Lipscomb University announces the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership

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Lipscomb University is partnering with the family of influential Nashville community leader Nelson Andrews to establish the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership at Lipscomb University, announced President L. Randolph Lowry at an Oct. 21 community gathering.

Briefing on the Andrews Institute in the Hall of Fame Room.
Randy and Rhonda Lowry with members of the Nelson Andrews family.
Institute Executive Director Linda Peek Schacht.
Mayor Karl Dean is one of many civic leaders on the institute Leadership Council.
The institute will continue the Andrews’ legacy of civic leadership through academic programs, community engagement, research and a leadership council that currently includes long-time Andrews friends, such as Ken Roberts, Cal Turner and Jerry Williams, executive director of Andrews’ signature civic endeavor Leadership Nashville.
To see the entire institute leadership council, click here.
The Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership will promote leadership in the Andrews’ spirit, bringing public, private and not-for-profit resources together for the common good. Both academic and community engagement programs will honor Andrews’ belief that successful business, nonprofit and government leaders must also be strong civic leaders in order for a community to survive.
“My Dad knew that leadership is all about intrinsic values and immutable integrity,” said Carter Andrews, son of Nelson Andrews. “He knew of Lipscomb’s bedrock commitment to timeless values and total integrity. That’s why he was so delighted to collaborate with Dr. Lowry and Lipscomb in extending his work.”
The late Nelson Andrews significantly shaped Nashville and the Middle Tennessee community throughout his life. A real estate investor by trade, Andrews became much more than a businessman as his leadership spanned health care, religion and government.
Andrews served on the Tennessee State Board of Education and established the Nashville Alliance for Public Education for the betterment of public education. He created the Leadership Nashville program to provide community leaders a three-dimensional view of this city and established the Davidson Group to bring together business leaders of different races in mentoring relationships. He was instrumental in the creation of the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and the Tennessee Health Care Network.
To read more about the life of Nelson Andrews, click here.
“Nelson Andrews was the model of a successful civic leader, with Sue at his side as partner and friend,” said Lowry. “For four years he and I talked, alone and with other Lipscomb colleagues, about collaborative civic leadership, about Lipscomb’s commitment to community engagement, and about the critical need for leadership education and training.
“The Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership, dedicated to educating and inspiring others to follow the Andrews example of collaborative civic leadership, is the result of those conversations.”
Linda Peek Schacht, a former senior fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership, will serve as executive director of the institute. During her career, Peek Schacht has held many public affairs positions in government, education and private corporations. She has served as a vice president at Coca-Cola, with the RJR Nabisco Next Century Schools initiative, and as a White House press officer for the Carter  administration. She came to Lipscomb University as associate professor of history, politics and philosophy and communication in late 2008.
The new institute will focus on:
  • Establishing a master’s degree in civic leadership in fall 2011;
  • Developing an archive of Andrews’ comments on leadership and the results of his civic entrepreneurship;
  • Building a website, Leading Voices, ( to serve as a national interactive link among community leaders, including working papers, regular blogs and results of research; and
  • Offering opportunities for discussion that stimulates solutions and action, including an annual symposium on civic leadership to begin in fall 2010.
To read more about the institute's mission and projects, click here.
Lipscomb University will expand the SunTrust Collaborative Learning Center, which has been used by hundreds of community groups since 2006, adding office, classroom and community gathering space to the existing meeting rooms to create the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership.
“The institute will be devoted to identifying and educating emerging civic leaders and providing times of reflection and dialogue for current civic leaders including the opportunity to meet national and international leadership scholars,” Lowry said.