Dr. Paul Cavert Stumb, during the investiture ceremony on Friday, April 29, officially became the 26th president of Cumberland University.
The sky was blue and the flowers in full bloom for the inauguration. The front lawn of Memorial Hall was filled with family and friends of Dr. Stumb, his colleagues from the higher education community, CU trustees, community members, along with students, faculty and staff. These elected officials were in attendance: Former U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, Emily Buck on behalf of U.S. Rep. Diane Black, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, City of Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead and City of Mt. Juliet Manger Kenny Martin.
Dr. William McKee, vice president for academic affairs, welcomed the guests, followed by the invocation given by John Hunn (’87), Immanuel Baptist Church senior pastor; the Pledge of Allegiance by Dr. Stephen Finch, assistant professor; and the national anthem performed by the Cumberland Chorale. Greetings to President Stumb were given by Dr. Robert Vero on behalf of the board of trust; Dr. Katherine High, vice president for academic and student success at the University of Tennessee, on behalf of the higher education community; State Representative Mark Pody on behalf of the state of Tennessee; Dr. Natalie Inman, assistant professor and faculty senate chair, on behalf of the faculty; Scott Lawrence (’08, ’11), CU Alumni Association president, on behalf of the alumni; and Kallee Thornton (’16), student government association president, on behalf of the student body.
A beautiful duet of “The Prayer” was sung by Alexis Alduenda (’15) and Kenneth Calhoun (’10) accompanied by Lee Austin, M.A. (’13). U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson from Florida was introduced by CU trustee Samuel Hatcher (’73) as the keynote speaker, followed by the investiture ceremony led by Robert McDonald, board of trust chairman, then an introduction of Dr. Stumb by Jacqueline Cowden (’75, ’95), CU trustee, before his inaugural address. The morning was rounded out with the Cumberland Chorale singing Cumberland’s alma mater; R. Michael Potts (’85), senior pastor at First United Methodist Church, giving the benediction and finally a brass quintet recessional.