TICUA selects 3 Tri-Cities alumni for inaugural, state-wide “Hall of Fame”


TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) For the first time the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association has chosen honorable alumni to be inducted into an inaugural “Hall of Fame.”

Of the state-wide class of inductees, three Tri-Cities area alumni were selected.

From King University TICUA inducted Katherine Paterson, a prolific author in children’s literature and a recipient of two Newbery medals. She is best known for the novel “Bridge to Terabithia.” The Library of Congress has deemed her as a living legend in children’s literature.

At Milligan University Del Harris was chosen. Harris has been an NBA coach for the LA Lakers, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Houston Rockets. He is also a recipient of the prestigious 2017 National Association of Basketball Coaches International Lifetime Achievement Award, the 13th recipient and 8th from the U.S. He still has a very active relationship with Milligan University.

Hailing from Greeneville’s Tusculum University is Scott Niswonger, a name many are familiar with. TICUA President Claude Pressnell says he is arguably one of the most generous philanthropist in the state of Tennessee, but especially in the Northeast area of the state. He is a top CEO for Landair, but is being recognized primarily for his steadfast commitment to giving back to the community.

Pressnell says the point of starting this state-wide “Hall of Fame” was to honor the lives and work of alumni who embody the vision and values of the 35 independent colleges and universities in their organization.

“It really shows and demonstrates the value of the liberal arts degree. You can take that degree and it equips you to be able to lead and to be able to make change in the world around you,” said Pressnell.

The TICUA website outlines the criteria for these selections. Each member institution may select one alumnus each year who:

  • Embodies the values and mission of your institution
  • Has contributed to the betterment of humanity through remarkable service, work, leadership, or other achievement
  • May or may not already have been recognized by your institution for their life and work
  • Earned a degree from your institution (this may include any academic or professional degree, but excludes honorary degrees)
  • Can be living or deceased

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