December 1, 2016
Page 3 of 8
at the May 7
commencement exercise at Middle Tennessee State University. Assisting with the
presentation was President Sidney McPhee of Middle Tennessee State University, who nominated
Ms. Wright for the award. Ms. Wright served as the Chair of the Middle Tennessee State
University Historic Centennial Campaign. Her leadership and work with the Campaign's
Executive Committee successfully completed the most ambitious fund raising activity in the
university's history. The MTSU Centennial Campaign kicked-off in April 2012 with an ambitious
$80 million goal. Four years later, they received contributions and commitments in excess of $105
million. As past member of the MTSU Foundation Board, Ms. Wright helped launch the campaign
with $1.25 million pledge to establish the Pamela Wright Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at
Middle Tennessee State University. This is the first endowed chair fully supported with private
funds. The Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship has allowed MTSU to attract a renowned teacher,
researcher and publisher in entrepreneurship. To date, her gifts to MTSU total more than $1.4
million, and have influenced a broad spectrum of the campus, including her most recent
commitment, which established a student leadership program in the College of Behavioral and
Health Sciences. In addition to her time on the MTSU Foundation Board, she has served the
university as a member of the MTSU President's Advisory Council and the Jennings A. Jones
College of Business Advisory Board. Ms. Pamela Wright represents everything that the Regents
Award for Excellence in Philanthropy was established to recognize. Regent Marcum stated that it
is a privilege and honor to recognize such individuals as Ms. Wright for her philanthropic efforts
to Middle Tennessee State University. Mr. Joe Bales, Vice President of Advancement at MTSU,
provided further comments of appreciation for Ms. Wright's support and friendship to MTSU.
REPORT OF THE CHANCELLOR
Acting Chancellor Gregory called on Dr. Tristan Denley to lead a panel discussion regarding
demographic trends in TBR and the impact on student enrollment, completion and success.
Representatives from the universities, community colleges and colleges of applied technology
covered changes they recognize in enrollment and ways in which they each are working to increase
student population. After a few brief questions from Board members, Chancellor Gregory thanked
President Phil Oldham, President Janice Gilliam, Director Ivan Jones and THEC Executive
Director Mike Krause for their participation in this informative discussion with the Board.
REPORTS OF PRESIDENTS AND DIRECTORS
In lieu of the regular reports of Presidents and Directors, Chancellor Gregory asked Vice
Chancellors Tristan Denley, Warren Nichols and James King to report on a $24.2 million grant
that was awarded to ten institutions for building capacity. THEC Executive Director Mike Krause
provided background information regarding the development for this initiative.
Vice Chancellor Denley reported that Tennessee Tech received $2 million for the Tennessee
Center for Poultry Science Excellence. East Tennessee State University received a grant of almost
$1 million that will be used to enhance the capacity in the nursing program offered in Sevierville.