Cumberland to Host Peace Forum in Honor of Former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull Sponsored by Middle Tennessee Electric and the Tennessee Valley Authority

Former Vice President Al Gore and Distinguished Nashvillian Joyce Vise to Speak 

Cumberland University announced today plans to host its first Peace Forum in honor of Cumberland alumnus and Former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The forum will take place during the month of October 2021, with the main kickoff event on Friday Oct. 1, 2021. The event will honor the 150th birthday of Cordell Hull, as well as the 76th anniversary of his 1945 Nobel Peace Prize. 

“Former Secretary of State and Founder of the United Nations Cordell Hull is an important part of Cumberland’s rich history and we are proud to honor him in this special way,” said Cumberland University President Dr. Paul C. Stumb. “I am grateful to those who will come together for this special event, including Former Vice President Al Gore, Cumberland supporter Ms. Joyce Vise, Cumberland Trustee Emeritus Mayor AC Wharton, Trustee Mr. Sam Hatcher, and friend of the university Mr. Charles W. Bone.” 

Cumberland will host Former Vice President Gore on Friday, Oct. 1 at 10:00 a.m. to kick off the inaugural Peace Forum. Hull grew up in the Upper Cumberland region with Gore’s grandfather, Allen Gore, and was an influential figure in the Gore family. Former Vice President Al Gore joined Former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his efforts with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to increase public knowledge about man-made climate change. Gore is also a Trustee Emeritus of Cumberland University. 

The Peace Forum is generously sponsored by both Middle Tennessee Electric and the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

“MTE and TVA are honored to partner with Cumberland University for this celebration,” said Middle Tennessee Electric President and CEO Chris Jones. “We both share origins attached to the Roosevelt Administration in the 1930s that Secretary Hull was such an important part of, and MTE is very proud to have Cumberland University in our service territory.”

“The Tennessee Valley Authority is honored to support this event commemorating a great Tennessean,” says Justin Maierhofer, TVA regional vice president. “TVA’s connections with Secretary Hull go back to our very beginning as a New Deal Program. We’re proud to be part of the Lebanon community and to help make this opportunity possible.”

Cumberland University’s Vise Library, named after Doris and Harry Vise, also has a unique connection to the former U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull. Namesake Harry Vise was born in Colbenz, Germany in 1921 as the only son of a scholarly Rabbi. As anti-Semitism grew in Germany, the Vise home was raided by Nazis. Young Harry escaped and made it across the border to Holland, but his father was placed in a concentration camp in 1939. Once Rabbi Vise was released from the camp, the family immigrated to the U.S. However, Harry encountered complications with his visa and required intervention from none other than Cordell Hull, who personally sent a launch to retrieve 18-year old Harry and allow him to safely rejoin his family in the U.S.

Ms. Joyce Vise, daughter of Doris and Harry Vise and distinguished Nashvillian, will say a prayer at the event honoring Cordell Hull on Oct. 1. 

“Cordell Hull was the epitome of a Great American, and my family’s incredible story is evidence of that,” said Vise. “Cumberland University is a remarkable place that helps transform lives of people from all backgrounds. It is a true honor to be part of uniting this great man and alumnus to this important university.” 

As part of the month-long Peace Forum, Cumberland University will have an exhibit dedicated to Cordell Hull with a display of personal artifacts. The exhibit will be in the Vise Library on the university campus and will be open to the community with extended hours on Friday, Oct. 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, October 2 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 3 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday, Oct. 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

In addition to the kickoff event on Oct. 1, the university will be hosting several other noteworthy speakers and scholarly discussions on peace and history throughout the month of October. 

The Inaugural Cordell Hull Peace Forum sponsored by MTE and the TVA on Oct. 1 is open to the public and all are welcome. It will be held on the steps of Memorial Hall, weather permitting. 

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