Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry announced today two appointments to the university leadership team.
David Wilson, partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis law firm in Nashville, has been named Lipscomb University’s general counsel, and John Lowry has been named vice president for external affairs.
As general counsel, Wilson will oversee legal affairs, regulatory compliance and risk management operations. Lowry, who also serves as executive director of Spark, located in Franklin, Tenn., will lead community and government relations efforts as well as developing growth into new markets.
“Both David and John bring vast experience as attorneys as well as a passion for Christian education to the leadership team that will give the university great security in a time when the higher education environment is in constant flux,” said L. Randolph Lowry, Lipscomb University president. “They also bring a commitment to serve not only the Lipscomb community, but our neighborhood and the larger Nashville community as well.”
Wilson, who has worked at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis since 1998, has expertise in corporate governance, business transactions and securities law among other specialties. He has advised private and public companies as well as nonprofit organizations on corporate governance and compliance issues. Prior to that assignment, Wilson was a senior research engineer at AlliedSignal Aerospace Corporate in South Bend, Ind., where he designed a new carbon-carbon brake for the Boeing 777 aircraft and led a research program that partnered with a team of engineering students from the University of Notre Dame.
“While practicing law in Nashville for over 15 years, I have been very impressed with the outstanding mission of Lipscomb,” said Wilson. “I am excited about this opportunity to leverage my legal experience in a new and challenging vocation, and look forward to working closely with senior leadership, faculty and staff to continue the university's commitment to excellence.”
Wilson’s experience fits well with Lipscomb’s mission.
“David has a wonderful set of experiences in the legal profession and a Christian heart for people,” said David Scobey, chair of the Lipscomb University board of trustees. “Those two traits combined make him a perfect fit for Lipscomb.”
The role of a university general counsel is crucial in the higher education landscape.
“With the increasing and continual changes in today's higher education environment, the intersection of legal, risk and compliance is becoming increasingly crucial not only in daily operations but in planning strategically for the future,” said Kathy Hargis, director of risk management at Lipscomb. “Having a concentrated focus on these departmental areas will provide a strong framework for the university now and going forward.”
In addition to his professional work, Wilson donates his expertise and time as he works with several nonprofit organizations. He is board member and president of Made in the Streets, a mission effort in Nairobi, Kenya, that serves up to 100 former street children from the slums in that city. During a six-month sabbatical spanning 2004 and 2005, Wilson lived in Nairobi where he was a tutor for children served by Made in the Streets. Wilson is also board member and secretary for the Nashville-based Living Water Project, an initiative to raise funds for, support and construct clean water projects for communities in impoverished areas of the world.
Wilson said he looks forward to blending his profession with his passion for serving others.
“I desire for my career to be more closely aligned with my sense of vocation,” he said. “I believe my work at Lipscomb will allow me to live out a meaningful vocation, being part of an institution that serves as an outpost of the kingdom of God, impacting culture and future generations in countless positive ways.”
The Terre Haute, Ind., native has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association.
Wilson will begin his post at Lipscomb later this month. He succeeds Phil Ellenburg, Lipscomb’s general counsel from 1994-2013, who was named president of Middle Tennessee Christian School last year.
John Lowry will lead the university initiative to have a greater impact in the Nashville community and to advance neighborhood relations among other initiatives.
“We are committed to being an active member of this community as well as a good neighbor to those around us,” said Scobey. “Over the last decade the university has strategically developed a number of programs, events and activities that meet the needs of our community. This new program reflects the university’s efforts to have a more coordinated approach to community relations.”
John Lowry said that Lipscomb is proud to be part of Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood and sees many opportunities to serve that community.
“We are passionate about Green Hills,” he said. “Over the last decade, Lipscomb has developed a strong reputation for being engaged in the broader Nashville community. We also want to be actively engaged in our own neighborhood. We have a number of resources we can share with this neighborhood as it faces a number of important issues in the future as it grows and expands. We want to be a leader, a voice and a resource for our friends and neighbors in Green Hills.”
Lowry joined the Lipscomb faculty in 2009 as assistant dean for executive education and assistant professor of management. He launched the university’s School of Executive Education and the Certificate in Accountancy Program, an accelerated accounting education program. In 2011, Lowry launched Spark, Lipscomb’s concept for off-campus programming and facilities, which was named one of the year’s top business stories in Williamson County by the Franklin Home Page.
He has a Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, a master’s degree from Abilene Christian University and a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University. Lowry also has completed graduate work in dispute resolution at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law and in public policy at California State University, Sacramento.
In 2013 and 2014, Lowry received the Williamson County Impact Award from the Nashville Business Journal, which recognizes that region’s most influential people. A member of the Leadership Brentwood Class of 2012, Lowry was selected to represent Lipscomb University on the 2013 Nashville Health Care Council/Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Health Care Trade Mission to France hosted by former U.S. Senator Bill Frist. He was also part of the 2009 Tennessee China Trade Mission hosted by then-Governor Phil Bredesen.
Lowry is on the board of the Blakeford at Green Hills and is on the founding board for the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a featured higher education columnist for the Tennessean.