McSpaddens Endow Industrial Technology Scholarship

When Lem McSpadden Jr. and Donna McNew McSpadden met at Tennessee Technological University in the summer of '67, they had big dreams. This spring, another dream was realized when the McSpaddens returned to laugh, reminisce and especially thank the university for their education and their memories.

The Cookeville couple recently established the McSpadden-McNew Industrial Technology Scholarship Endowment in honor of their parents, Louise and the late Billie A. McNew of Harriman and Nita and Lem McSpadden Sr. of Athens. The generous endowment will help financially disadvantaged students who show academic promise and a desire to enter the industrial technology program.

Mr. McSpadden, a 1971 industrial technology graduate, has worked at Fleetguard/Nelson in Cookeville for almost 30 years. Fleetguard/Nelson, one of Cummins Engine Co.'s four strategic business units, is the world leader in the design and manufacture of heavy-duty filtration and exhaust system products. Currently a global account executive, he has held many different positions through promotions during his tenure and credits Tennessee Tech with preparing him for his career.

"Because of my industrial technology degree, as well as Fleetguard/Nelson's desire to be a global company, I was able to take on a variety of assignments throughout my career," said McSpadden, "They include industrial engineering, technical training, technical publications, product development, sales and world-wide business management for global customers such as John Deere and PACCAR."

Mrs. McSpadden, a 1975 business administration graduate, spent her career in medical management, including physician office and hospital administration, and recently retired after selling a successful medical consulting company.

"Dr. Claude (Mack) Williams gave me a wonderful opportunity and gave me my beginning in the medical field by hiring me while Lem was in school and while I took night classes to finish my degree," said Mrs. McSpadden. "I have been fortunate to have worked with many wonderful people associated with the medical field. Having the opportunity to earn an education at Tennessee Tech prepared me for these challenges and gave us a sense of community that we'd like others to experience."

Although they realize the city and campus life have changed dramatically since their days as students, the McSpaddens talk about getting to Alumni Gym early to get seats for basketball games, taking weekend trips to the lake and eating at Ralph's Donuts and the Tastee-Freeze as if it were yesterday.

But the McSpaddens' present and future plans with respect to the university are now taking on more focus. The first McSpadden-McNew Scholarship will be awarded for the Fall 2000 semester. The couple's plans also includes helping the School of Nursing to fund training, continuing education and technology upgrades. Mrs. McSpadden also serves on the university's Nursing Foundation Board.

And true to their form, they still try to never miss a basketball game on campus. Plus, they stay updated on campus events through their son, Brian, who is attending Tennessee Tech majoring in both finance and information technology.

The McSpadden-McNew Scholarship will be awarded each year to a freshman or sophomore, with preference given to students from McMinn, Roane or Putnam counties, who intends to enroll or is enrolled in industrial technology. The recipient may retain the scholarship for the duration of his/her undergraduate program provided he/she makes satisfactory progress toward degree requirements.

For more information, contact Tennessee Tech at 372-3888.