For Immediate Release
Date: December 7, 2009
For more information contact, Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247
The newly named Bert Bornblum Library resembled a holiday wonderland as relatives, friends, elected officials, and Southwest supporters and scholars gathered to honor longtime Southwest supporter and entrepreneur Bert Bornblum at the naming ceremony on December 1 for the recently built library on Southwest's Macon Cove Campus. Vice President of Institutional Advancement Karen Nippert welcomed attendees emphasizing the value honoree Bert Bornblum places on wisdom and education.
Mary McDaniel, vice president of materiel and corporate sourcing for FedEx Express, also addressed the group stressing the importance of philanthropy, saying without philanthropy our country would be "a little less friendly, a little colder, and a little crueler place to be. … Everyday because of selfless acts, lives are impacted. And those selfless acts occur individually, on a corporate level and on a foundational level." FedEx continues to contribute to its $2 million pledge toward the construction of a new Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology building for Southwest.
Also among those on the program was Regent John Farris of the Tennessee Board of Regents who outlined TBR policies regarding naming an institution in honor of someone. "The honor must be reserved for individuals of recognized accomplishments and character. …Tonight Bert Bornblum will join the ranks of esteemed individuals such as former college presidents and individuals such as Maxine Smith and others who have fought so passionately for education, and particularly higher education," said Farris.
Southwest President Nathan Essex recognized Bornblum's commitment to education and his selfless generosity in helping Southwest students achieve their educational pursuits. "Because of Bert's generosity, our students are pursuing their hopes, their dreams and their aspirations for a brighter future," said President Essex. He presented Bornblum with a marble plaque engraved with his image. In acceptance Bornblum said, "I am overwhelmed. …This is such a beautiful building, a beautiful place for education. I am sure; I am convinced that students, our students, are going to be very well educated."
Photo caption: Bert Bornblum stands next to the plaque that bears his name and image displayed in the foyer of the Southwest library named in his honor.