Dr. Joel Cunningham, vice chancellor and president of the University of the South, will deliver the 5th Annual Connor Society Lecture. The event will take place on Sunday, September 9, beginning at 3 p.m. in Cadek Hall on the UTC campus.
“What Counts in Teaching” is the topic of Cunningham’s address. The event is free and open to the public.
Cunningham graduated summa cum laude from the University of Chattanooga in 1965 with majors in mathematics and psychology and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics at the University of Oregon. He received the UTC Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990.
His experience includes serving as dean of continuing education and on the mathematics faculty at UTC and serving a year as an American Council on Education Fellow with the Chancellor and the President of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. In 1979 Cunningham became vice president for academic affairs, dean of the faculty, and professor of mathematics at Susquehanna University. From 1984 to 2000 he was Susquehanna’s president, and he became Sewanee’s vice chancellor in 2000.
Cunningham was an early member of the Campus Compact for student public service and a trustee of the Council of Independent Colleges. He chaired the Commission on Policy Analysis of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and was president of the Society for Values in Higher Education. He currently chairs the Appalachian Colleges Association and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, is treasurer of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, and has been chair of the Association of Episcopal Colleges.
At the University of the South, he has led in the development of new strategic plans for Sewanee’s future, successful faculty and student recruiting, a major fundraising initiative, and the completion of impressive new facilities.
Cunningham’s appearance occurs during the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University of the South. The 10-month sesquicentennial festivities include a variety of exhibits and activities around campus.
Cunningham is married to Dr. Trudy Cunningham, who also graduated from the University of Chattanooga in 1963. She is a teacher and academic administrator at Sewanee. The Cunninghams have two daughters who live in New York City and Washington, DC.
Cunningham’s address continues the Connor Society’s tradition of presenting outstanding lecturers to honor the life of George Connor, the late Guerry Professor of English at UTC. Past speakers in the Connor Lecture series include theologian and author Dr. Frederick Buechner, novelist and teacher Allen Wier, Shakespearean scholar Susan Willis and author and Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor.
The Connor Society will host a reception for Cunningham from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Flag Room of the Guerry Center at UTC. For more information contact the Connor Society at 423-756-2226.