Tusculum College students will demonstrate the school’s commitment to both learning and serving Thursday, September 16, as they spend a day helping others.
Freshmen and transfer students will participate in Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day on Sept. 16 as part of the “Tusculum Experience” course. Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day is one of the longest traditions on the Tusculum campus and involves students spending time in service to others. Some of the projects that the students will undertake include working one-on-one with victims of brain injury, painting at a local school, cleaning historic cemeteries, creating promotional material for a new organization and socializing dogs and cats at a local shelter.
In addition to service to others, activities will also have a focus on the U.S. Constitution in celebration of Constitution Day, which is Sept. 17.
During an opening ceremony, the Honorable Marcia Parsons, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, will address the students about civility and service and their ties to the Constitution and its formation. She will be discussing the comments made by Ben Franklin at the end of the Constitutional Convention and his challenge for the participants to think about the greater common good rather than personal concerns.
Judge Parsons has served on the bench since 1993. Prior to being appointed judge, she was the standing Chapter 13 Trustee for the Northern and Northeastern Divisions of the Eastern District. From 1981 through 1990, she was in private practice, first with the Chattanooga law firm of Stophel, Caldwell & Heggie and subsequently with the Knoxville firm of Wagner, Myers & Sanger. She received her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1980, where she served on the Editorial Board of the Tennessee Law Review.
Nettie Fowler McCormick Day, which is conducted under the auspices of the Center for Civic Advancement, 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 and became donors to the Northeast Tennessee school.
Nettie McCormick is recognized as the college’s first Benefactor, a term that in Tusculum usage denotes a donor whose cumulative gifts total at least $1 million. Nettie McCormick 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.
McCormick Day, now often informally called Nettie Day at the college, began 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.