Wayne Murphy, a veteran law enforcement officer with 21 years experience, was welcomed Monday morning as Tusculum College’s new Campus Safety Director in a brief and informal installation ceremony held in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum campus.
The Ohio native has worked at the college as a campus security officer for more than a year, but now heads the campus safety program, reporting to Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. David McMahan.
The previous Campus Safety Director was Nadia Bebawy, who left the college last month to continue her education toward a degree in family counseling. Bebawy previously served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service.
McMahan said Bebawy plans to remain in the Greeneville/John City area and will be a valued resource as the department undergoes this leadership transition.
Among those applauding Murphy’s installation this morning were Interim President Dr. Russell Nichols, Head Football Coach and Interim Athletic Director Frankie DeBusk, and members of the college’s Communications and Students Services staffs.
McMahan led the ceremony, expressing his pleasure at having Murphy on the job and praising his work as an experienced law enforcement leader. He then symbolically passed Murphy his badge and shook his hand.
McMahan stated that “Wayne’s engaging demeanor has endeared him to the community and his professionalism and dedication show promise for the leadership in this area of the college and provide confidence for his ability to serve in this key role.”
Murphy joined Tusculum College as a retired officer from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in Florida, where he was a supervising deputy. Prior to entering law enforcement, Murphy was in military service for eight years, serving in the Navy and then the Air Force.
He also worked in security for General Motors in Ohio prior to beginning his Florida law enforcement career in the mid-1970s.
At Tusculum, Murphy advanced quickly from being a part-time officer to a full-time position, then was named captain before taking on his current post.
Murphy said today that he views the job as a challenge, and looks forward to working with McMahan in making positive changes in campus security when those are needed.
“I love this place - I really do,” Murphy said of Tusculum today. “I never have been affiliated with a place like this.” He said he particularly appreciates the friendly interaction he has with students and employees of the college.
He and his wife, Andrea, live in Greeneville and have three sons, seven grandchildren and one grandchild.