Linda Pickthorne Fletcher, former dean of the College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, died April 20. She was 82.
Named dean and the John Stagmaier Chair of Economics and Business at UTC in 1991, she served as a professor and college dean for nine years. During her time at the university, she created the Institute for Women as Entrepreneurs, an outreach service of the College of Business that assisted area women and minorities with new venture creation and the transition to self-employment, beginning with idea generation through business plan preparation.
Her interest in entrepreneurship led the UTC business program to many successes and inroads into the greater Chattanooga business community. She enjoyed working with entrepreneurs and was interested, in particular, about supporting women’s entrepreneurial pursuits.
She also was a board member of, among other organizations, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB), Girls, Inc., AmSouth Bank, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Girls, Inc and the YMCA of Chattanooga. She was also a consultant and advisor to the business community and to the U.S. Department of Labor Pension and Welfare Benefits program.
A native of North Little Rock, Arkansas, she was widely admired by her students, faculty, friends and members of the business community who worked with her or even just met her briefly. Although a tough and competitive leader, shea was a friend and mentor to faculty and students.
She was full of ideas, energetic, ever positive and always seemed to find a way to get things done, make things happen. Her support of new innovative programs in entrepreneurship was enthusiastically adopted and opened new careers for many students. She also broadened the horizons of many of her students by making them more aware of other cultures through international travel.
Linda’s energetic creativity affected many people and will long be felt by the programs, faculty, friends and students she touched as a teacher, scholar, dean and friend.