Cumberland University


'Campaign for Cumberland' Leadership Named


From left to right: CU Board Chairman Edward L. Thackston, Randall Clemons, Sandra Welborn, Dan Evins, W.P. Bone III and CU President Harvill C. Eaton

Cumberland University recently announced the appointment of five chairpersons for the $50 million Campaign for Cumberland -- a capital campaign intended to completely modernize the University's Lebanon campus with new academic and student life facilities and to bolster the University's endowment.
  • Mr. Dan W. Evins, co-founder of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., will serve as the honorary chair of the Campaign for Cumberland. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a graduate of Castle Heights Military Academy, Evins is a Lebanon native. During Cumberland University's 165th Commencement ceremony on May 5, 2007, Mr. Evins was awarded an honorary doctorate, the Doctor of Humane Letters for outstanding leadership in business and for numerous years of community service.
  • W.P. Bone III, whose grandfather was once president of the University, will serve as campaign chair. A member of the CU Board of Trust, Mr. Bone's family has a long history of support and involvement at Cumberland University. Bone received his associate's degree from CU before taking the helm of his family's business, Wilson County Motors (formerly Wilson County Chevrolet Buick). He is co-owner of the Wilson County Automotive Group, one of the largest auto dealers in Middle Tennessee, and a past recipient of Cumberland University's Phoenix Award as well as a member of the Lebanon Breakfast Rotary Club.
  • Mrs. Sandra G. Welborn will hold the position of chairperson of the Campaign's Board and Family Gifts committee. This committee will oversee fundraising efforts as they pertain to all members of the CU Board of Trust, including emeriti, past and lifetime Board members as well as the faculty and staff of Cumberland University. A native of North Carolina, Mrs. Welborn is senior vice president for investments at Wachovia Securities in Brentwood, Tenn. Like Bone, Welborn is a member of the CU Board of Trust and serves as a volunteer with a number of community organizations. She is a member of the financial advisory board for the Fannie Battle Day Home for Children and a Circle Leaders with the Presbyterian Women's Circle. Mrs. Welborn and her husband, retired 3M Company executive Samuel Welborn, fund the Samuel K. and Sandra G. Welborn Scholarship at Wingate University in Wingate, N.C.
  • Mr. William D. Heydel will chair the Campaign's Strategic Gifts committee. Strategic gifts are those of $1 million or more. The June and Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center on the CU campus was made possible by a generous contribution from Mr. Heydel and his wife, June. A native of Rockwood, Tenn., Mr. Heydel was one of the original founders of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and he began AFLAC in Tennessee in 1964, retiring in 1999 after breaking all sales records for AFLAC. Heydel attended and played football at Vanderbilt University and is a graduate of Austin Peay State University. During his remarkable career, Mr. Heydel was inducted into Middle Tennessee State University's Robert E. Muston Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame and the inaugural class of the AFLAC Hall of Fame. Heydel was also a recipient of Cumberland University's Phoenix Award and the 1983 Governor's Outstanding Tennessean Award.
  • Mr. Randall Clemons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wilson Bank & Trust, will serve as chair of the Campaign's Leadership Gifts committee. Leadership gifts are those of $100,000 or more. A member of the CU Board of Trust, Mr. Clemons earned an associate's degree from Cumberland in 1972 and a bachelor's degree from Tennessee Technological University. He is a member of numerous community groups, including Lebanon Rotary, the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce and the Wilson County Fair Board. He also serves as deacon and Sunday school director at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lebanon.

"One could not dream of a better, more capable team of campaign volunteers, and we are grateful to have the support and involvement of this outstanding group of people," CU President Dr. Harvill C. Eaton remarked. "Through their efforts and our own, the Campaign for Cumberland will transform this University, this community, this student body and legions of students and alumni to come."

"Middle Tennessee is fast becoming known as the 'third coast,' and the breadth of health and sciences work being done here is key to our entire nation," Eaton continued. "Cumberland University continues to strive to reflect the strategic importance of the region through its academic programs."

The $50 million capital campaign looks to further improve the Cumberland campus by adding an $18 million Nursing & Science building to house the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing, the Cumberland University Math & Science Academy, state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms and faculty office space; a $6 million expansion to the June & Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center and $3 million in improvements and upgrades to Memorial Lawn and the main campus grounds. The first building project expected to break ground as part of the campaign is the $3 million Café Pavilion, a central gathering place for Cumberland students, faculty and staff to convene for study sessions, meetings, meals and entertainment.

An additional $11 million will be set aside for faculty endowment, scholarship endowment and facilities maintenance, and the remaining $9 million will fund various academic priorities and enhancements, according to Cumberland University Vice President for Advancement Dr. Garvin S. Maffett.

"There is an excitement on campus about what's going on at Cumberland University, and we're certain that excitement will only continue to grow as it spreads across our community and throughout our family of proud alumni," Maffett said. "This campaign will provide essential new services and facilities while ensuring Cumberland retains its focus on academic excellence, professional development and student achievement. Our team of volunteer campaign leaders has witnessed this new energy first-hand during frequent visits to our campus, and I believe it has inspired them -- as it has inspired the entire Cumberland family -- to see the vision of a new Cumberland is well within our reach."