Cumberland University Awards Professorship in Honor of General Tom P. Thompson, Jr.

Tommy P. Thompson, Jr.

Cumberland University presented a professorship in honor of General Tom P. Thompson, Jr. during the annual Convocation Ceremony on Monday, Aug. 23. 

The General Tom P. Thompson, Jr. Professorship was funded by generous donors and was created to support a deserving Cumberland faculty member in the field of criminal justice. The professorship was presented to Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Suzann Lafferty during the annual Convocation Ceremony on Monday, Aug. 23. 

The Professorship will support Lafferty in creating academic experiences for criminal justice students, such as course upgrades, research, off-campus learning experiences and curriculum enhancements. 

Thompson received his law degree from Vanderbilt University and later served as Assistant District Attorney for Nashville and Davidson County. He was then elected as District Attorney General for the current 15th Judicial District in 1978 and served until retirement in 2021. Thompson was the longest serving District Attorney in the state of Tennessee with 43 years in the position.

“I have been humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family,” said Thompson.

Lafferty is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Criminal Justice. Prior to her role at Cumberland, Lafferty served as a Special Agent Forensic Scientist with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for seventeen years. 

“I am grateful to General Thompson and his strong dedication to public service and am so honored to have been chosen for this professorship,” said Lafferty. “This is a special opportunity and I look forward to creating unique learning experiences for criminal justice students at Cumberland.”

In addition to the awarded professorship, the university also recognized dedicated faculty for their longstanding service. Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Marjorie Anderson and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Russ Cheatham were both honored as faculty emeritus. 

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