Nick and Cathy Dunagan honored with center naming
Posted: Friday, October 29, 2010 2:25 pm
The Messenger 10.29.10
Chancellor Emeritus Nick Dunagan served the University of Tennessee at Martin in a number of leadership roles through the years, capping his career as chancellor from 2001-07.
Recently, Dr. Dunagan and his wife, Cathy, were honored with the naming of the Nick and Cathy Dunagan Alumni Center.
Constructed in 1969 as the Chancellor’s Residence, the structure was repurposed in 2008 to accommodate the Chancellors’ Suite and the Office of Alumni Relations.
“The Dunagan family has a connection with UT Martin that spans more than 50 years,” said Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor, at the dedication ceremony. “The family legacy began with Horace and Sara Dunagan, who first came to UT Junior College after World War II.”
Rakes said through the years, the Dunagan family has supported business, honors, agriculture, education and student travel, among other programs. Their support included the Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking. Rakes also recognized all the Dunagan family members in attendance, many of whom are UT Martin alums.
“It’s hard to welcome them back because they never really left,” said Rakes about Nick and Cathy Dunagan and their service to the university, community and county.
He noted Mrs. Dunagan is serving on the UT Development Council and Dunagan currently chairs the Weakley County Economic Development Board and served on the Ned Ray McWherter Monument Commission.
“We talk about servant leadership; it’s right in front of us,” Rakes said.
“It’s also fitting that the alumni center be named in honor of Nick and Cathy for their service, not only to the university, but their commitment to the students and alumni for several decades,” he added.
Dunagan thanked Rakes and the UT Board of Trustees for making the dedication possible. “It’s been a wonderful day and we are very appreciative of this honor,” he said.
Dunagan added that this year marked the 42nd UT Martin homecoming he and his wife attended.
“Homecoming 2010 will be very, very special in our hearts for a long, long time,” he said.
“None of us get to where we are on our own merits,” continued Dunagan, who thanked his wife and family for their support of the university. “A day like today makes you appreciate the people who helped you along the way.”
Reflecting on his UT Martin career, he said, “I really never felt like I had a job.” He said he got up each morning and “the No. 1 purpose was to go out and make a better world for the students.”