Dorm Refresh

Dorm Refresh Campaign

Tusculum is embarking on a $110,000 fundraising campaign to assist with refreshing the university’s residence spaces. The goal is to see some initial projects completed by the start of the fall 2023 semester.

The campaign will raise money for items such as new furniture, ceiling fans, new lighting and painting. Belle Kemp, director of alumni and community engagement, is leading the campaign and is supported by a committee. If you are interested in donating, sharing your stories and experiences living in the dorms, becoming a dorm leader or volunteering your time to help with these projects, please contact Kemp at 423-636-0565 or















This project has the support of our alumni. Many alumni have filmed testimonials to be used for the campaign. Among them was Robert “Bob” Kleinertz, Alumni Executive Board president.

Many students have also been involved in the committee and are promoting the need for the dorm refresh. Student Laikin Smith has joined Kleinertz as leads for COG East refresh.

If you want to help support our students by upgrading their dorms you can give at


Alumni Yard Sale, July 22

The Alumni Yard Sale will take place on Saturday, July 22 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in front of the Welcome Center, across the street from Tusculum Baptist Church. All proceeds benefit the Dorm Refresh!

Tusculum University has the BEST and most supportive alumni! Bob Kleinertz ‘76, Alumni Executive Board president and COG east dorm leader, and Carol Eggert ’76, Katherine Hall dorm leader, have teamed up to organize a Yard Sale with proceeds supporting the Dorm Refresh Campaign! This fundraiser will take place on Saturday, July 22 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in front of the Welcome Center, across the street from Tusculum Baptist Church: 775 Erwin Hwy Tusculum, TN 37745 On behalf of all faculty and staff at Tusculum, we greatly appreciate the effort and support we receive from our passionate alumni! If you would like to donate items toward this fundraiser, please stop by the Welcome Center Monday-Thursday between the hours of 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. or contact Belle Kemp at 423-636-0565 or by email at This yard sale is open to all alumni, faculty, staff, community members, and friends of Tusculum!

Benjamin Gall

2022-23 SGA President

I am a Senior graduating with two bachelor’s degrees in business administration (Accounting Concentration) and Criminal Justice. I served Tusculum University as the 2022-2023 student government president, as the student leader for the Tusculum chapter of the Bonner Leader Program, and as the assistant site coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at Tusculum. I am also a member of the Alpha Chi honor society, Tusculum Honors Program, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2018.

Even though I do not live on campus and cannot speak on behalf the dormitories themselves, I can personally attest that student spaces are an important factor for student development. In my case, that particular space for me was the Center for Civic Advancement or the CCA (Niswonger 401). This space has furniture, a fridge, a microwave, comfortable chairs, and a large conference table along with other features (my favorite being the snack machines).

Starting as a freshman, I spent a lot of time in this space as part of the Bonner Leader Program. The CCA office provided a place for us to socialize with other students, do homework together, hold meetings, and organize other social activities (we watched movies, played board games, and had lunches in this room). I would argue that this space played a crucial role in drawing me to the campus and developing relationships with my peers, because, being a commuter, I would not have likely stayed on campus for anything other than classes if I had not had access to a space like this. The CCA office is specifically a space for work-studies and Bonner Leaders, however, in 2022 we started moving in this direction of making more accessible student spaces for everyone which led to the addition of the Pioneer Perk which includes a pool table, table tennis, furniture, and vending machines.

Every day I go through Niswonger and see a group of students utilizing that space by playing games or studying – getting that same experience that I did in the CCA. Even though I do not live on campus, I can whole-heartedly attest that investment in these kinds of spaces and amenities is an important part of fostering the development of student relationships. I do not think that I would be where I am without it. A dorm refresh would allow students to have these spaces within the lobbies of the dorms they live in. I fully support and stand behind this campaign.

Maggie Vickers

Incoming SGA President

In the past, I have served as a class senator. In addition to my SGA roles, I am going into my third year as a Resident Assistant, third year as an Orientation Leader, fifth year as a member of President’s Society, and fourth year as the Fundraising Chair for the Bonner Leader Program. I am a senior and I am double majoring in History and English. I moved to Tusculum full time about two years ago. I have always lived in the dorms at Tusculum. Next fall, I will have lived in every space that a female student is able to live on campus and each different dorm has its own unique environment. I have gained many of my opportunities from residential life. While living in the dorms, I was able to meet my current best friends and create a home for myself in a place that I thought would never feel like home. My best friends and I currently live together raising my dog and making a home for ourselves at Tusculum.

My first semester as an RA was served in COG East on the third floor. Another RA lived across the hall from me and our building was made up of mostly freshman girls. The common area in COG East became our living room and allowed me to create connections with my residents in which they would tell me about their struggles as well as their triumphs. Even after I moved to the apartments, I still keep up with these girls and maintain our relationships. A refresh of the dorms is so important for the comfort of our students.

My leadership roles place me in constant contact and communication with students. The number one reason students transferring from TU is the dorms from what residents I have worked with. Dorm life is a vital part of campus because a student’s entire life revolves around their living situation.

The current state of the dorms at Tusculum does not serve to produce an environment that allows students to feel comfortable in their living situations. Currently, the main halls: Katherine, Welty-Craig, Haynes, and COGs have little in their living areas that would make students comfortable studying in those areas. The paint is plain and outdated which makes the dorms look less homey and shows little invest in our students’ comfort. The flooring in COGs and Haynes especially needs to be redone as there are chips in many places which also implies that Tusculum’s housing is near the bottom of the priority list which is something we do not wish to communicate to our students. Remodeling the dorms to include purchasing comfortable furniture would make students want to spend time in the common areas instead of staying in their room. This would allow students to create relationships with one another and want to stay on campus rather than going home every weekend. A dorm refresh is essential to our campus because it will allow our students to have a better residential experience and improve their overall TU experience.