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December 2019  

Tech celebrates third annual Lighting the Quad

 Green Christmas trees with lights. Bell Hall in the background.

More than a thousand students, faculty, staff, and members of the community drank hot chocolate and sang Christmas carols at Tennessee Tech's third annual Lighting the Quad event on December 3. The lights will be on through January 2 so if you didn't get a chance to see them, be sure to come by the campus during this holiday season.

More lighting the quad photos

Giving Tuesday 2019 focuses on Eagle Assistance Grant
The words "Thank You" with a yellow and purple heart beneath it.

On December 3, members of the Golden Eagle community came together to participate in Giving Tuesday and support the Eagle Assistance Grant, a new emergency need-based grant that assists students who are struggling financially. On Giving Tuesday, Tech alumni and friends gave $7,252--more than on any Giving Tuesday in any year prior--and the number of donors who participated increased 80 percent from last year.   

Click the button below to view a thank you video from Dr. Brandon Johnson, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Career Placement. 

Thank you video

Board of Trustees approves major reduction to out-of-state tuition

 Board of Trustees sitting around a table with Dr. Oldham at a podium. There are people sitting in the foreground observing the meeting.

Tennessee Tech's Board of Trustees took steps at their meeting on December 5 to make college costs easier to understand and to help position the university as a strong option for out-of-state students. Starting Fall 2020, Tech will have a single out-of-state tuition fee instead of the current three rates.

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Tech alumnus responsible for Collection of Anthony Bourdain

 Photo of Anthony Bourdain's Meteorite Chef's Knife and the Custom Kramer certificate of authenticity. Inset of Lark Mason posed in a chair in front of a vase.

When bidding for the Collection of Anthony Bourdain closed on October 30, more than 3,000 bidders had participated, and 202 lots totaled $1,846,575 in sales. Bourdain's Kramer Steel and Meteorite Chef's knife sold for a record price of $231,250, and his U.S. Navy jacket from the U.S.S. Nashville sold for $171,150. Lark Mason, the CEO of the auction house responsible for managing the Bourdain estate, credits much of the sale's success to his Tennessee Tech education and the experience he gained from owning Arcade Antiques in Cookeville.

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Jake Hoot advances to final round of The Voice
Jake Hoot singining playing the guitar and singing the national anthem at a TTU football game.

Tech alumnus Jake Hoot, '11 interdisciplinary studies, has advanced to the final round of The Voice! The Voice, a four-time Emmy Award-winning vocal competition, airs on Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC, and the two-part live finale will air on Dec. 16 and 17. The Facebook group "Team Hoot-Fan Group Page of Jake Hoot on NBC's The Voice" regularly shares updates on Jake's progress and has grown to more than 32,000 members! The entire Upper Cumberland community (and beyond) has rallied around Jake. Multiple signs and billboards can be seen around Cookeville, and each week the community is invited to a watch party held in different locations around town. Many local businesses host their own watch parties as well. Join the Golden Eagle community in cheering Jake on in the finale!

Tennessee Tech announces 2020 football schedule

 Referee on the sideline of a football game in Tucker Stadium. 

After a season that saw the Tennessee Tech football team bounce back from consecutive 1-10 seasons and put together the second-best turnaround in the Football Championship Subdivision, the Golden Eagles will look to continue that progress in 2020.

Read more 

2020 Football Schedule

Tech football earns second straight OVC Sportsmanship Award

TTU football team running onto the field

Over the past two seasons, it has been a common occurrence to hear coaches in the Ohio Valley Conference talk about how Tennessee Tech football is building its program the right way. Evidence of that belief was handed down this month as the conference awarded the Golden Eagles the 2019-20 Team Sportsmanship Award for football--the second-straight year the award went to Tech and the third overall since the award was originally presented in 2005.

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What professor changed your world?

What professor changed your world?

"Dr. B.F. Jones. The first time I saw him in the halls of the History Department, I thought he was the janitor. The first course that I took with him, I knew he was a genius."  --Jack Evans, '70 history

"Dr. Charles Carnal. The classes he taught were tough yet very rewarding. He saw potential and challenged me to think differently and thoroughly. He also encouraged me outside of the classroom while training and running several half marathons."  --Jessica Dunaway Sherrit, '11 electrical engineering

What professor changed your world? Email us at, and you might see your favorite professor story in a future edition of The Alumnus!

read more "world-changing" professor stories

Archives with Atkinson Graphic

1960 Photo of Cookeville Christmas parade with baton twirlers and a band marching down Broad Street in front of the 5-10.We are officially in the holiday season, which means dessert, decoration, family, friends, and, of course, memories! But are you taking care of your photos properly so you can revisit Christmases of the past? In the past, families stored photographs in albums and boxes. Now, photographs exist digitally on hard drives, phones, and in the cloud. Most pictures we take are on phone cameras. Are these photos as safe as the physical photos we stored in albums and boxes? The short answer is "no," but there's a solution that will help you protect those memories. Click the link below to read University Archives' latest blog about how to preserve digital photographs for future generations to enjoy.

Photo credit: Herald-Citizen, November 1960

University Archivist Megan Atkinson is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible materials of historical significance to the University and the Upper Cumberland. Follow Archives and Special Collections on Facebook, email Megan's office with questions, and watch for more "Archives with Atkinson" in future editions of The Alumnus. 

read archives' blog

Career Corner with Russ

This time of year, it's common to evaluate your current situation and think about making big changes in the year ahead. In this month's Career Corner, Center for Career Development Russ Coughenour discusses how to decide if a new career needs to be one of your new year's resolutions. 

Do you have a question about resume writing, interviewing, or career planning? Email Russ, and you might just see your question answered in a future edition of "Career Corner"!

read career corner

Class Notes

Clark Nichols and Kayla GrubbBen Williams, '80 industrial technology, has retired after 33 years with GE Aviation, holding various positions in GE90 and GEnx Manufacturing Program Management. He is currently working as a part-time consultant back at GE in New Supplier Development.

Pipasu Soni, '95 mechanical engineering, was recently named the Chief Financial Officer for NFI Group, one of the world's leading independent bus and coach manufacturers. Read the full story here.

Nick Deal, '03 civil engineering, was recently named the Board Chairman for Michael Brady Inc. (MBI). MBI is an engineering firm in Knoxville, TN.

Indiana University professor Chase Gamblin, '07 fine arts, is teaching students how to construct kilns and use them to create ceramics projects in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture & Design. Read the full story here.

Clark Nichols, '16 civil engineering, with Crouch Engineering and Kayla Grubb, '15 civil engineering, with Volkert Engineering are working together on the Charlotte Gateway project. Clark and Kayla knew each other through civil engineering classes during their years at Tech. After graduation, they went to work for different engineering companies and never imagined they'd be reunited through work on the same project! Clark and Kayla are pictured above.

John Agee, '90 civil engineering and CEE Advisory Board member, and his team at Terracon Consultants Inc. brought home the Grand Award for Studies, Research, and Consulting Engineering Services conducted at the Lipscomb University Shinn Event Center. The team provided geophysical services to locate a cave system beneath the project site.

And congratulations to ALL of the Tech alumni who are employed at HMB Professional Engineers, Inc. HMB recently received two awards for work performed on KY 30:  KYTC 2019 Performance Based Flexible Solutions Award of Excellence and ACEC of Kentucky 2020 Grand Award for Excellence in Engineering Design.

Email us your promotions, awards, and other achievements, and we'll share in the next edition of The Alumnus!


Tennessee Tech University holiday schedule

Christmas Tree bulb with painting of Derryberry Hall

Tennessee Tech offices will be closed December 23 through January 1 for the holidays.

If you wish to make a gift before the end of 2019, you can mail it to Tennessee Tech University, Box 1915, Cookeville, TN 38505 or give online via the button below.

We wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

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