Lipscomb high school alumnus (’56) and chart-topping recording star Pat Boone and his wife, Shirley Boone, have donated $100,000 to establish an endowment to support Lipscomb University’s social work program. The endowment honors his brother, Nick Boone (’57), a Lipscomb University alumnus and assistant professor who recently retired from the social work department.
"Too often we wait until someone is gone, do a eulogy and pay tribute to them when they can't hear it. Nick is truly a hero to me because I know how he has invested himself in the lives of others, without any public fanfare, and I know how conscientious he has been about passing on his skills and expertise through teaching. Others who know him and work with him esteem him so highly,” Pat Boone said. "He deserves a legacy, something with his name on it that will continue to bless future generations of students. Establishing this fund draws attention to the way he has lived his life and will go on helping others in his name.”
Hazel Arthur, associate professor and chair of the Department of Social Work and Sociology at Lipscomb University, agrees that Nick Boone deserves a lasting tribute. “He is the consummate social worker,” she comments. “He possesses the most natural interpersonal skills. He represents the image of the man of gentle, quiet strength. He is both a visionary and a constant encourager. Nick Boone has changed the world. It’s good that someone has taken note of that and invested in keeping that going—to allow his name be used to continue to make a difference in the lives of students and to continue to change the world.”
Nick Boone received his B.A. from Lipscomb in 1957. After attending the Columbia Teacher’s College and the University of Florida, he obtained his Master of Science in Social Work (M.S.S.W) from the Nashville branch of the University of Tennessee College of Social Work. In addition to working with the Nashville Housing Authority for three years, he has almost thirty years of experience in Christian child care and family services. Through AGAPE offices in Memphis and Nashville as well as the Madison Children’s Home and Domestic Violence Program, Boone provided services in the areas of foster care, adoption, maternity services and family counseling. He served as a social worker in each location and served as the Executive Director at both the Memphis office of AGAPE and the Madison Children’s Home and Domestic Violence Program. He retired from Lipscomb in 2006 after teaching for seven years.
“When he was here, Nick Boone was viewed by our students as a leader and a spiritual rock. They respected him deeply. He makes people feel valued,” Arthur adds.
Pat Boone knew of his brother’s contributions to Lipscomb University students and to the community as a whole. Now, thanks to Pat and Shirley Boone, Nick Boone’s contributions will be remembered for generations to come. “There’s no better tribute for Nick Boone,” Arthur comments. “He wants Lipscomb’s social work program to grow and be strong. He believes so deeply in Christian social work.”
Between the number of supervised service hours put in by seniors and the number of required volunteer hours by freshmen, Lipscomb social work students serve the community quite extensively every year. Social work students complete a total of 508 hours during their senior year (60 in the fall and 448 in spring). Last year, the department had 10 seniors for a total of 5,080 hours minimum of service. Introduction to Social Work students complete a required 25 hour placement. During 2005-06, there were a total of 36 students (including fall and spring) who served a total of 900 hours.
Lipscomb social work alumni are currently working in Christian and secular (private and public) agencies across the state, the nation and internationally. They are case managers, counselors, social workers, administrators, supervisors, attorneys and human resource managers. They work in hospitals, schools, counseling agencies, mental health centers, domestic violence shelters, courts, nursing homes, child and family service agencies, foster care and adoption agencies, child advocacy agencies, area agencies on aging, community outreach agencies, dialysis clinics, as well as for state and local governments.
Lipscomb social work alumni are well-prepared and often preferred for admission into graduate school. Lipscomb's CSWE-accredited status makes academically strong graduates eligible for admission into Advanced Standing programs at the MSW level.