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December 2022  

Fall Graduates Celebrate Successes at Commencement Ceremonies

Students in caps and gowns at commencement.

On Dec. 9, more than 865 graduates earned degrees in Tech's fall commencement ceremonies. Their birth years ranged from 1957 to 2003, evidence that an education at Tech can be for everyone, regardless of age. Women and men in the graduating class came to Tech from 72 counties throughout Tennessee, 18 states and 20 other countries. Those earning undergraduate degrees represent 39 fields of study, and those receiving graduate degrees represent 30 fields of study.

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Tennessee Tech to host Wings Up Weekend April 14-16, 2023

Wings Up Weekend graphic

Save the date! Wings Up Weekend 2023 will be April 14-16!

Wings Up Weekend is a celebration of all things purple and gold and will include sporting events, cultural festivals, reunions and more. Events for this year's Wings Up Weekend will be added to the Crawford Alumni Center website as soon as details are finalized, so be sure to check back often!


Tennessee Tech honors Golden Eagles loved and lost on Giving Tuesday

Giving TuesdayOn this year's Giving Tuesday, Tennessee Tech University honored professors, administrators, coaches and benefactors by inviting the Golden Eagle community to make a gift in honor or memory of someone who had an impact on their college experience.

Since 2016, Tech has participated in Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving when people all over the world support causes that have a positive impact on their communities. Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year.

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Calvin Dickinson and Michael Birdwell remembered as historians, storytellers and friends

Calvin Dickinson and Michael Birdwell

The Golden Eagle community lost two beloved historians and storytellers last year.

Calvin Dickinson and Michael "Birdie" Birdwell were the Tennessee Tech Department of History's resident experts on Upper Cumberland history.

"Each was an excellent resource when I had a question regarding virtually any aspect of local history," said Kent Dollar, chair of Tech's history department. "Oftentimes they took off together in their car to examine little-known historical sites and explore seldom-taken roads. They both will be sorely missed as friends, colleagues and historians."

The Special Legacy Edition of Impact Magazine, linked below, includes stories of Golden Eagles we have loved and lost. Dr. Dickinson's and Dr. Birdwell's story begins on page 7.

read impact online

Neufeldt family honored for decades of inspiring, encouraging and mentoring students

The Neufeldt familyA teaching position in Tennessee Tech's College of Education brought Harvey and Anne Neufeldt to Cookeville in 1970, and the Neufeldt family quickly began to make their mark on campus. Passionate about the transformative power of education, Harvey and Anne mentored and supported thousands of undergraduate and graduate students and took pride in seeing alumni thrive in their chosen careers.

"For Harv and I, Tennessee Tech became our beloved home for 40 years," said Anne. "Our daughters were able to grow up and participate in all facets of university life, including the campus elementary school, and eventually graduated from Tech with their bachelor's degrees. Whether walking together at the fitness center in the morning, going to departmental picnics and events or hosting students in our home, Tech was a part of us."

The Special Legacy Edition of Impact Magazine, linked below, includes stories of Golden Eagles we have loved and lost. The Neufeldt Family's story begins on page 11.

read impact online

Millard Oakley leaves legacy as university's most generous donor

Millard Oakely

A person doesn't become the largest donor in university history without transforming a campus.

Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham says it's impossible to quantify what Millard Vaughn Oakley did for the university and the Upper Cumberland.

"Millard Oakley wholeheartedly believed that we should give back to society more than we take, and he lived his life accordingly," said Oldham. "He fully and completely loved the people and places of the Upper Cumberland. He strongly believed in the role of education and how it can help improve the lives and the mobility of individuals. He knew Tennessee Tech had a big role to play in that."

The Special Legacy Edition of Impact Magazine, linked below, includes stories of Golden Eagles we have loved and lost. Mr. Oakley's story begins on page 5.

read impact online

Tennessee Tech opens new Poultry Science Research Center

the inside of the poultry center during the grand opening

Tennessee Tech University celebrated the grand opening of their Poultry Science Research Center on Dec. 2, as well as the official naming of the Aviagen Poultry Science Laboratory inside. The new facility, which will give faculty and students in the College of Agriculture and Human Ecology access to cutting edge technology, was made possible through a number of supporters throughout the state.

"I think this is a great testament to the power of partnerships," said Tech President Phil Oldham. "We believe strongly in partnerships at Tennessee Tech because we believe we are all better together. The students are going to have an opportunity to enjoy this facility and then go off into their jobs and make a big difference -- that's what this is all about."

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Tech alumni celebrate 50th Anniversary of Apollo 17

A full moon behind the Derryberry cupola

Tennessee Tech University has a long list of alumni who have been or are currently involved with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration program. They, like others around the world, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 17 on Dec. 7, 2022.

When Apollo 17 launched on Dec. 7, 1972, it was the sixth Apollo mission and became the last manned mission to the moon to date. It was the first Apollo mission that was launched at night, and it carried the first scientist, geologist Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, to walk on the moon. It launched on Dec. 7, landed on the moon on Dec. 11, stayed on the lunar surface 75 hours, and returned to Earth on Dec. 19.


Tennessee Tech students featured in "Baking It" TV baking competition

Allen and Matt on the set of Baking It

Tennessee Tech University students and roommates Allen Speigner of Dickson, Tennessee, and Matt Bardoner of Chattanooga, Tennessee, are making their television debut this month on Peacock's baking show "Baking It," season two.

Speigner, a human development and family sciences major, and Bardoner, an exercise major, both traveled to California in October to participate in the competition with seven other pairs of bakers for a chance at the $50,000 grand prize. The show is hosted and executively produced by Emmy-winning actresses and comedians Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler. This season they were also joined by fellow stars Fred Armisen, Kristen Bell, Nicole Richie and JB Smoove.

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Crawford Alumni Center shares alumni holiday cookbook

Holiday Recipe Exchange

Thank you to everyone who submitted a holiday recipe for our Tennessee Tech alumni cookbook! We've loved reading the stories behind your favorite family recipes and look forward to trying a few new dishes!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Crawford Alumni Center at Tennessee Tech.

Digital Cookbook

A graphic that is made to look like a word find. The words Tennesee, Tech, Trivia, Puzzle, Crawford, Quiz, Games, and Alumni are circled.

Alumni invited to participate in monthly Tech Trivia

Hix Stubblefield

Last month we asked the following trivia question:  

Many alumni don't know that Journalism Professor Hugh Hix Stubblefield was actually a Tennessee Tech graduate who earned his bachelor's degree here several years before he started teaching journalism classes on campus. What year did he graduate, and what was his bachelor's degree in? 

Professor Stubblefield earned a bachelor's degree in social sciences in 1955. 

Congratulations to Eugene Wilmore, `58 industrial management, who answered correctly and won some Tech SWAG! 

And now for this month's question: 

What was the first building on campus to be named for a married couple? 

Photo top left: Hugh Hix Stubblefield, `55 social sciences

Monthly trivia questions in The Alumnus are designed to test your knowledge of all things Tech! If you know the answer, email We'll randomly select one of the correct answers to win some Tech SWAG! And if you have an idea for a trivia question, send it to us! You may see it in a future edition of The Alumnus.

Tech-themed games and activities 

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Friends Remembered

Warren Huddleston

Del "Warren" Huddleston, 67, of Crossville, Tennessee, passed away on Dec. 7, 2022.

Warren started his career as a golf professional at Druid Hills in Fairfield Glade in 1973 after completing a successful collegiate golf career for his beloved Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Anyone who knew Warren knows that he remained an avid supporter of all things Tennessee Tech for his entire life, attending many Tech sporting events.

Warren worked in the Golf Department at Fairfield Glade from 1973 until his retirement in 2014. Across his career, he served as Director of Golf and Head Professional at Druid Hills, Dorchester and Stonehenge. His golfing career was capped by being awarded the Distinguished Career Award in 2018, the highest honor bestowed on a PGA Professional in the State of Tennessee.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Warren Huddleston Scholarship Fund. Individuals wishing to donate can mail checks to the TTU Foundation, Box 1915, Cookeville, TN 38505 (write Warren Huddleston Scholarship in the memo line of the check or in an accompanying note), or gifts can be made online at

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Archives with Atkinson Graphic

The Preservation Tree

Archives' Christmas Forest tree

Tennessee Tech Archives participates annually in the Christmas Forest exhibit at the Cookeville History Museum.

The archives creates a tree that represents work that was performed in the archives that year, and they combine the work with a little bit of creativity. This year, the Christmas tree depicts ornaments that represent a small part of the preservation process that archivists perform during archival "processing." Processing is a general word to describe how archivists make materials available to users and involves a set of tasks including arranging, describing, rehousing and performing preservation on archival materials. Preservation, unlike conservation, involves removing harmful materials, such as metal fasteners, or rehousing archival materials into new housing, such as acid-free folders and boxes, to prevent further deterioration of the materials. Preservation is minimally invasive and does not involve altering the physical materials, whereas conservation may involve physically altering/changing materials.

The ornaments on the tree are all made with binder clips and paper clips removed by archive intern Julia Peacock while processing the papers of the famed American tuba player and professor, R. Winston Morris. Archives also removes staples during preservation work, which can be grueling. These tedious tasks remove the potential for rust to form from the metal on the unique materials and preserves the materials for the future with less risk of deterioration. All DIY ornaments on the tree are made by employees in the library and archive interns.

Photo top left: 2022 Preservation Tree

University Archivist Megan Atkinson and the University Archives staff are 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 their office with questions, and watch for more "Archives with Atkinson" in future editions of The Alumnus. 

read archives' blog

view university archives' digital collections

learn more about archives and special collections

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Class Notes

Dee Harwell

Allison Gernt, `93 nursing, received the DAISY Award. According to the DAISY Foundation, "DAISY Award recognitions honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve, and throughout their careers from Nursing Student through Lifetime Achievement in nursing." Read more.

Dee Baxter Harwell, `92 home economics, celebrated her 20th anniversary as president and founder of Dynamic Dietetics Inc., a consulting group of registered dietitians in Cleveland, TN. Dee's company was a finalist for Best Weight Loss Center in the Chattanooga News Free Press annual Best of the Best contest. Read more

Daphne Johnson, `04 M.A. instructional leadership and `06 Ed.S., was named Calhoun College and Career Academy's Teacher of the Month. Read more.

Annetta K. Mathis, `85 curriculum and instruction, was named Teacher of the Year at Sugar Creek Elementary in Lester, AL. Read more.

Penny Murray, `98 business management, was named human resources director at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. Read more.

Patrick Wade, `03 finance, is the new president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) in Murfreesboro. Read more

Photo top left: Dee Harwell, `92 home economics, celebrates 20th anniversary as president and founder of Dynamic Dietetics Inc.

We love hearing about the successes of Tennessee Tech alumni. Email us your promotions, awards and other achievements, and we'll share in the next edition of The Alumnus! 

Upcoming Tennessee Tech University bookstore sales

A Tennessee Tech ornament

Check out the bookstore's Tennessee Tech University Spirit Shop featuring apparel, accessories and Tech-themed items for students and alumni.  

The original bookstore website is still available and will focus mainly on textbooks and school supplies, while the Spirit Shop focuses more on Tech-themed gear.

The University Bookstore is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Tennessee Tech holiday closing schedule

The Quad with decorationsTennessee Tech University offices will be closed Friday, December 23, 2022, through Monday, January 2, 2023.

If you wish to make a gift and have it count for 2022 tax purposes, be sure to give online at by Dec. 31 or mail a check (postmarked by Dec. 31) to Tennessee Tech, Box 1915, Cookeville, TN 38505. If you have an urgent question about an end-of-the-year gift, email

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

The Crawford Alumni Center


Giving to Tennessee Tech