Longtime Cumberland University trustees Martha M. Bradshaw and Jim K. Lancaster are moving to emeritus status on the board of trust.
In order to be considered for designation as a trustee emeritus, the honoree must have served the University with distinction, held a leadership role on the board of trust or made significant contributions either financially or through his or her service, volunteerism, or advocacy for the University. Both Bradshaw and Lancaster have been pivotal in the creation of Cumberland University today. Combined, they have given 61 years of service to the students, staff and faculty.
Having served on the CU board of trust since 1999, Martha Bradshaw is known locally and nationally for her work in institutional advancement. She even served as CU’s vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs for six years, raising funds for capital and annual usage, as well as the endowment. Several of the buildings on campus today, such as the Doris and Harry Vise Library, the June and Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center, and Lindsey Donnell Stadium, were built with the fundraising leadership of Bradshaw. The CU board of trust declared July 29, 1992, as “Martha Mann Bradshaw Appreciation Day.”
An alumna of the University of Arkansas, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics, as well as Vanderbilt University, where she received her Master of Education in Education Administration, Bradshaw and her late husband established the Jim and Martha Bradshaw Family Endowed Scholarship at Cumberland University in 1997 for full-time nursing students residing in Wilson County, solidifying their commitment to higher education.
In addition to her service to Cumberland, she was a teacher in the Memphis City Schools, director of development for Castle Heights Military Academy, and most recently the vice president for development for the Chi Omega National Foundation. She held leadership positions on the Castle Heights board of trust and the Year Round Garden Club, was a member of the board of directors of the Friends of Children’s Hospital and scholarship advisor to the Vanderbilt University collegiate chapter.
Lancaster, who is a campus neighbor, is a ubiquitous supporter of the University, but especially for athletics. He can often be seen trading lawn care tips with CU baseball Head Coach Woody Hunt. Lancaster served the University of Tennessee Extension as assistant county agricultural extension agent in Morgan County, after earning his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy (soil science) from Tennessee Tech University. Former CU president Ernest L. Stockton welcomed Lancaster to the CU board of trust in 1972. In 1994, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Literary Letters from Cumberland University.
The experience of growing up on his family’s farm in Smith County, laid the foundation to a successful career with the Tennessee Farm Bureau office, which he managed for 43 years. During this time he led the company in life insurance production every year, earning numerous achievement awards. He holds the designations of Chartered Life Underwriter®, Chartered Financial Consultant®, and qualifying and life member of the Million Dollar Round Table. Though he retired as the agency manager in 1995, he continued to be one of the company’s top life agents for several more years. In 2000, he was inducted to the Robert E. Musto Insurance Hall of Fame.
Lancaster has been an enthusiastic, tireless supporter of Cumberland University and Wilson County. He is a charter member of Westland United Methodist Church in Lebanon; is a member of the Wilson County Agricultural Hall of Fame; has served as president of Lebanon Jaycees, Lebanon Rotary Club, and the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce; was the local camp president of Gideons International, and chairman of the board of Peoples Bank. As an avid supporter of Scouting, he served as chairman of the Walton Trail District and as an executive board member for the Boy Scouts – Middle Tennessee Council. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow, received the Lebanon Jaycees’ Man of the Year award, Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award and Tennessee Tech’s Outstanding Service Award in 1983.
“Both Martha and Jim have been loyal and hardworking members of the board of trust,” said CU President Dr. Paul Stumb. “I am grateful for their leadership which has helped shape the University and I know I speak for the entire Cumberland community when I express our sincere gratitude for their dedication and service to the University.”
Cumberland University has one of the longest, richest histories of any institution in the state. Founded in 1842, the University flourishes today with exceptional faculty and fully-accredited academic programs steeped in the liberal arts, including three distinct schools: the Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions; the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts; and the Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business. With a student body approaching 2,000 and over 500 students living on campus our unique residential living and learning experience allows students to find their sense of belonging. Athletics also are a strength of Cumberland University, as our teams in 20 sports regularly compete for conference and national championships. Our world-renowned baseball team has claimed the NAIA national championship title three times since 2004. At Cumberland University you can Learn What’s Possible!