GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – While his tenure began last year, Dr. Scott Hummel was formally handed the reins of Tennessee’s first university in an inauguration ceremony Friday morning.

Hummel first joined the Tusculum University team in Feb. 2020, but as COVID-19 precautions swept the nation, his formal inauguration was pushed back to Oct. 22, 2021.

Dr. Hummel brings 30 years of education experience to the 29th president’s position, with his prior work taking place at William Cary University as executive vice president and provost.

While the ceremony itself was put on hold, Dr. Hummel says he’s been far from idle and hopes his faculty haven’t been either.

“I want to tell them to seize this opportunity, to be able to impact our students and prepare them,” said Dr. Hummel. “This is much more than just about providing information and education, but mentoring them and preparing them to fulfill their purpose and to answer the calling that God has placed upon their lives.”

Alongside Hummel’s own comments, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke to the university regarding the institution’s role in the region.