Tusculum College

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Tusculum College
Tusculum seal.png
Motto Sit Lux (Latin)
("Let there be light")
Type Private
Established 1794
Endowment US$15.7 million
President Dr. James Hurley
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 2,446
Postgraduates 159
Location Tusculum, Tennessee, United States
Campus Rural, 140 acres (0.57 km2)
Colors Orange and Black
Athletics NCAA Division II
South Atlantic Conference
18 sports teams
Affiliations Presbyterian Church (USA)
Mascot Pioneers
Website www.tusculum.edu

Tusculum College is a coeducational private college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), with its main campus in the city of Tusculum, Tennessee, United States, a suburb of the town of Greeneville. It is Tennessee's oldest college and the 28th-oldest operating college in the United States.[1]

In addition to its main campus, the institution maintains a regional center for Graduate and Professional Studies in Knoxville, and additional satellite campuses across East Tennessee.


Before Tennessee became a state in 1796, the east Tennessee area was the southwestern frontier of the United States.[2] Presbyterian ministers Hezekiah Balch and Samuel Doak, both educated at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), were there, ministering to early Scots-Irish settlers.

Striving to meet the settlers' educational needs, Doak founded St. Martins Academy in 1783 and it expanded to become Washington College in 1795. Washington College was later renamed "Tusculum College." Balch helped found Greeneville College in 1795.

Doak and Balch sought the same goals through their separate colleges. They wanted to educate settlers of the American frontier so that they would become better Presbyterians, and therefore, in their thinking, better citizens.[3] To better accomplish their common goals, Greeneville College and Tusculum College merged in 1868 to become Greeneville & Tusculum College.

Origin of name[edit]

Doak rechristened Washington College Tusculum after the home place of Princeton University’s then-president Dr. John Witherspoon, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. The original Tusculum was a city near Rome, Italy and home to Roman scholar and philosopher Cicero. It was he who, along with others, identified the civic virtues that form the basis of civic republican tradition, which emphasizes citizens working together to form good societies that in turn foster individuals of good character.[4]


  • Greeneville College (1794–1860)
    • Hezekiah Balch, D.D. 1794–1810
    • Charles Coffin, D.D. 1810–27
    • Henry Hoss 1828–36
    • Alfred Hoss 1836–38
    • James McLin, B.A. 1838–40
    • Samuel Matthews 1843–45
    • Charles Van Vlech 1845–46
    • John Fleming 1846–47
    • William B. Rankin, D.D. 1854–58
    • John Lampson 1859–60
  • Tusculum Academy (1829–68)
  • Tusculum College (1844–68)
    • Samuel Witherspoon Doak, D.D. 1844–64
    • William Stephenson Doak, D.D. 1865–68
  • Tusculum and Greeneville College (1868–1912)
    • William Stephenson Doak, D.D. (1868–82)
    • Alexander M. Doak (acting) 1882–83
    • Jeremiah Moore, D.D. 1883–1901
    • Samuel A. Coile, D.D. 1901–07
    • Charles O. Gray, D.D. 1907–12
  • Tusculum College (1912–present)
    • Charles O. Gray, D.D. 1912–31
    • Charles A. Anderson, D.D. 1931–42
    • John McSween, D.D. 1942–44
    • Jere A. Moore (acting) 1944–46
    • George K. Davies, Ph.D. 1946–50
    • Leslie K. Patton (acting) 1950–51
    • Raymond C. Rankin, D.D. 1951–65
    • Douglas C. Trout, Ph.D. 1965–68
    • Charles J. Ping (acting) 1968–69
    • Andrew N. Cothran, Ph.D. 1969–72
    • Thomas G. Voss, Ph.D. 1972–78
    • Earl R. Mezoff, Ed.D. 1978–88
    • Robert E. Knott, Ph.D. 1989–2000
    • Thomas J. Garland (interim) 2000
    • Dolphus E. Henry III, Ph.D. 2000–07[notes 1]
    • Russell L. Nichols, Ph.D. (interim) August 2007–April 2009[notes 2]
    • Nancy B. Moody, DSN April 2009–2017[notes 3]
    • James Hurley, Ph.D. 2017-present



Tusculum is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate degrees and the Master of Arts in education and the Master of Arts in organizational management.

It also maintains institutional memberships with the American Council on Education, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the Council for Opportunity in Education,[5] the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association,[6] the Tennessee State Board of Education, the Appalachian College Association,[7] the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, the American Association of University Women, the American Medical Association, and the New York State Board of Regents.

Programs of study[edit]

Majors. Tusculum College offers these main fields of specialization to its undergraduate students: Art and Design (with concentrations in Studio Art and Visual Communication), Biology (with concentrations in Environmental Science, Medical Pre-Professional and Pre-Pharmacy), Business Administration (with concentrations in General Management, Management Accounting, and Economics, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology and Nonprofit Management), Chemistry (with concentrations in Medical Pre-Professional and Pre-Pharmacy), Criminal Justice, English (with concentrations in Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism, and Professional Writing), History, Mathematics (with concentrations in Computer Science, Biology and Chemistry), Museum Studies, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology, Sports Management, and Sports Science.

Teacher licensure programs. Students seeking baccalaureate degrees in education select one of the following subfields to qualify for a state board granted license: Pre-Secondary Education (Early Childhood Education PreK–3, Elementary Education K–6), Secondary Education (Biology 7–12, English 7–12, History 7–12, Mathematics 7–12, Psychology 9–12), K–12 Education (Physical Education K–12, Visual Arts K–12), and Special Education (Special Education Modified and Comprehensive K–12, Special Education Early Childhood).

Minors. In addition to their academic majors, students at Tusculum College can also study these secondary specialties: Biology, Chemistry, Coaching, Computer Information Systems, English, Environmental Science, History, Journalism, Mass Media, Mathematics, Management, Museum Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Visual Arts, and the following minors in Education: English, History, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Special Education, Modified & Comprehensive.

Other disciplines. Tusculum College also offers additional non-degree-conferring courses in Geography, Music, Physics, Sociology, Spanish, and Theater.

Focused Block calendar[edit]

A semester at Tusculum College consists of two eight-week Focused Blocks. These extended periods are designed to allow deeper exchanges of ideas and more opportunities for each class member to participate. Faculty emphasize active engagement in their students, much in the tradition of the Socratic method.

Buildings and facilities[edit]

Tusculum College Historic District
Tusculum College is located in Tennessee
Tusculum College
Tusculum College is located in the US
Tusculum College
Location U.S. 11 and TN 107, Tusculum, Tennessee
Coordinates 36°10′25″N 82°45′41″W / 36.17361°N 82.76139°W / 36.17361; -82.76139Coordinates: 36°10′25″N 82°45′41″W / 36.17361°N 82.76139°W / 36.17361; -82.76139
Area 18.5 acres (7.5 ha)
Architect Sullivan, Louis H., et al.
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Late Victorian, Georgian Revival
NRHP reference # 80003800[8]
Added to NRHP November 25, 1980
An asterisk (*) denotes a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.


Tusculum Pioneers Logo

A member of the South Atlantic Conference, Tusculum fields 14 varsity teams in NCAA Division II competition.

In 2004, Ricardo Colclough, a defensive back and kick returner, became the first Tusculum Pioneers football player to be drafted by the National Football League when he was selected in the second draft round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Colclough, the only Tusculum player to appear in an NFL game, played for the Carolina Panthers. He was dismissed from the team in August 2008.[12]

In 2007, former Tusculum College basketball player, Tyler White, became a member of the Washington Generals, the exhibition team that travels with and plays against the Harlem Globetrotters.

In August 2009, Chris Poore, another former Tusculum College basketball player, also became a member of the Washington Generals.[13]

On September 4, 2014, the Tusculum football team hosted the College of Faith, an online institution in Charlotte, North Carolina. In a 71-0 win, the Pioneers set two NCAA all Division records: fewest total yards allowed (minus-100) and fewest rushing yards allowed (minus-124).[14] Tusculum also had three safeties, which tied a Division II record.

Key events in athletic program[edit]

  • 1900 Baseball team forms, becoming Tusculum Pioneers' first sports team
  • 1902 First women's athletic team (tennis) forms
  • 1903 Intercollegiate athletics play begins
  • 1903 Football team forms
  • 1906 Basketball team forms
  • 1912 First professional athletic coaches hired
  • 1924 First women's basketball team formed
  • 1925 Institution joins Smoky Mountain Athletic Association
  • 1930s Intramural sports program begins, including women's softball team
  • 1970 Soccer team forms
  • 1987 Baseball team advances to District Tournament for 1st time
  • 2009 Tusculum Pioneers volleyball team reach 1st NCAA Division II tournament

Sports facilities[edit]

Tusculum’s sports facilities include lighted football, baseball, soccer, and softball fields; an intramural field; and six lighted tennis courts that support a variety of outdoor activities as well as physical education instruction.

A new, modern athletics complex was dedicated in October 2003 in honor of business and community leader Scott M. Niswonger, a member of Tusculum College’s Board of Trustees whose donations made the new facility possible. Its major features include a field house located behind the west end zone of Pioneer Field, with large locker area facilities that can be divided into four locker rooms. An indoor practice and soccer facility with interior space of about 44,400 square feet (4,120 m2) features FieldTurf, an artificial playing surface used by major college and NFL teams.

With improvements made through the athletics complex development project, Pioneer Field's seating capacity is now at 3,500. New parking facilities were added through the project. New and improved pedestrian ways, fencing, and lighting in the athletics complex area were developed in a style to match that already on the campus. A modern press box facility, built to blend with the architectural style of the campus’ most historic facilities, is also part of the athletics complex project.

A baseball stadium, Pioneer Park, was added to the complex in 2004. The stadium, used by both the Tusculum Pioneers baseball team and the Greeneville Astros (the Minor League Baseball team of the Houston Astros) has a seating capacity of 2,500 and features a covered seating area. The volleyball team, also known as the Lady Pioneers, play in Pioneer Arena for their volleyball games.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ The Tusculum College board of trustees placed President Dolphus Henry on paid administrative leave on May 22, 2007, following a vote of no confidence by the faculty. (See Tusculum College president on leave, Knoxville News Sentinel, 23 May 2007.) Two trustees with notable experience as university presidents (Drs. Edward J. Kormondy and Angelo Volpe) alternately shared leadership responsibilities until an interim president could take office. (See Trustees Volpe, Kormondy taking on transitional presidential leadership at Tusculum College, Tusculum College press release, May 29, 2007.) Dr. Henry announced his resignation in July 2007. (See Dolphus Henry resigns as president of Tusculum College, Tusculum College press release, 19 July 2007.)
  2. ^ Dr. Russell L. Nichols, president emeritus of Hanover College, assumed the duties of interim president on 1 August 2007. (See Dr. Russell L. Nichols coming as interim president of Tusculum College, Tusculum College press release, July 19, 2007.)
  3. ^ On February 28, 2009, the Tusculum College board of trustees elected Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Lincoln Memorial University, to be the institution's 27th president. She was scheduled to assume office on April 27, 2009. (See Tusculum College Names Dr. Nancy Moody President, Greeneville Sun, March 2, 2009.)


  1. ^ Rudolph, Frederick (1990). The American College and University: A history. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. (ISBN 0820312843)
  2. ^ Ramsey, J. G. M. (1853). Annals of Tennessee to the end of the eighteenth century (p. 627). Charleston, SC: Walker & James Press.
  3. ^ Patrick, James (2007). The beginning of collegiate education west of the Appalachians, 1795-1833: The achievement of Dr. Charles Coffin of Greeneville College and East Tennessee College. Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press. (ISBN 0773454470)
  4. ^ Sexton, Jr., Donal J., & Smith, Jr., Myron J. (1994). Glimpses of Tusculum: A pictorial history of Tusculum College. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing.
  5. ^ "Council for Opportunity in Education". Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Home". Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  7. ^ http://www.acaweb.org/
  8. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  9. ^ Tusculum College dedicates library and names it after government and education leader Thomas J. Garland, Tusculum College press release, 19 May 2008.
  10. ^ Haynes, Grace (1968). The Daddy Haynes story: The life of professor Landon Carter Haynes. Morristown, TN: Carolina Ruling.
  11. ^ Treadway, Cleo C., & McDavid, Lee (1983). Catalogue of the Charles Coffin Collection at Tusculum College, the original library of Greeneville College, 1794-1827. Greeneville, TN: Tusculum College Library.
  12. ^ Colclough Cut From Panthers Following Drunk Driving Arrest, The Greeneville Sun, 1 September 2008.
  13. ^ http://www.greenevillesun.com/story/303919.
  14. ^ "The worst game in college football history". Retrieved 23 March 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, Ortha B. (1970). The philosophy of the library-college and its applications to Tusculum College (thesis). Johnson City, TN: East Tennessee State University. (OCLC 25212791)
  • Bailey, Gilbert L. (1965). A history of Tusculum College, 1944-1964 (thesis). Johnson City, TN: East Tennessee State University.
  • Hearn, Steven B. (1983). Survival strategies for Tusculum College: An ethnographic evaluation of enrollment, student recruitment, and school image (thesis). Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee – Knoxville. (OCLC 9939082)
  • Patrick, James (2007). The beginning of collegiate education west of the Appalachians, 1795-1833: The achievement of Dr. Charles Coffin of Greeneville College and East Tennessee College. Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press. (ISBN 0773454470)
  • Ragan, Allen E. (1945). A history of Tusculum College, 1794-1944. Greeneville, TN: The Tusculum Sesquicentennial Committee. (LCC 46018213)
  • Treadway, Cleo C. (1974). Reclassification: The Tusculum way. Greeneville, TN: Tusculum College Press. (OCLC 6922139)

External links[edit]