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May 2019  

Tech's "Lost Spaces" and the story of the Burntstand Cemetery

Burntstand Cemetery

The area that is now home to the Golden Eagle football team used to be home to something very different: the dead. Purchased by Tech in 1930, the land behind Tucker Stadium was once the Burntstand Cemetery. By the 1960s, the cemetery was overgrown and in need of maintenance. In 1966, President Derryberry wished to expand the campus and tasked Leonard Crawford, director of field services, with moving the cemetery. Crawford spent years identifying the individuals buried there, locating death certificates, reaching out to the next of kin to obtain permission to move the bodies, and finding cemeteries where they could be reinterred. Crawford was able to identify 70 of the individuals buried in Burntstand Cemetery, and in the end, 211 bodies were moved to 8 different cemeteries throughout the Upper Cumberland. Tragically, Crawford died in a car accident just three months after completing the project. Tech's Crawford Alumni Center is named for Leonard Crawford and his wife, Gladys. 

From moved to demolished, renovated, or repurposed, Tech's history includes many stories like that of the Burntstand Cemetery. A "Lost Spaces" exhibit is currently on display in the Alumni Building. The exhibit will be changed late summer, so come check it out soon! The Alumni Building is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is open to the public. The "Lost Spaces" exhibit was curated by University Archives and Special Collections.

Tennessee Tech Alumni Association welcomes 1,450 new alumni

Spring 2019 Commencement

On May 4, Tech awarded more than 1,450 degrees to women and men who came to the University from 81 counties in Tennessee, 21 states, and 25 other countries. The graduates represented 67 fields of study, and the birth years of the Class of 2019 ranged from 1945 to 2000.

Rhedona Rose, chief administrative officer and executive vice president of Tennessee Farm Bureau and a member of the Tech Board of Trustees, gave the commencement address. Rose hid a $100 bill under a chair before the ceremony began. A lucky student was the recipient--but only for a short time. To illustrate how life can be unfair, Rose asked the student to give the $100 to the student sitting behind him.

"Sorry, but sometimes the person calling the shots picks someone else for recognition, the raise, or the promotion," she said. "The decision may be good for you, or it may be bad. Sometimes it will help you and sometimes it will do the opposite."


What do you want to see in future editions of The Alumnus?

Recipients of 2019 Alumni Awards

The Crawford Alumni Center recently created a survey to learn what Tech alumni would like to see in future editions of The Alumnus, the university's e-newsletter for alumni and friends. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by clicking the button below.

Follow Crawford Alumni Center on social media

CAC Facebook CAC Twitter CAC Instagram

Crawford Alumni Center recently updated its social media pages, and we have some new features planned for this summer! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a great way to learn more about upcoming events, interact with fellow alumni, and more. We hope you'll follow us, like, and share often!


What professor changed your world?

What professor changed your world?

Allen McCampbell, `65 business management, identified William Bonner as the professor who changed his world.

McCampbell shared, "In my business communications class in the fall of 1962, Dr. Bonner asked the question, 'When it comes to service, who is the most important person in your company?' I will never forget his reply: 'The person who deals directly with the public.' So think about how they interact--that person that answers the phone or sends correspondence to the customer. Dr. Bonner was a great professor, and I will always remember that discussion."

If you haven't yet shared your own story about which professor changed your world, we hope you'll email us! We will continue to share these stories in future editions of The Alumnus.

read previous "world-changing" professor stories

Joe Slater announced as new Dean of College of Engineering

Dean Joe Slater

Dr. Joe Slater has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Engineering. Dr. Slater comes to us from Wright State University where he has served on the faculty for 26 years and served as an administrator for 8 years, most recently serving as chair of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Dr. Slater has a bachelor's degree and master's degree in aerospace engineering and a PhD in mechanical engineering from The State University of New York.


Kim Hanna announced as Dean of Whitson-Hester School of Nursing

Dean Kimberly Hanna

Dr. Kimberly Hanna has accepted the position of the Dean of the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing. During her time as Interim Dean, the School's enrollment has grown; they have successfully passed two major accreditations; they are transitioning a joint TNeCampus program into a stand-alone Tennessee Tech online program; they have grown in their faculty ranks; the School's budgets have increased; and she has expanded the development role of the Dean's position. Dr. Hanna has a bachelor's degree in nursing from Tennessee Tech University, a master's degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in nursing from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Crawford Alumni Center interviews University Archivist Megan Atkinson and introduces new "Archives with Atkinson" feature

Archives with Atkinson Graphic

As the University Archivist, Megan Atkinson is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible materials of historical significance to the University and the Upper Cumberland. She connects students, the community, and researchers to Tech's collection through exhibits, outreach activities, classes, reference, and digital access.

Want to know more about University Archives and Special Collections? Watch for a new feature in future editions of The Alumnus called "Archives with Atkinson," follow Archives and Special Collections on Facebook, and watch our interview with Megan via the link below.

watch interview with megan atkinson

University Archives helps Tech Alumna find lost graduation picture

Jennifer Winningham Owens receives diploma from her father

Jennifer Winningham Owens, '03 English-journalism, recently experienced University Archivist Megan Atkinson's exceptional service. "During my move to Charlotte, several pictures were lost," she said. "The picture I have been most upset about was of my dad giving me my Tech diploma on graduation day. I went to Archives to see if there was any way they could track that down for me, and they actually had the negative! I am so grateful they took the time to find this special picture for me."


Career Corner with Russ

Has this happened to you--you adequately prepare for an interview, go in confidently, and feel afterward that you nailed it, only to find out that...they hired someone else. Now what? Russ Coughenour, Director of the Center for Career Development, is back with a new blog post about what it means when you don't get the job.

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

A 1978 speech and theater graduate, Donald Trowell, Sr. ran track and qualified for Nationals for two straight years while at Tech. Now, he coaches high school track and recently coached the long jump state champion for the state of Kentucky.

Paul Degges, a '88 CEE alumnus and Deputy Commissioner/Chief Engineer for the State of Tennessee, received the Robert E. Pearson Person of the Year Award.

Monterey High School has the honor of being one of the top 50 schools competing in the 10th annual #VansCustomCulture Competition, and it's thanks to the leadership of MHS art teacher James Watts, a 2007 fine arts graduate.

Christine Skold, a 1993 accounting graduate, was recently named interim chief financial officer for Hibbett Sports. 

Fred Lowery was recently appointed to the DuPont Board of Directors. Lowery is a 1994 mechanical engineering graduate and is currently being featured on Tech's Donor Spotlight website. 

Andrew Thompson, Jamie Estes ('16 fine arts), and Thoryn Ziemba ('10 fine arts) were recently featured for their work with clay and glass at STARworks Ceramics, an arts-centered work community in the Town of Star, NC.

Email us your promotions, awards, and other achievements, and we'll share in The Alumnus.


Student Spotlight

Frank Lowery

Graduate student Whitney Cunningham says the Archie Rhinehart Scholarship she received her sophomore year relieved her financial worries, and the College of Business dinners she attended, funded by generous donors, improved her communication skills and allowed her to grow as a professional.

The Crawford Alumni Center


Giving to Tennessee Tech