Freshmen at Tusculum College will head out into the community on Thursday, Sept. 17, to work on various service projects in and around the Greeneville-Greene County region as the College observes its traditional Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day, referred to informally as “Nettie Day.”
The day honors the memory and altruistic way of life of Nettie Fowler McCormick, widow of reaper inventor Cyrus McCormick, who was a 19th century supporter and advocate of Tusculum College. The McCormicks, staunch Presbyterians from Chicago, learned of Tusculum College through Tusculum graduates who attended their McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Nettie Day began in 1913 as a day of cleaning the campus in reflection of Nettie McCormick’s insistence on clean living environments. The day has evolved to take on a more generalized community service emphasis that supports the College’s mission “to provide a liberal arts education in a Judeo-Christian and civic arts environment.”
This Thursday morning participating students will scatter across the area, under faculty supervision, to work at such sites as the Child Advocacy Center in Mosheim, Doak Elementary School, the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Rural Resources, Plaza Towers, Old Harmony Cemetery and Holston Home for Children, among others.
Projects include clean-up and landscaping, projects with senior citizens and abandoned animals, tutoring and planting trees.
“Nettie Day is an opportunity for our new students to learn firsthand about the College’s mission - that we want them to be engaged citizens in the community,” said Joyce Doughty, director of the College’s Center for Civic Advancement and coordinator of Nettie Day. ” Hands-on experiences like these we do on Nettie Day offer a vivid learning opportunity.”
In addition to the students, this year at the encouragement of President Nancy B. Moody, faculty and staff are joining in to beautify the College campus on Nettie Day as well. Projects include refreshing landscaping and cleaning various work spaces.
Following the morning’s activities, a picnic lunch will be held at noon on the lawn near McCormick Hall.
Nettie McCormick is recognized as the College’s first Benefactor and funded construction of several of Tusculum’s historic structures, including Haynes Hall, Rankin Hall, Welty-Craig Hall, Virginia Hall and McCormick Hall, which is named after the McCormick family.
For more information on Nettie Day, contact Doughty, director of the Center for Civic Advancement, at 423-636-7372.