Alexander: Tusculum’s Deep Roots Give It Plenty to Celebrate

Posted on October 12, 2018

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Tusculum, Tenn., October 12, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today at the inauguration of Tusculum University’s 28th president, Dr. James Hurley, and its 225th homecoming celebration, “Tusculum has plenty that is unique to celebrate.”

“Let’s look at Tusculum’s roots. Tusculum was founded two years before Tennessee became a state. There were a lot of Presbyterian pioneers and fighters who came to the area, including Rankin relatives of mine – William B. Rankin, who became president of Tusculum College in 1854, and Thomas Samuel Rankin, who was a professor at Tusculum from 1885 when he graduated until 1931. These pioneers created the first higher education institution in Tennessee,” Alexander said. “Tusculum also taught students the tradition of giving back, creating ‘Nettie Day’ in honor of a woman from Chicago who bestowed gifts to Tusculum most of her life.”

Alexander continued, “Dr. Hurley has a lot to offer this university – he knows the territory, has a passion for education and basketball, was the first in his family to graduate from college and became president of that college, and we already know he thinks big. Big dreams include new programs to help the region deal with the opioid epidemic, transitioning from a college to a university and announcing a new College of Optometry.

“Dr. Hurley has also continued the tradition of giving back – over 600 students participated at 27 sites in this year’s Nettie Day, painting schools, working in nursing homes and cleaning up playgrounds.”

Alexander concluded, “This homecoming is a good reminder that Tusculum has plenty that is unique to celebrate, and it now has the arrival of an experienced, big thinking, new president who dreams of building on the success Tusculum has already had.”

Alexander spoke at today’s inauguration of Dr. Hurley and participated in his investiture.