Crawford Alumni Center

The Alumnus Logo

Upcoming Events              Tech news              Make a gift

September 2019  

Alumni Building celebrates 50 years, renamed Varsity Building

Varsity Building

The Alumni Building (and the building once known as the Varsity Cinema Theatre) celebrated its 50th anniversary this month, and on September 24, the Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees voted to rename it the Varsity Building!

On September 11, 1969, Leon Delozier celebrated the grand opening of the Varsity Cinema Theatre, located on Dixie Avenue near the Tech campus. In 1979, Delozier renovated and reopened the theatre as the Varsity Twin. In 2001, the Varsity Cinema officially closed its doors and ceased operations as a movie theatre and was renovated and converted into a creative marketing agency. In 2014, Tennessee Tech purchased the building and designated it the Alumni Building. Today it is home to University Advancement (including University Development and Advancement Services) and serves as the headquarters for the Crawford Alumni Center and the Alumni Association.

While the building has served in different capacities throughout the last 50 years, its legacy as a movie theatre remains. The Crawford Alumni Center is pleased to be able to honor an important part of Cookeville's history by giving the building an official name that so many alumni remember.


Tennessee Tech to celebrate 89th Homecoming November 9

Homecoming 2019 Logo - A Jukebox Homecoming - Awesome Eagle winking from inside a 50s era jukebox

Join us for Tennessee Tech's 89th Homecoming! This year's theme is "A Jukebox Homecoming." The Crawford Alumni Center will host an open house and parade-watching party at the Varsity Building--formerly known as the Alumni Building (705 N Dixie Ave)--beginning at 9 a.m. The parade starts at 10 a.m., and the football game versus Jacksonville kicks off at 1:30 p.m. at Tucker Stadium. A full list of events happening around campus during Homecoming weekend is available via the link below. Be sure to check back often, as new events will continue to be added in the coming months. We hope to see you on campus!

read full story

Tech graduates have both lowest debt and highest starting salary of any Tennessee public university

Dr. Philip Oldham addresses board of trustees

The Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees met on Sept. 24, where President Phil Oldham provided updates on enrollment, retention, starting salaries, and more. According to data recently released by U.S. News & World Report and PayScale, Tech graduates have a unique combination of both a high starting salary and a low amount of debt. In comparing Tech to other public universities in Tennessee, Tech graduates have the highest starting salary and the lowest amount of student debt.

Read Full Story

Tech alumni attend career fairs, recruit future Tech grads

career fair alumni Ed Sebastian, Terri Buchanan, and Chip Moore

The Center for Career Development held Career Fairs Sept. 10, 17, and 24 to connect current students with employers looking for new talent. Dozens of Tech alumni returned to their alma mater to represent their places of business, and each wore a purple Alumni ribbon to show his/her Tech Pride. At the Sept. 17 fair, the Crawford Alumni Center spoke to several of these alumni: Ed Sebastian, '17 accounting and auditor with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury; Terri Watts Buchanan, '09 business management and human resources assistant with Progressive Savings Bank; and James Moore, '96 civil engineering and infrastructure director with the City of Spring Hill. Buchanan said she actually acquired her position with Progressive Savings Bank at a Tech career fair 10 years ago. "I'm here to find the next Terri!" she said.

Tech welcomes 2,500 new students

Dr. Phil Oldham waving at new students during running of the freshmen event

The university welcomed more than 2,500 new students this fall, including 1,700 new freshmen and nearly 800 transfer students. This year saw an increase in the number of transfer students choosing Tech to continue their education. Top majors for the 2019 freshman students include nursing, mechanical engineering, computer science, chemical engineering, agriculture, civil engineering, exercise science, biology, business, and education. Preliminary enrollment is more than 10,500.

Read full story

Alumni Association Board holds first meeting of 2019-2020

Alumni Association Board members with Dr. Philip Oldham

On Sept. 13, the Alumni Association Board, led by newly-elected officers, held its first meeting of the academic school year. President Phil Oldham presented updates on enrollment, campus expansion, the strategic plan and its emphasis on alumni engagement, and more. Pictured above are Becky Magura; Julie Galloway, past-chair; Randy Keifer; President Oldham; Randy Wilmore, chair; Brandon Boyd, executive director; Bedelia Russell, secretary; and Brent Waugh, chair-elect.  

Annual Friends of the Library Gala to be held November 2

2019 Champagne Gala for the Friends of the Library - November 2 from 7-9:30 at DelMonaco Winery. Ticket Price is $50 including tax

Since 1984, the Library Gala has been the primary fundraising event for the Volpe Library. All proceeds from the Gala support library programs and renovations including the recently completed state-of-the-art Archives & Special Collections, which preserve and exhibit the documents and artifacts of Tech's heritage, and the Testing Center, where people across Tennessee can take necessary exams (civil service, certification requirements, etc.) without having to go to Nashville or Knoxville. The Volpe Library is open to the public.

Join fellow Tech alumni and friends for Brunch & Brews on Nov. 10

TTU Brunch and Brews November 10

Our first-ever Tennessee Tech Brew Hop was such a success, we've planned another one! On Sunday, Nov. 10 (the day after Homecoming), Crawford Alumni Center and Tour the UC will offer a special TTU Brunch & Brews tour. The fun starts at Northfield Vineyards in Sparta, then it's off to Foglight Foodhouse for brunch. We'll then stop at Rock Island Twin Falls before visiting Happy Trails Brewing Company, Red Silo Brewing Company, and TN Legend Distillery. Seats are limited, so if you are interested, sign up via the link below as soon as possible!

Friday Café Fall 2019 menus announced

Friday Cafe Fall 2019

If you haven't had the opportunity to experience the Friday Café, you are missing out on the best meal (and best deal!) on campus. Friday Café is THE hands-on learning experience for foods and nutrition students in Human Ecology. It is a student-led restaurant located in Oakley Hall, room 005, and is open for lunch on Fridays. The Café is open to the public, and a meal is only $8. Click the link below to view the Fall 2019 menus and to make a reservation.

Oakley STEM Center unveils Fall 2019 calendar of event

Oakley STEM Center Logo

The Fall 2019 schedule of FAB Friday (for 3rd-8th graders), Safari Saturday (for PreK-3rd graders), and other special events for all ages is now online. Click the link below to read more about upcoming events and to register to attend.

Oakley STEM Center Events

Explore "Great Trains & Grand Canyons" with fellow alumni

Grand Canyon

The Crawford Alumni Center is thrilled to partner with Premier World Discovery to offer a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for Tennessee Tech alumni and friends. The "Great Trains & Grand Canyons" trip will take place Sept. 13-18, 2020. You'll spend six days/five nights in Sedona, Arizona, and you'll have the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon, take two historic train trips, visit Montezuma Castle National Monument, explore the old mining town of Jerome, and much more.  Wings Up Across America!

What professor changed your world?

What professor changed your world?

Ron Woody, '83 finance, names Norm Williams as the professor who changed his world. Ron has written two books of life lessons, titled Don't Get Lost in the Fog and Stories from the Fog, and he says the lessons he received from Tennessee Tech made an impact.

"Norm Williams was my primary finance professor. I entered Tech as a junior in the fall of 1981, graduating in the spring of 1983. I had five classes under Dr. Williams and still today have my Contemporary Financial Management book, which was used in three of the five classes. A number of years after graduating from Tennessee Tech, I took some additional accounting classes and became a CPA. The Tennessee Tech finance major led by Dr. Williams made the advanced accounting classes much more understandable and, yes, easier. I learned a lot about real estate under Dr. Williams in his real estate class, and today I still use many of the lessons learned in both my current job and personal ventures. I have been in a number of positions over the years and must say that my Tennessee Tech degree has served me well. Dr. Williams was not only an excellent professor, but he also became a mentor to me as well. Tennessee Tech was a great experience for my father, my daughter, and me."


Varsity Cinema exhibit curated by University Archives on display

Archives with Atkinson Graphic

Varsity memorabilia in display cases

To celebrate the Varsity Cinema building's 50th anniversary and commemorate its official renaming as the Varsity Building, University Archives has curated a special exhibit of memorabilia from the original theater, the Delozier family, popular movies, and more. The Crawford Alumni Center wishes to thank Megan Atkinson and the entire University Archives team for their hard work in creating this display. Tech alumni and friends are invited to the Varsity Building (formerly known as the Alumni Building or Varsity Cinema), located at 705 N. Dixie Ave., to view the Varsity exhibit. The Varsity Building is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and all are welcome.

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. 

More about University Archives & Special Collections

Career Corner with Russ

In this edition of The Alumnus, we shared a few stories of the Tech alumni who returned to their alma mater this month to assist with recruiting the next generation of employees to their place of business. But why are career fairs so important? In this month's Career Corner, Center for Career Development Director Russ Cougehnour discusses the many ways career fairs make an impact on a student's future.

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

Holly Trotter-Vincent, '99 English-journalism, was recently named Community Relations Specialist at Cleveland State Community College. She has worked at the college for 17 years. Prior to being named Community Relations Specialist, she served Cleveland State as the Public Relations Coordinator.

Louisa Mesich, '71 biology, is one of the 2019 recipients of the Government of Japan Foreign Minister's Commendation. The Foreign Minister's Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields in order to acknowledge their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries and areas. Louisa has coordinated the Chattanooga Sister Cities for Tono program for 29 years.

Aaron McIntosh, '06 fine arts, returned to his alma mater as a visiting artist Sept. 23-24 to present a workshop and artist lecture on his art project, INVASIVE Queer Kudzu. For more information about Aaron's project, visit the Invasive Queer Kudzu website.

Samantha Beaty, '98 agriculture, has been named State Veterinarian and Assistant Commissioner for Animal Health.  With 18 years of veterinary medicine experience, Dr. Beaty will now be responsible for protecting and monitoring animal health throughout the state.

Bryson Kelpe, '18 interdisciplinary studies, recently presented the research he completed as part of his capstone project at the Falling Walls Lab Rhineland in Cologne, Germany. 

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

donor spotlight graphic

Mrs. Linda Swisher

George Swisher recently established a scholarship in memory of his late wife, Linda. The Linda S. Swisher Scholarship Endowment will assist students majoring in secondary education English or secondary education history. George taught mechanical and electrical engineering courses at Tech for many years and eventually retired as Tech's Dean of the College of Engineering. Linda graduated from Tech with the highest honors in secondary education English and history and taught English as a second language at Tech for 15 years. George established this scholarship in honor of Linda's unselfish dedication to her students, her commitment to advancing education, and her relentless encouragement to share cultures, experiences, and languages. George and Linda also previously established the Swisher Family Scholarship Endowment to support Tech engineering majors.

read donor spotlight

Bookstore sale: 25% off Redshirt brand this week

Tech Merchandise

25% off Redshirt Brand Sep 23-26

shop the tennessee tech bookstore

The Crawford Alumni Center


Giving to Tennessee Tech