The fund, which was announced in a surprise on-court ceremony during the ETSU men’s basketball game against Chattanooga tonight, has been established through the generous initial gifts of the following donors:
Dr. Noland, his wife, Donna, and his son, Jackson, are deeply committed to ensuring that ETSU is a place where people come first,” Lieutenant General (Retired) Ron V. Hite, Chairman of the ETSU Foundation, said. “They have given their whole hearts to this community and led through service to others. This scholarship honors the example they have set through their belief in the transformative power of higher education.”
During President Noland’s tenure, ETSU has achieved the highest student retention and graduation rates in its history, and the university has added 51 new academic programs to keep pace with workforce demands. Under his leadership, ETSU has become a world-class destination for innovation and integration in the health sciences. In the past 10 years, the university and its community partners have launched the Center for Rural Health Research; the Center for Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease, and Immunity; the ETSU Ballad Health Strong Brain Institute; the Addiction Science Center; and the Appalachian Highlands Center for Nursing Advancement.
ETSU also has evolved into a significant cultural hub for the region and beyond. Its faculty and alumni have earned dozens of GRAMMY nominations and awards. The university’s new Martin Center for the Arts plays host to internationally acclaimed performance artists and features state-of-the-art equipment. And ETSU’s digital media program is ranked first in the state and among the top programs in the South.
Among Dr. Noland’s first achievements as president was relaunching ETSU’s football and Marching Bucs marching band programs — successes evidenced this past fall when the Bucs won the SoCon Football Championship and made a run for the national title. These achievements were celebrated by sold-out crowds in the William B. Greene Jr. Stadium. The construction of the stadium is one of many capital investment projects completed during Dr. Noland’s presidency. Others include the full renovation of the DP Culp Student Center, the expansion of the Basler Center for Physical Activity, the development of the University Commons and Campus Quad, the creation of the Pride Walk, the acquisition of the Millennium Center, the renovations of Bishop Hall and Lamb Hall, and the expansion of ETSU’s presence downtown within the Model Mill.
Dr. and Mrs. Noland and their son Jackson also have established a strong tradition of leadership through service having launched or expanded initiatives such as the ETSU Elevates service grant program, Bucky’s Food Pantry, Bucky’s Career Closet, free COVID-19 vaccination clinics, the Mary V. Jordan Multicultural Center, the Dr. Patricia Robertson Pride Center, the Ron and Edith J. Carrier Center for Student Success and Engagement, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Plaza and the Military Affiliated Student Resource Center (MARC).
“The new Noland Family First-Generation Scholarship program will help Tennessee students dream, achieve excellence, and improve our communities and the world beyond,” Lieutenant General Hite said. “It provides low-income students who are first in their families to attend college with the means to achieve the life-changing goal and extraordinary experience of attending and graduating from East Tennessee State University.”