Cumberland Preservation Project Receives Significant Gift

The Cumberland University Office for Advancement announced on Wednesday that it received a generous gift of $12,800 from Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home.

The gift will assist in the restoration and maintenance of the Robert L. Caruthers portrait, one of the initiatives included in The Cumberland Portrait Preservation Project.

“This generous gift will make a significant impact in preserving the historic legacy of Cumberland University founder Robert L. Caruthers,” Scott Lawrence, Cumberland’s Vice President for Advancement, said. “We are grateful for the support of Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home and look forward to restoring such an important piece of the Cumberland heritage.”

Many of the portraits in Cumberland’s collection are well over 100 years old. To date, Cumberland has completed eight portraits while two, including the portrait of Robert L. Caruthers, are currently in the restoration process. The Cumberland Portrait Preservation Project plans to restore and preserve 16 portraits in total. Currently, the project has met 65 percent of its goal to raise $91,500.

In addition to being one of Cumberland’s founders, Caruthers served as President of the University’s Board of Trust from 1842-1882 and as a Professor of Law at Cumberland from 1868-1882. Caruthers was a member of the Congress of the United States and the Congress of the Confederate States. He also served as a member of Tennessee’s Supreme Court and was a governor of the Volunteer State. Caruthers’ house, built in 1828, still stands on West Main Street in Lebanon. Since 1938, the Caruthers house is currently home to Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home.

For more information or to give, please email the Office of Advancement at or visit

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