Cumberland University

John C. Pope (Class of 1996)

L to R:  Scott Lawrence, John Pope, Paul Stumb

What does Cumberland University mean to you and how do you feel about being recognized as the recipient of the 2017 Award of Excellence in Science, Technology, and Business?

I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of the 2017 Award of Excellence in Science, Technology and Business for Cumberland University.  It was a complete and pleasant surprise when notified of the award.  I appreciate all of the Alumni Board members and the work that they do and are continuing to do for the success of Cumberland University.  CU has meant so much to myself as well as my entire family for decades.  Four members of my immediate family are CU graduates including myself and I often refer to Cumberland as my home away from home.  I literally grew up on campus over the years from a young age as my father was a professor and my mother in admissions.  The relationships that were made between faculty and staff with myself over the years as a student and since have lasting effects on my life and my accomplishments. 

Do you have any special memories or stories about Cumberland that you would like to share? Favorite professor, coach, staff member that greatly influenced you?

There are literally countless professors, coaches, faculty and staff that have helped influence my time at CU as well as my life over the years.  The close one-on-one relationship that CU provides to each and every student is a huge benefit and one of the largest assets Cumberland has in its effectiveness of higher learning.  I could literally write a book on the memories and stories that I have over the years at CU.  A few have even tested time and become legendary such as big game viewing in the dorms with a younger sibling or the infamous private campus driving tours that were discontinued and of course Dr. Jim Dressler’s unique approach with select words to motivate you in your further studies as he did for me several times.  CU is a special place with extremely special individuals that create a special foundation for life.

Tell us about your current and past jobs and how Cumberland may have helped you prepare for success.

I have spent the past 21 years in banking focusing on consumer, commercial and residential mortgage.  The relationship skills gained over the years at CU have played a significant role in my success in my career as well as my desire to serve the communities that I work in.  The experiences at CU have helped prepare me for those roles over the years in many ways. 

Tell us about the impact Cumberland has had on you as well as the impact you see the university having in our local and regional communities.

Since I have spent a lot of my life in and around Cumberland University, it has impacted my life in a very positive manner.  Obviously my degree from CU but more important the skills and relationships gained from being at CU and being involved at CU while a student as well as many years since.  Cumberland is a special place and a treasure for the community of Lebanon as well as the State of Tennessee and the Middle TN region.  With the growth that the area is experiencing and poised to develop over the coming years, CU has and will continue to provide leaders impacting higher education as well as leadership in our communities all over the region.