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University presents Wallaces with Founders' Day honor

Campus News | October 23, 2014

Carson-Newman University President J. Randall O’Brien congratulates Patsy and Richard Wallace, recipients of the University’s Founders’ Day Medallion.

(Oct. 23, 2014) –During its annual Founders’ Day service, Carson-Newman University awarded the Founders’ Day Medallion to Sevierville’s Richard and Patsy Wallace. The award is one of the most prestigious honors given by the institution.

“An educational institution relies on people to support it in the present and future as much as, even more perhaps, than it took to establish it,” said Carson-Newman President J. Randall O’Brien, addressing those gathered at the event. “That’s the basis for our Founder’s Day Award, to thank people who make Carson-Newman a priority, and Richard and Patsy Wallace have made this University a priority.”

Richard, a Nashville native and 1968 graduate, met Patsy ’70 when they were students. They moved around the world while he served in the U.S. Navy. His career as a geophysicist and meteorologist put him in an important support role in 1975’s Apollo-Soyuz splashdown, but health issues cut short his military service. They returned to Patsy’s hometown of Sevierville and Rich went to law school. They raised a family, built a law practice and became stalwart community participants and dedicated members of First Baptist Church, Sevierville.

Patsy Wallace has served as a trustee for more than two decades, including several committee memberships and task force roles. Their support has included hosting various University functions, making connections and decades of financial support. Both of their children completed Carson-Newman, their late son Eric and their daughter professor, Dr. Jennifer Wallace Hall, a Carson-Newman English professor.

Previous recipients of the Founders honor are Jefferson City’s Betty Gay Blanc ’49, Mt. Juliet’s Dr. Jack Owenby ’60, Chattanooga businessman C.T. Cozart and C-N Professor Dr. James Baumgardner ’59.