Advancement Services

Donor Spotlight

Mike Winchester

History '75 

Mike Winchester gives to Tennessee Tech's Department of History and Baseball Program because, simply, Tech gave so much to him.  He credits the athletic scholarship he received with allowing him to attend college in the first place and with being able to concentrate on success on the athletic field as well as in the classroom.  Winchester also says he received constant encouragement and support from Tech coaches, faculty, and staff to achieve his goals and obtain the education required to pursue a career path that has turned out to be very successful. 

"Quite frankly, I support and remember these programs and departments because they supported and remembered me at critical times in my career and life, in both my college education and beyond," he said.

Winchester attended Tech on an Ohio Valley Conference baseball scholarship from 1971 to 1975, graduating first in his class with a degree in history from the College of Arts and Sciences.  Winchester also received the Derryberry Award, Tech's most prestigious honor presented annually to a graduating senior. 

After graduating from Tech, Winchester attended the University of Tennessee College of Law and received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1978.  He is the founding member and President of Winchester, Sellers, Foster & Steele, P.C., a law firm concentrating on creditor's rights, banking, commercial, and business litigation in Knoxville and the surrounding areas.

"I believe I received an outstanding education at TTU that would have prepared me for a career in many different professions or career paths," said Winchester.  "One of my faculty advisors convinced me that a law career would likely prove successful for me since I enjoyed reading and could both speak and write reasonably well.  I believe the recommendations and encouragement I received from both the staff of the History Department as well as the TTU administration were instrumental in helping me gain acceptance at the UT College of Law and in preparing for a legal career." 

For more than 30 years, Winchester has supported the baseball program, scholarships for history majors, and professional development opportunities for history faculty and students.  In 1999, he established the Winchester Lecture Series and Scholarship Endowment to support outstanding history majors and expand and enhance the educational experience at Tech.  For nearly 20 years, the lecture series has brought guest speakers, chosen by the Department of History's faculty, to the University to present ideas, thoughts, and exposure to other disciplines and philosophies that are of interest to students, faculty, staff, and the community.  The 2018 Winchester Lecture will be held on Tuesday, March 27, at 6 pm in Derryberry Hall Auditorium.  Elizabeth Catte will present "What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia," and the event is free and open to the public. 

"Whether you are majoring in pre-law or any other discipline, find something you both enjoy and intend to pursue as a career (not just as a job) if you truly want to be successful in any profession or endeavor," Winchester advised.  "If you are not interested in continuing your education in that chosen discipline or profession, or if you do not want to be the best you can be every day in providing services to your clients, then pick something else to do."

Winchester added, "I want the TTU campus community to know that Tennessee Tech is a wonderful place to obtain a great education, meet wonderful people, and establish friends and relationships that can last a lifetime." 

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