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June 2022 Issue of the Alumnus

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June 2022  


Winston Morris leaves 55-year legacy at Tennessee Tech

The Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble poses with Winston Morris

It's impossible to say the words Tennessee Tech and tuba without also saying the name Winston Morris.

R. Winston Morris, professor of music and instructor of tuba and euphonium at Tech, has been internationally recognized for more than five decades as one of the leaders in the advancement of the tuba. In 1967, Morris founded the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble (TTTE), one of the most successful, if not the most successful, performing collegiate ensembles in history. The TTTE boasts 30 recording projects and is responsible for hundreds of arrangements and compositions for tuba ensembles. They have played Carnegie Hall eight times, at two world's fairs and in national and international concerts around the country. Last month Morris retired after 55 years with Tech.

"I hope that whomever fills my position will continue to receive the support that I've been honored to receive for all these years," he said.

read full story in gratitude magazine


Seth Reichman Memorial Fund honors student's love for Appalachian Center for Craft

Seth Reichman smiles on an airboat with marsh behind him.

Bill and Nancy Reichman say a traditional university degree program was never going to be the path for their son, Seth. But when Seth discovered the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech, he found his home away from home. When Seth passed away last year, dozens of family members and friends made gifts in his memory to the place he loved. These memorial gifts, combined with a generous gift from Seth's parents, will allow the Craft Center to purchase a mobile glassblowing studio which will be named for Seth.

While Seth was taken from his family and friends too soon, his parents are grateful for the home he found at the Craft Center, and they vow to keep his memory alive by supporting the center philanthropically.

"Despite the fact that Seth died a premature death, I know his Craft Center experience would have stayed with him for the rest of his life," said Seth's dad, Bill. "A part of Seth will stay in that center, and it will be supported through our philanthropy and whatever we can give."

read full story in gratitude magazine


Gratitude magazine shares stories of donor and alumni support

The cover of Gratitude magazine - a drone photo of the cupola of Derryberry Hall

The 2022 edition of the Crawford Alumni Center's Gratitude magazine is now available to view online! This year's edition features Winston Morris and 55 years of the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble; two couples who support Tennessee Tech generously, though none of them graduated from Tech; a memorial fund that honors a Craft Center student's memory; a significant gift to the Agriculture Engineering Technology Lab; updates on the Diversity Scholarship Initiative and Football Operations Center; how one alumna brought sororities to Tech and how a couple's love for the university and each other is inspiring students to pay it forward. We have a few print copies available, so if you'd like one, email alumni@tntech.edu and we'll put it in the mail for you.

read gratitude online


Start times and Golden Eagle Marching Band halftime show announced for 2022 home football games at Tucker Stadium
A drone photo of the band on Overall Field

It's the centennial celebration season for Tennessee Tech football, and now fans can make their plans for the 2022 Golden Eagle home games at Tucker Stadium, as start times have been announced.

"Our staff and our players are excited about our home schedule," said Tech head coach Dewayne Alexander. "There is an excellent mix of familiar foes -- Samford and Tennessee State -- and new teams coming into Tucker Stadium for the first time."

Visit TTUSports.com or click the link below to view the full schedule.

And the Golden Eagle Marching Band recently announced their 2022 halftime show: Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, Don't Start Now by Dua Lipa and A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman. Be sure to catch the show at home games Sept. 9 and 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 5 and 19.

read more


Tennessee Tech Football celebrates 100 years

A collage of Coach Overall and the first Tech football team.

When the Tennessee Tech football team takes to the field to open the 2022 campaign, it will be the 100th anniversary of the first varsity game played by the Golden Eagles.

That's not to say football didn't exist in the campus community before then. We begin the look back at Tennessee Tech's centennial of football with a glimpse at the beginning of the program.

Read the series of Tech Football's 100th Anniversary articles by clicking the links below.

the pre-varsity years (1916-21)

early years mark search for identity (1921-29)

1930s see changing landscape and program's first All-Americans


Tech alumni cheer on Braves at Atlanta alumni event

A collage of people with True To Tech magnets at Truist Park.

More than 100 Tennessee Tech alumni and friends attended one of our Atlanta-area alumni events during Memorial Day weekend!

On Friday, Tech alumni and their families gathered at Main Event in Atlanta for food and fun, and on Saturday, we cheered on the Braves at Truist Park. Thank you to everyone who came out for one of these events.

If you'd like Tech to host an alumni event in your city, email Brooke Fleenor, Crawford Alumni Center events coordinator, at alumnievents@tntech.edu. We hope to see you at an event in your area soon!

list of upcoming alumni events


Tennessee Tech asks alumni, where are you True?

Two women stand at an overlook at Canyonlands with their True To Tech magnets.

Where are you True?

Are you traveling this summer? Snap a photo of your True To Tech magnet or decal in front of a landmark, monument or beautiful landscape! Don't have a magnet or decal? No problem! Just take a photo of yourself wearing a Tech shirt or hat. Hashtag your photo #TrueToTech on Facebook or Instagram or send your photos to alumni@tntech.edu.

True To Tech recognizes donors who make a gift (of any amount) to Tennessee Tech each year. Once you have made gifts two years in a row, you will receive a True To Tech magnet and decal displaying the number of years you have supported Tech.

Crawford Alumni Center employees Kathleen Lordo, `00 geology, and Kelly Chambers, `05 English-journalism and '07 M.A., recently led a group of Tech alumni on a trip to Utah. They took a moment to show their True To Tech pride, and they invite you to do the same!

learn more about true to tech

watch a video about where are you true


Tennessee Tech alumni explore Utah's national parks

A group of alumni hold a Tennessee Tech banner in front of balancing rock at Arches National Park

"Wings Up Across America."

That's what alumni are saying about the Tennessee Tech Crawford Alumni Center's new Golden Eagle Travel program,which allows travelers to experience the comradery of exploring the country with fellow Golden Eagles. A group of alumni just returned from Tech's first Golden Eagle Travel experience: a week visiting Utah's national parks.

read full story

read utah travel blog

Visit golden eagle travel website


Crawford Alumni Center releases 2023 Black Hills, Badlands & Mount Rushmore alumni travel itinerary

Mount Rushmore

The Crawford Alumni Center recently finalized our 2023 summer trip for Tennessee Tech alumni and friends, and the full itinerary is now available! We'll spend six days in Rapid City, South Dakota, and we'll visit Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Badlands, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Devil's Tower and much more. Visit our Golden Eagle Travel website to view the full itinerary or to sign up using web code 157369.

The Dec. 30, 2022-Jan. 4, 2023 Rose Parade trip is also still available. Use web code 157556 to sign up.

Email alumni@tntech.edu if you'd like to receive a brochure for either trip. Wings Up Across America!

visit golden eagle travel site


Charlotte Austin and Sharon Atchley named 2022 Birds of a Feather winners

Two golden eagles "Birds of a Feather"

three women stand in front of a Christmas tree decorated in poinsettias

In honor of National Best Friend Day on June 8, we asked Tennessee Tech alumni who met their best friend at Tech to share their stories. We entered all stories submitted into a random drawing, and Charlotte Austin and Sharon Kay Atchley were the winners! Thank you to everyone who submitted a best friends story. Birds of a feather flock together, and Golden Eagles form friendships that last a lifetime.

Here's what Charlotte says about the day she met her best friend:

"I moved to Crawford Hall during my senior year (1977) at Tech. I opted for a private room on the second floor -- the private room helped with my migraines because it could be quiet and dark when I needed it. On a lovely afternoon of excruciating, spot blinding, nauseating migraine pain, I met my forever friend Sharon Kay Atchley.

Sharon is an artist, retired law enforcement officer and my forever best friend. We met on a day when Sharon was preparing canvases for painting. The smell of turpentine was almost unbearable for me. My migraine had taken two days away from me. I went looking for the turpentine smell but I could not find it until our housekeeper directed me to a broom closet and introduced me to Sharon Kay Atchley. I found the canvases but no Sharon.

Sharon was home with her family and left the canvases to dry. When she returned I was ready to plead for the turpentine to be gone immediately. Sharon was the kindest person I had ever met in my college years. We became instant friends and her family accepted me and my now husband (Bill Austin, `75) immediately on the first visit. My family accepted and loved Sharon. We are birds of a feather, and we have stuck together through thick and thin."

Photo top left: Verlene Atchley (Sharon's sister), Charlotte (Dunn) Austin and Sharon Atchley recreated their first photo together (taken in 1977) during Christmas 2021.


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

TJ Farr sitting as his desk in a black and white photo

Last month we asked the following trivia question:  

Which professor, who taught from 1929 until his death in 1961, was a founding member of the Tennessee Folklore Society in 1934? Hint: There is a building on campus named for him. 

The correct answer was T.J. Farr. Farr was head of the English and education programs and specialized in language and folklore studies. He founded the society with encouragement from folk music collector Alan Lomax.

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Ensor, `57 English, who won some Tech SWAG. Dr. Ensor shared the following with us:

"The professor has to be T. J. Farr, whose office was in the Science Building during the time I was a student at Tech, 1953-57. I was well-acquainted with all of the Farr family -- T.J., Lottie and Stephen AKA Scout Farr. I was in their house at 8th and Jefferson many times in the 1940s and 1950s. Stephen and I were together in school from first grade on into Tech and were good friends at that time. I was one of many student teachers supervised by Dr. Farr, back in 1957."

And now for this month's question, submitted by the May trivia winner herself, Dr. Allison Ensor:

Today, buildings on the Tennessee Tech campus are named for presidents, administrators and donors whose vision, leadership and generosity have allowed the university to thrive for 107 years. But campus buildings weren't always named for people. What were the original names of Bartoo Hall, Kittrell Hall, Henderson Hall and Derryberry Hall? 

Photo, top left: T.J. Farr
Source: The Tennessee Tech Centennial: A Collection of Essays and Photographs

Monthly trivia questions in The Alumnus are designed to test your knowledge of all things Tech! If you know the answer, email alumni@tntech.edu. We'll randomly select one of the correct answers to win some Tech SWAG! 

Tech-themed games and activities 

follow the Crawford alumni center on facebook


Donor Spotlight

One Bank gives $50,000 to Tech's Football Operations Center

a man and woman stand in front of the sign for One Bank

A local financial institution recently made a significant investment in Tennessee Tech Football.

One Bank’s $50,000 gift to the Football Operations Center will help Tech recruit and retain student-athletes and increase the program’s economic impact.

"One Bank is thrilled to be a small part of the growth and success of Tech," said Elizabeth Fournet, chairman of the board for One Bank. "We feel the growth of Tech Football and athletics in general will enhance the college experience and benefit our community. One Bank knows that, if we support our community and help it thrive, the businesses in that community will follow suit."

The 40,000-square-foot Football Operations Center will be the primary sports medicine, athletics training and physical therapy facility for all 14 Tech athletics teams and will feature a lighted practice field, Football Academic Enrichment Center, player lounge, contemporary team locker room, film room, coaches’ offices and hospitality suite.

The estimated cost to build the Football Operations Center is $15 million. State funds cannot be used for this type of athletic facility, so it will be funded entirely through private donations and support from alumni, friends and members of the local business community. For more information about Tech’s Football Operations Center, visit tntech.edu/foc.

read full story


Friends Remembered

LTG Don Rodgers

Lt. Gen. Thurman "Don" Rodgers (`57 electrical engineering), retired U.S. Army three-star general and Vietnam veteran with 34 years of active service, died on June 8 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

General Rodgers has commanded at every level in the Army, from platoon through company, battalion, brigade, post, to a major Army command. His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and two Distinguished Service Medals. He retired in 1991 after 34 years in the Army. In 1992, he received Tennessee Tech's Engineer of Distinction Award.

General Rodgers married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Faye Bohannon, of Cookeville in 1956. Faye died of a heart attack in 1988. A year later and still grieving, General Rodgers met June Scobee at an Easter Sunrise Service at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. June's husband, Astronaut and Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee, was tragically killed aboard Challenger in 1986. Sharing grief and faith brought them together, and they married in 1989. They celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary on June 3.

On April 9, the Crawford Alumni Center was honored to host General Don Rodgers and Dr. June Scobee Rodgers as special guests and keynote speaker at Tennessee Tech's NASA Celebration. A special NASA print edition of The Alumnus had already gone to print when we learned of General Rodgers' passing. This newsletter will be shared with alumni via mail and email in the coming weeks, and we dedicate this special edition to General Rodgers and his family.

read full obituary

Dr. Paul Stephenson

 Dr. Paul G. Stephenson passed away on June 6 at the age of 89.

Dr. Stephenson devoted decades of his life to the university, serving as the first chairperson of Tennessee Tech's Political Science Department from 1964 until his retirement in 1998.

He was also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Paul G. Stephenson Scholarship Endowment at Tennessee Tech. Visit tntech.edu/giving and type in the name of the scholarship in the field provided, or mail a check to Tennessee Tech, Box 1915, Cookeville, TN. Checks should be made out to the TTU Foundation and include Paul G. Stephenson Scholarship Endowment in the memo line.

read full obituary

GEN Carl Stiner

General Carl W. Stiner passed away on June 2.

General Stiner graduated from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute (now Tennessee Tech) in 1958 with a degree in agricultural science. He was also commissioned in the infantry.

During his 35-year career in the U.S. Army, General Stiner commanded the U.S. Military's preeminent contingency strike force, including the Joint Special Operations Command, the 82nd Airborne Division, the XVIII Airborne Corps and the U.S. Special Operations Command. As Commanding General of XVIII Airborne Corps, he was designated Commander, Joint Task Force South, and served as the Operational Commander of all forces employed on Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama in December 1989. In June 1990, he was promoted to the rank of General and became the second Commander in Chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command. In this role, he was responsible for the readiness of all Special Operations Forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force, both active duty and reserve, during Operation Desert Storm. General Stiner retired in May 1993 and moved back to his hometown of LaFollette, Tennessee, where he and his wife Sue remained dedicated members of the community.

read full obituary

Leslie Everett Winningham, age 81, passed away on June 18.Leslie Winningham

His dedication to education was evident when he hitchhiked from Byrdstown, Tennessee, to Swannanoa, North Carolina, to attend college at Warren Wilson College. He graduated with an associate's degree in forestry in 1961 while lettering in both basketball and baseball. He went on to further his education at Tennessee Tech where he earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education in 1964 and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction in 1967.

Winningham became the youngest-ever elected school superintendent when he was elected as Pickett County's superintendent in 1968. From coaching countless high school basketball players, to classroom teaching, to assistant principal and principal positions, his goal was to help every student reach their potential and succeed. Under his leadership as principal, Scott High School was named a Governor's Great School of Tennessee in 1987.

In 1984, Winningham was elected to the Tennessee Legislature to represent the 38th district. Over a prestigious 26-year career in the legislature, he represented counties including Clay, Jackson, Macon, Pickett, Scott and part of Anderson.

read full obituary

Friends Remembered honors the memories of the Tennessee Tech alumni and friends we have lost. If you would like to include someone in Friends Remembered, please email alumni@tntech.edu.


Archives with Atkinson Graphic

Jenny Huffman sitting at a desk in the archivesMeet the new archives assistant!

The Tennessee Tech University Archives and Special Collections is excited to introduce their newest addition to the archival team! Jenny Huffman began her new role as an archives assistant this month.

Jenny is a Tennessee Tech alumna who earned her B.S. in history in 2019. While attending Tech, Jenny participated in a nine-month internship with University Archives and Special Collections. During this internship, she processed the papers of composer Robert E. Jager. She also served as a volunteer at the Cookeville History Museum where she accessioned artifacts and performed the Night at the Museums Ghost Walk.

This May, Jenny obtained her Master of Science in Information Systems from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where she followed the Archives and Records Management pathway.

In addition to experience gained during her graduate studies, Jenny's most recent project involved setting up a Memory Lab and Digitization Station for the Putnam County Library.

Photo top left: Jenny Huffman, archives assistant

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. 

view university archives' digital collections

learn more about archives and special collections

Follow Tech Archives on Facebook


Class Notes

Joshua Foran holding a glowing forged sword in a blacksmith shop

Brandy Alley, `21 M.A. curriculum and instruction, is the new DeKalb County High School women's basketball head coach. Read more.

Jim Boles, `98 Ed.S. instructional leadership, was named Director of Access and School Choice for Hamilton County Schools. Read more.

Nicholas Corrigan, `10 multidisciplinary studies and `17 M.A., is the new principal at Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Read more.

Jason Cummings, `99 sociology, was featured in an article in The Laker/Lutz News. Commander Cummings recently retired from the U.S. Navy after 23 years of service. Read more.

Joshua Foran, `12 engineering technology, is a contestant on the History Channel's Forged in Fire. The "Flip the Forge" episode aired on June 22. Read more or follow Foran on Instagram @Joshofall_trades.

Jennifer Fryer, `92 education, was named a Woman of Wilson and was featured in The Wilson Post. Fryer has worked in Wilson County schools for nearly three decades. Read more.

Walter Hill, `00 marketing, was inducted into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame. Hill is known as one of the best football players in school history for East Limestone High in Alabama. He also played football for the Golden Eagles. Read more.

Tim James, `98 M.A. instructional leadership and `99 Ed.S., has been named Athletic Director for Hamilton County Schools. Read more.

Aaron Jones, `03 secondary education, is the new director of Roane State's Middle College program. Read more.

Louise "Tiddle" Thomas, `43 business management, celebrated her 100th birthday on June 4 and received a key to the city of Oak Ridge (her home since 1946) from Mayor Warren Gooch. Read more.

Photo top left: Joshua Foran, `12 engineering technology, a contestant on the History Channel's Forged in Fire 

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

Tech apparel

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.

SHOP THE new TTU BOOKSTORE ONLINE

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