C.T. Vivian

In this 2012 photo, civil rights activist C.T. Vivian poses in his home in Atlanta.

The Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association has announced its second class of Hall of Fame inductees. TICUA and its member institutions have selected 24 alumni, highlighting their contributions in a variety of disciplines.

“We launched the TICUA Hall of Fame last year to honor the accomplishments and impact of graduates and the institutions who helped to prepare them,” TICUA President Dr. Claude Pressnell said in a news release. “We are proud to once again recognize an astounding group of alumni who have made significant contributions to their institutions, communities, and society.”

The 2021 class of inductees includes civil rights and women’s rights activists; veterans; civic and faith leaders; news, entertainment and business professionals; and philanthropic and humanitarian leaders, all hailing from Tennessee private nonprofit institutions.

Dr. C.T. Vivian, a 1960 graduate of American Baptist College, is one of the civil rights leaders recognized in this year’s class. He earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work alongside Martin Luther King Jr., leading boycotts and marches across the South.

Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni is considered one of America’s foremost and widely read American poets and an outspoken civil rights activist. A 1967 Fisk University graduate, she often returns to campus to engage, teach and mentor Fisk students, including a semester tenure as a visiting distinguished professor.

Joe Birch accepted an internship with WMC Action News 5 in Memphis while a student at Christian Brothers University. In 1978, he accepted a full-time job offer on the day he graduated and just five years later became the station’s news anchor, where he still serves today. Birch is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and a member of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

There are many stories just like these throughout the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Every inductee exemplifies the value of a liberal arts education and how it can be used in a variety of career fields. The TICUA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 are:

• Dr. C.T. Vivian, American Baptist College

• Steve Bachus, Aquinas College

• Denese Shumaker, Baptist Health Sciences University

• Harry Allen, Belmont University

• Dr. Ken Hanna, Bryan College

• Ted Russell, Carson-Newman University

• Joe Birch, Christian Brothers University

• Howell Edmunds Jackson, Cumberland University

• Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, Fisk University

• John DeBerry, Freed-Hardeman University

• Dr. Martha Raile Alligood, Johnson University

• Dr. Catherine Peeke, King University

• Donald Hollowell, Lane College

• Eugene Ward, Lincoln Memorial University

• Pat Boone, Lipscomb University

• Mary Wilson McTeer, Maryville College

• Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon, Meharry Medical College

• Nathaniel Owens, Sewanee: The University of the South

• Terry Shaw, Southern Adventist University

• Dr. Glen Steele, Southern College of Optometry

• Dr. Lynn Massingale, Tennessee Wesleyan University

• Dr. Melvin Welch, Trevecca Nazarene University

• Dr. Larry Brotherton, Tusculum University

• Dr. George Savage, Union University

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