A $1 million gift from the children and grandchildren of Z. Lupton Patten will create an endowed chair in business ethics within The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Gary W. Rollins College of Business.
The Z. Lupton Patten Chair in Business Ethics has been endowed through the vision and dedication of the late Fontaine Patten Moore (UTC ’65, Magna Cum Laude, Alpha Society) and the generosity of her sisters, the late Peggy Patten Winningham, Phyllis Patten Hardin, and Charlotte Patten Gauss, and their children as a fitting tribute to the high moral standards, business acumen, and commitment to duty of their father and grandfather, Zeboim Lupton Patten, past Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees.
An alumnus of Baylor School, Lupton Patten graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Chattanooga in 1927, where he was President of the Senior Class, Captain of the Tennis Team, and member of the Alpha Society. Upon graduation, Lupton Patten joined the faculty of the University as an instructor in French and Philosophy. After only two years of teaching at the University, Lupton Patten was called to join his uncle, Zeboim Charles Patten, in the family business, The Chattanooga Medicine Company. Young Lupton Patten moved up rapidly in the company, becoming President in 1938 when he was only 31 years old. Under Lupton Patten’s foundational leadership, the Medicine Company grew and prospered through the war years and continues to thrive today as Chattem, Inc.
The goal of the Z. Lupton Patten Chair is to guide students to be ethical and successful managers and leaders and to encourage administrators and faculty members in business education to explore ways to incorporate and strengthen ethics education in the curriculum. Once hired, the chair will:
- Develop and distribute a variety of teaching materials, case studies, and research papers.
- Conduct research and collaborate with top scholars in the field of ethics.
- Sponsor conferences and seminars on current topics related to ethics.
A spokesperson for the family said, “The gift was conceived by Fontaine Patten Moore after the death of her only child, Douglas B. Moore, Jr. At Fontaine’s request, the sisters and all of their children agreed to forgo any interest in Fontaine’s portion of the family trust in order to establish the Z. Lupton Patten Chair in Business Ethics, and to use the excess funds for additional gifts to UTC in memory of Douglas B. Moore, Jr., which will be announced at a later date. The family believes the Chair to be a particularly appropriate memorial to Lupton Patten’s business, cultural, and civic achievements and life-long devotion to the University as student, teacher, benefactor and trustee.
“There is no better summary of the life and spirit of Z. Lupton Patten than the citation delivered by Dr. Leroy Martin, then president of Tennessee Wesleyan College (later Chancellor and President of UTC) on conferring the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws upon him in 1957, the year before his untimely death at the age of 51:
‘Grandson of a member of the class of 1871, who became the College’s fifth president; son of two of the College’s most devoted and generous trustees, your life has been closely related to the things of the mind since childhood; graduate of the Baylor School and the University of Chattanooga, where your brilliant academic attainments qualified you for membership on the faculty of your alma mater; you left college teaching to assume obligations in family business organizations; your vision stimulated creative advances in many directions, kept you alerted to changes in scientific knowledge and concerned in a markedly enlightened way with employee rights. Your leadership has extended beyond the boundaries of personal business interests; your counsel has been coveted by banks, insurance companies, professional and business groups, which have enlisted your assistance as director and officer; faithful to the commitments of your grandfather and parents, you have invested your talents in the educational life of Chattanooga, serving on the governing boards of the Bright School, the Girls’ Preparatory School, and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of Chattanooga, you have publicly committed yourself to liberal arts, that training of the mind which elevates reason; deepens the spiritual nature of man, and protects him from the tyranny of the mass mind.
Plato dreamed of the king trained as philosopher. In the 20th century the businessman has become king. The future depends on the businessman who is also a philosopher. You have become an example of the man of business whose decisions and standards flow from an understanding of the philosophy of the Greeks and the truths of Christianity.
In recognition of your business acumen, you sense of civic responsibility, and your contributions to the cultural life of Tennessee, I confer upon you, Zeboim Lupton Patten, the degree of Doctor of Law, with all of the rights and privileges thereunto belonging.
It is those qualities possessed so abundantly by Z. Lupton Patten that the family hopes will be fostered for future business students through establishment of the Z. Lupton Patten Chair in Business Ethics in the UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business.’
“As a college we are honored to have supporters like the Patten family and are so grateful for their investment in our program and our students,” said Robert Dooley, Dean of the UTC Rollins College of Business. “While UTC and the Rollins College of Business have long included ethics education as part of our instruction, their generous gift will give strength, recognition and added emphasis to those efforts. It will allow us to ponder more deeply and creatively the issue of how to advance the awareness and core principles of ethical behavior that will guide our business graduates as they deal with an ever-changing business environment.”