Joan Derryberry Endowment for Music and Art to provide faculty development funding

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (June 10, 2009) – Tennessee Tech’s music and art faculty will benefit from the memory of former university first lady Joan Derryberry.
 
            An endowment for the faculty’s professional development has been established to honor cultural contributions made by Derryberry, who served as the university’s first lady for 34 years as wife of former TTU President Everett Derryberry.
 
            “Mrs. Derryberry was a talented artist and musician who made valuable contributions over the years that have enriched the cultural activities of the university and the community,” said Homer Kemp, English and communications chairperson and chairperson of the 75th Anniversary Committee that proposed the endowment. “It’s fitting for her to be honored in this way.”
 
            Funds for the creation of the endowment were raised by the sale of limited edition prints of Derryberry’s “Sudden Rain” painting, the original of which hangs in the Student Services Office in the Roaden University Center.
 
            The painting was inspired as Derryberry watched the “blossoming of umbrellas” as classes changed during a rain shower.
 
            It depicts some of the university’s most recognized landmarks. Viewers of the painting face Derryberry Hall, the university’s main administration building located at the interior end of the campus’ Main Quad, and visible in the left foreground is a fireplug beside which is the grave of “Dammit,” a dog famous in campus folklore.
 
            The clock tower that sits atop Derryberry Hall, which is also visible in the painting, has become the most recognized symbol of the university and is adorned with a golden eagle that has also added an interesting story to TTU folklore. Three Tech students in 1952 took the large metal eagle — which weighs 70 pounds and has a wingspan of four-and-a-half feet — from the grounds of the Monteagle Hotel, which had burned, to raise school spirit for a football game with Middle Tennessee State University.
 
            University Advancement, under the leadership of Paul Isbell, coordinated the printing and sale of the pictures, which are still available for $35 each.
 
            With the award fully operational later this fall, the first TTU music and art faculty could benefit from it as soon as the coming academic year.
 
            “In spite of the importance of professional development, little money is available for our faculty to use in such a way, and that’s especially true during more difficult economic times,” Kemp said. “We hope this initiative might inspire other academic departments to look for ways to establish similar funds for their faculty’s professional development.”
 
            To be considered for the award, a tenured or tenure-track music and art faculty member must submit a proposal for a development activity that details how the activity would benefit the faculty member’s instructional contributions.  
 
            For more information about the Joan Derryberry Endowment or about prints of “Sudden Rain,” call TTU’s University Advancement Office at 931/372-3206.  

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