GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Founded in 1794, Tusculum University is the first higher education institution in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the country.
The university has gone through a series of names in its history that began with Samuel Doak Sr., the school’s founder. Tusculum University Professor of Public History and Museum Studies Dr. Peter Noll said that the Doak family has a long history in Greeneville that begins with the school.
“He and his son Samuel Witherspoon Doak found Tusculum Academy here adjacent to what is the contemporary campus,” Noll said.
Tusculum has a diverse student body with students attending the school from all over the globe. University President Dr. Scott Hummel said that there are plenty of local students attending the school as well, many of whom earning scholarships.
“That makes it incredibly affordable for students of all economic ranges to be able to stay here in Greene County,” Hummel said.
There’s plenty of history all throughout the Tusculum campus. One campus staple that’s been around for over 300 years is The Old Oak.
The tree is at the center of campus and has played a role in numerous campus events.
“There have been commencements held beneath The Old Oak tree,” Noll said. “There have been alums that come back to be married beneath The Old Oak tree.”
Hummel said that there’s a strong bond between the university and the community. It’s a bond that Hummel said that they plan to keep strong.
“We feel an obligation to our community,” Hummel said. “We provide opportunities, so we feel an obligation to make Greene County a better place to live.”