Cumberland University names JJ Oakley newest Board of Trust member 

(From left to right: Kendall Vaughn Smith, Millard Vaughn Oakely, JJ Oakley.)

LEBANON – Cumberland University is excited to announce its newest addition to the Board of Trust, Oakley School namesake Mrs. Joyce Annette “JJ” Oakley. 

An East Tennessee native, JJ graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1972. After many years of teaching nursing, JJ returned to Tennessee and received her Master of Nursing in 1980 as well as a law degree from The University of Tennessee in 1985. 

The Oakley family is no stranger to philanthropy and truly believe in the mission of higher education and the importance a student’s college experience can have on their overall success. Mrs. Oakley is currently the President of Oakley First National Foundation which provides scholarships to students in need, a member of the American Nursing Association and Tennessee Bar Association. 

The Oakley family is known for their legacy and passion for education. “I am honored and proud to join the board of such a fine school like Cumberland University. The university gives so much to the community, and I hope in some small way I can contribute to that legacy,” said JJ. 

JJ married the late Millard Oakley in 1986 and relocated to their current home in Overton County. Before his passing, Millard and JJ made the single, largest monetary gift to Cumberland University last fall. In their honor, the School of Humanities, Education and Arts is now named the JJ and Millard Oakley School. Additionally, the Oakley’s transformational gift is funding a portion of the current Memorial Hall entrance renovations. 

“The Oakley family gift has made a historic impact on our campus and will leave an indelible mark on future generations of Cumberland students,” said University President Paul C. Stumb. “Their selfless generosity, and dedication to higher education reminds us that we should all strive to be the change we long to see in the world. We are excited to have JJ join our Board in pursuit of continued transformational growth for Cumberland University.”

About Cumberland University:
For over 180 years, Cumberland University has been advancing its long tradition of excellence to rise, endure, prosper and illuminate the world. Recognized as one of the fastest-growing liberal arts universities in the state of Tennessee, Cumberland continues to evolve to meet the needs of a diverse and expanding community while providing a transformational higher education experience through more than 80 fully-accredited academic programs of study at the Associate, Baccalaureate and Master’s level.

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