Dr. Verla Marie Williams Vaughan — a veteran professor of nursing at Tennessee State University and a woman many within the TSU family considered a living legend — has died. She was 64.
TSU officials announced Vaughn’s death in a release, noting the longtime educator and administrator was “an excellent role model, scholar, mentor and a very caring person who pushed her students to achieve at their highest potential.” A cause of death was not given.
Vaughan (pictured) taught at TSU for more than 36 years. Dr. Kathy Martin, associate dean in the College of Health Sciences and executive director of nursing, called her a leader in fostering excellence in education within the nursing profession.
“Throughout her career as a nurse educator, Dr. Vaughan served as a role model, scholar and mentor for nursing students and colleagues across all levels,” Martin said. “She exemplified the vital role that nurses play in improving the health of others especially in the area of diabetes management and improving health care disparities.”
Vaughan joined the faculty in the Division of Nursing in the former School of Nursing at TSU in 1977. In addition to teaching, she served in many capacities including coordinator of the RN-BSN degree-completion program, and interim director of the BSN program – all while serving in different nursing capacities at local hospitals.
Vaughan also served as the chair of the Christine Sharpe Lectureship series. Her civic and professional affiliations included the American Nurses Association, American Diabetes Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society-Pi Upsilon Chapter, Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority-Kappa Lambda Omega Chapter, and the Parthenon LINKS.
Vaughan, who earned a B.S. degree in psychology from TSU, received a master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D., also in nursing, from Texas Woman’s University. She is survived by husband Harry L. Vaughan; children Sydney Kevin Aldridge, Jr., Tracey Dixon, Kimberly Vaughan and Harriet Wallace; and grandchildren Kayla Vaughan, Amber Quarles and Taniya Dixon.
Economist James Buchanan, the grandson of a former Tennessee governor and winner of a Nobel Prize in economics for his thinking on political decision-making, has died at age 93.
Buchanan was born in Murfreesboro and earned degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II. He later taught at UT and elsewhere and launched the Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy at the University of Virginia.
Most recently, Buchanan was distinguished professor emeritus at George Mason University.
Bloomberg has more on the life of the 1986 Nobel winner, who summed up his public-choice theories to "politics without romance."
Television personality Huell Howser, who got his broadcasting start at WSM-TV in Nashville in the 1960s before becoming a beloved star of a number of PBS shows in California, has died at age 67 after battling illness for several years. Howser, pictured here in a Flicker photo, specialized in human-interest pieces on Channel 4 before moving to New York and then, in 1981, to Los Angeles. There, he built several shows, including the popular California's Gold, that profiled the hidden treasures of the state. The Huffington Post has more on the life of a man whose "unabashed love for even the smallest topics and towns" won the hearts of many a Golden State viewer.
Former Trevecca Nazarene University President Millard Reed died Thursday morning after battling illness for several years. Reed led Trevecca from 1991 to 2005, saw enrollment grow from fewer than 1,400 students to more than 2,000 and moved the university forward on a number of levels.
Endowment grew from less than one million dollars to $13.1 million, and equity quadrupled. The university was granted level-V status and began offering the doctorate in education. The Celebrate the Century Campaign raised $28.5 million, the largest capital campaign in the history of the university. Nine acres were added to the campus, the Mackey Building was renovated, and a new entryway was added to the campus.
A memorial service for Reed will be held Dec. 30 at 5 p.m. at Nashville First Church of the Nazarene at 510 Woodland St. In lieu of flowers, gifts and memorials should be directed to the Millard and Barbara Reed Scholarship Fund at Trevecca.
Mario Ferrari, one of the earliest boosters of fine dining in Nashville and owner of the former Mario's Ristorante on Broadway near Vanderbilt University, died Tuesday night after a long battle with cancer. Dana Franklin has much more in her obituary, which details his work to elevate the stature of Nashville's dining scene as well as his run-ins with the Nashville Scene.
Vanderbilt University Board of Trust member William W. Featheringill died on Sunday, the school announced Tuesday. He was 70.
Featheringill (pictured) was an alumnus and entrepreneur who co-founded Private Capital Corp., a private investment firm. He graduated from the VU School of Engineering in 1964.
“Bill’s business knowledge, entrepreneurial vision and love of Vanderbilt provided guidance and a valuable voice on the Board of Trust,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said in a release. “He could look at a problem and see an opportunity — and then find a way to make that opportunity happen for the good of the university.”
Featheringill had served on the VU Board of Trust since 1998 and was a member of its executive committee from 2001-07. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Ala. Visitation will begin at noon.
Veteran Vanderbilt University School of Law professor Donald J. Hall, author of the nationally used casebook Criminal Procedure: The Post-Investigative Process, died Nov. 29 after a long illness. He was 69.
Hall, who devoted his entire academic career to Vanderbilt (working at the university from 1970 until he retired in 2007). He served as the law school's associate dean from 1979 to 1984. Jim Patterson and myvu.com have the story here.
SEE ALSO: Our coverage of Hall's involvement with the State Ethics Commission