown (MA) of Franklin is senior

deputy director of client services for Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee.

Spencer (PHARMD) and Allison Bridges announce the June 3, 2019, birth of their son Russell Alan Bridges. Russell weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. and was 19 inches long.


Brooke Eidson

(PHARMD) and her husband Kevin, assistant professor in the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, announce the June 14, 2019, birth of their son Graham Kent Eidson. Graham was 8.1 lbs. and 20 inches long. Brooke is a pharmacist working in Lawrenceburg.

Ellen Findley (BA) ofNicholasville, Kentucky, graduated with a J.D. from Penn State Law on May 11, 2019.

2019 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Arvind Kumar (MS) of Brentwood works for

Lipscomb University honored its 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame class at a special luncheon during Homecoming. This year’s inductees are (left to right, as pictured):


Mariah Lester (BSN) of Kansas City, Missouri, is a registered nurse with The University of Kansas Health System.

Tricia C. Stocker (BS) of Rensselaer, New York, is a registered dietician and certified lactation consultant.

2017 Michael Tacke (MBA) of Tucson, Arizona, is CEO of Sonora Behavioral Health Hospital.

Sara Cunningham (MED) of Dickson is an assistant principal at Charlotte Elementary School. Cameron Gish (MED) of Nashville is principal at Hillsboro School. DonJurea Daniels (BS) of Nashville is a registered dietician with Nanticoke Physician Network.

Genna Holder (PHARMD) and her husband

Nick of Murfreesboro announce the May 12, 2019, birth of daughter Ansley Marie.

Peyton Sedgwick Fallick (BBA) of Alpharetta, Georgia, is a marketing coordinator at Pure Taqueria Franchising USA LLC. Coleman Gaines III (BS) of Nashville is an R&D engineer with LG Electronics. Hayley Schlinsog Magnant (BA) of Antioch is a teacher at Oliver Middle School. Adam Lipshie (MED) of Murfreesboro is a teacher and assistant baseball coach at Winfree Bryant Middle School in Lebanon. He and wife Brooke welcomed daughter Wynnsley Jane on Oct. 24, 2019.

Mickey Barker, (Men’s Golf ) 1986-1990, was selected team MVP and All-Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference in each of his four seasons as a Bison. He was named AllDistrict 24 twice after advancing to the NAIA National Championship in back-toback seasons, and won seven individual medalist honors, making him the second-most successful Bison golfer during the NAIA era. He is now the administrator of golf for the city of Memphis. Robbie Davis, (Meritorious Service), has spent her entire life as a part of the Lipscomb Athletics family and will forever be known as an all-time great supporter. She served on the

Lipscomb University Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2016, and she was Instrumental in mentoring and supporting a large number of Lipscomb female coaches and student-athletes. She has been a long-time leader for the Associated Women for Lipscomb, the National Bison Club and the annual Barry Brewer Golf Scramble. Katie Beth Pate Allen, (Women’s Basketball), 200206, helped lead Lipscomb to 52 wins in its first four full seasons at the Division I level. She was key in guiding the Lady Bisons to the program’s first Atlantic Sun championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004. Known for her defensive prowess, she averaged 8.7 rebounds per game and set the program’s career record with 327 blocked shots in the NCAA era. Courtney Boynton West, (Women’s Basketball) 200105, played all four years as a Division I member and helped guide the team to 62 wins. She

was instrumental in leading the program to its first Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament championships, as well as its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2004. West holds the program’s Division I era career records with 1,478 points and 278 steals while also adding 537 rebounds and 232 assists. She was named second team All-Division I Independent in 2002-03 and All-Atlantic Sun as a junior and senior. Kristin Peck Ryman, (Softball and Volleyball) 1999-2004, started all four years as a twosport athlete in softball and volleyball. She compiled a career .303 batting average with 193 hits, 156 runs scored, 73 RBI, 81 walks, 34 doubles, 17 triples and 41 stolen bases, and she led the Atlantic Sun Conference with 479 kills and was named second team All-Conference in 2003. She was also named the NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Tennessee in 2004, and she now serves as head coach of Lipscomb’s softball team.




Jodi Haynes (BSN) of Lebanon is an emergency department nurse at Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville.

2018 Stacy Edwards (EDD) of Kingsport is principal at Johnson Elementary School.

Brian Partin (EDD) of Kingsport is the

Sam Contrady (BBA) of Nashville is a

director of university school at East Tennessee State University.

financial analyst for Aries Clean Energy.

Caroline Lawley (BBA) of Nashville is

a promotions assistant for i106.7, Mix 92.9, 96.3 Jack FM, co-host of her podcast Drink Outside the Box and a brand representative for Monster Energy.

In Memoriam

We publish news of the passing of Bisons as we learn of it. Share your news of loved ones lost at lipscomb. edu/classnotes or submit obituaries and photos for possible publication in print to the Office of Alumni Relations. Thomas Duncan of Brentwood, Tennessee, died July 19, 2018. He was a former member of the Lipscomb Board of Trustees.

1939 Maurice C. Hall of Whittier, California, died March 8, 2019.

1940 Ralph R. Bryant of Nashville died March 4,

2018. He served as the university’s registrar from 1948 to 1955.

1941 Onice Fields of Newnan, Georgia, died Nov. 8, 2018.

1943 John Baxter Greene of Collierville died Oct. 13, 2019.

1945 Andrew Milton Brown of Nashville died Jan. 12, 2019.

Duy Tran (PHARMD) and his wife Anna welcomed their daughter Avery Truc-Linh Tran on July 25, 2019. Avery weighed in at 6 lbs. 6 oz. Duy is the pharmacist-in-charge at Hulen Pharmacy in Fort Worth, Texas. The Trans live in Grand Prairie, Texas.

2019 Maria Hassel (BBA) of Nashville is a songwriter and singer.

Anne Lowrey Groth of Springfield died April 25, 2019.

Roberta W. Robertson of Waverly died July 15, 2019.

1946 Raymond E. Proctor of Madison died Aug. 8, 2019.

1948 Ann Loftin Phoenix of Columbia died April 19, 2019.

1949 Barbara Jane Garrett of Portsmouth, Virginia,

John S. K. Liu of Tecumseh, Kansas, died Dec.

died Jan. 15, 2019. 28, 2018.

1950 Lynch Bennett Corley Jr. of Brentwood died July 25, 2019.

Laurel Small (BA) and Hunter Maerz

(BA/BS, ’18) were married June 1, 2019. The couple lives in Nashville.

Arthur Glenn Martin of Clover, South Carolina, died Jan. 8, 2019.

1951 Betty Jean Coleman Draper of Alcoa died Oct. 11, 2018.

1952 Betty Owens Nance of Nashville, died Feb. 19,

We want your notes! Please send news of weddings, births, deaths; new jobs and promotions; academics and professional degrees; church and community service activities; awards and achievements; and changes of address to Class Notes Editor, Lipscomb University, One University Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37204. Email: classnotes@lipscomb.edu; Online: lipscomb.edu/classnotes .


lipscomb now

2019. She was the wife of the late Dr. W. Ralph Nance (’51), who taught at Lipscomb University for 53 years. She is survived by her sister, Barbara (Jim) Story, and her children: daughter Ruth (’74) and her husband Phil Henry (’73), daughter Rebecca (’76) and her husband Earl Lavender (’77) , son Paul (’81) and his wife Lynn Nance (’81), daughter Martha (’82) and her husband Mark Ezell (’82), son Mark (’88) and his wife Nancy Nance (‘86) and son David (’89) and his wife Shelley Nance (’93).

1953 James Edward “Jimmy” Dawson of

Columbia, Tennessee, died March 16, 2018.

Dr. Willis C. Owens of Huntsville, Alabama, died March 21, 2019.

1954 Martina Campbell Davis of Bowling Green, Kentucky, died March 9, 2019.

Dr. Thomas H. Holland of Brentwood died April 5, 2019.

J. Richard Waggoner of Fayetteville died April 3, 2019.

1955 Walter S. Warren of Franklin died June 30, 2019.

John McRay of Nashville died Aug. 24, 2018.

1956 Shirley Foley Boone of Beverly Hills,

California, died Jan. 13, 2019. Shirley was the wife of Christian music singer Pat Boone. They graduated from Lipscomb Academy in 1952 and attended Lipscomb University their freshman years. Shirley established Mercy Corps, published writings, hosted television shows and recorded music.

J. Douglas Wright Jr. of Nashville died Jan. 10, 2019.

1957 Hubert Lawing of Nashville died July 1, 2019. Carolyn Wilson of Nashville died Oct. 12, 2019. Carolyn began working at Lipscomb University’s library in 1980 and worked her way up to director at the Beaman Library until her retirement in 2014. She is survived by her sisters Barbara Smith (’63) and her husband Otis, and Anita Joor (’68); daughters Jennifer Rust (’83) and her husband Ralph, and Elissa Anne Wilson (’90) and her husband Paul Hunt; three grandchildren Lauren, Meagan and Taylor Rust; and a great-granddaughter.

1958 Dr. William S. Banowsky of Dallas, Texas, died April 28, 2019.

1960 Dr. Robert Milnor Gleaves of Charlotte, North Carolina, died Aug. 16, 2019.

1961 James M. Yates of Nashville died Feb. 11,

2018. He and his wife Faye (’61) both worked at Lipscomb, he for 26 years as a Lipscomb Academy Bible teacher and middle school principal and Lipscomb University director of the Career Development Center. He is survived by daughter Lisa (LA ’81, ’85) and her husband Clay Dye (’84), daughter Lydia (LA ’84) and her husband Marc Colley (LA ’86, ’92), and daughter Laura (LA ’88, ’92) and her husband Rod Sears (’90), and ten grandchildren: Rachel (’09), and Ryan (’13) and Kayla Dye, Seth (LA ’11) and Sam (LA ’19) Colley, Sarah (LA ’13) and Evan (LA ’12) Sanderlin, and Hayden (LA ’13, ’17), Alex and Reed Sears (LA ’16), current Lipscomb students.

1962 Jo Ann Hulfish Patterson of Nashville died July 1, 2019.

Allen Nelson Peltier of Nashville died July 22, 2019. William Lloyd Riley of Valparaiso, Indiana, died June 7, 2019.

1963 Dr. Elizabeth Marion Cawood of Kerrville, Texas, died June 22, 2019.

1964 Paul Clifton Morrow of Benton, Kentucky, died July 23, 2019.


1965 Alyce Faye Goodman of Nashvllle died Nov. 27, 2018.

1966 Rebecca Sandifer Goree of Nashville died Aug. 23, 2019.

Ronald Craig Harper of Nashville died April 24, 2019. Sue Detlefsen Meyers of Bellevue, Ohio, died June 14, 2018. Carol Burgess Wagers of White Lake, Michigan, died on Feb. 1, 2018. She is survived by her husband Bernie (’67).

1967 C. Gil Cawood of Nashville died March 15, 2018. 1968 Susan Darlene Anderson Knapp of

Clarksburg, West Virginia, died Aug. 27, 2019.

Collective impact. Life-changing results. Together, we can invest in tomorrow’s leaders.

1969 John Francis Gardner Jr. of Brandon, Mississippi, died April 20, 2019.

Carolyn Rose Stockdell of Abilene, Texas, died March 25, 2019. Tony Tim Walters of Jasonville, Indiana, died Aug. 11, 2019.

1971 Dr. Murel M. Jones Jr. of Chester, Virginia, died April 2, 2019.

1972 Steve Henry of Huntsville, Alabama, died April 2, 2018.

1973 Gordon Danny Jonas of Fort Chiswel, Virginia, died Oct. 27, 2018.

Peggy Hubbell Wilson of Columbia died Aug. 8, 2019.

1977 Ronald Dale Doak of Lebanon died Dec. 12, 2018.

1981 Rebecca Shackelford Pace of Benton, Kentucky, died May 7, 2019.

1985 Loa Collinson Glenn of Nashville died Feb.

18, 2018. is survived by her husband Greg; their daughter Amber Pellicani (’10); sons Richard Glenn and Cody Glenn (’17); grandchildren Emmalyn, Stephen Glenn and Charlotte Glenn; and Kendall and Lily Kate Pellicani, and another grandchild on the way.

1988 Bennett A. Rye of Nashville, died Feb. 10, 2019. 1995 Wendi Welch Warren of Lebanon died June 16, 2019.

2001 Joshua Robert Patrick of Franklin died Jan. 13, 2019.

2002 Matthew Baggett of Cookeville, Tennessee, died May 24, 2018.

Debbie Jo Drake of Bowling Green, Kentucky, died Nov. 6, 2018.

Lipscomb University aims to shape faith-driven, forward-thinking leaders to positively impact the world. We do this by educating the whole student—academically, socially and spiritually. This mission requires your support. As a community, we can work together through the Lipscomb Fund to create a transformative student experience. With your investment in the Lipscomb Fund, Lipscomb can continue to educate the leaders of tomorrow.

2014 Charles Butler Baldinger of Franklin died Jan. 6, 2019.

Make your gift today at lipscomb.edu/leadersoftomorrow.

Profile for Lipscomb University

Lipscomb Now — Spring 2020