COOKEVILLE – The Tennessee Tech College of Business (COB) announced at its Fall Celebration dinner that its long-running lecture series has officially been renamed the Albrecht Distinguished Lecture Series in memory of Joe Albrecht.
In making the announcement Thursday evening, COB Dean Thomas Payne remembered Albrecht as a leader who exemplified Tech’s values.
“For of all that has been achieved, in recognition of those who have given so much to advance our college and community, and with a vision for all that remains to be done, the lecture series that has become such an integral part of this event will now and forever be known as the ‘Joe Albrecht Distinguished Lecture Series’ – named for a person who loved Tennessee Tech, his community, and his family,” said Payne. “We are forever grateful for Joe’s leadership, selfless service, and tireless dedication to our college and university. At this year’s Fall Celebration, of which the lecture series is a part, we honor Joe’s memory by rededicating ourselves to our university, our community, and to each other.”
Albrecht, who passed away in 2017, was a faithful supporter of the COB and its vision to provide rich and diverse learning experiences that inspire innovation, leadership, and value creation. To support this vision, Albrecht and his wife, Connie, created an endowment that allows the COB to bring in distinguished speakers sharing a variety of experiences and opportunities with students, faculty and supporters.
“Joe always considered Tennessee Tech as the most important asset in our community,” said Connie Albrecht. “He felt strongly about the role the university plays in not only developing our future leaders but also in adding value to its home community.”
It was Albrecht’s vision that students and faculty would have the opportunity to meet people such as Peggy Noonan, columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Noonan’s visit to Cookeville not only impacted the Tech community, but also impacted Noonan herself so much that she wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal praising the school to a national audience.
“The Wall Street Journal article starts with Joe Albrecht,” said Cheryl Montgomery, COB director of program development and engagement, emphasizing the enormous positive exposure the university received as a result. “Without that endowment, we wouldn’t have been able to bring Peggy Noonan to Tech.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was the first speaker to take the podium under the new title at the Fall Celebration dinner hosted at the Leslie Town Centre. The lecture series has hosted other notable leaders, such as U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, Ben & Jerry’s founder Jerry Greenfield, Dr. Michael Burry from “The Big Short” movie, former athlete Archie Manning, author Jon Meacham, and “Shark Tank” stars Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran.
“Dad was a planner, and he recognized the importance of creating an endowment that would help sustain the lecture series for many years to come,” remembered Jay Albrecht, Joe’s son. “I know he would be very proud of this honor, but his true satisfaction came from serving Tennessee Tech as well as he could.”
Over the years, Albrecht served on the COB Board of Trustees and the TTU University Foundation board.