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Coggin family makes investment to endow Academic Success Center

Kim Chaudoin | 

Coggin Family with Lipscomb administrators.

The Lipscomb community gathered in Beaman Library on Thursday, May 3, to celebrate a significant milestone in the university’s focus to provide robust academic support services for students. 

Board of Trustees member Gerald Coggin (’73), and his wife, Joanne (Adams ’73), made a generous gift to endow Lipscomb’s Academic Success Center through the Coggin Family Foundation. At the ceremony, Lipscomb University President officially announced the naming of the space in Beaman Library the Coggin Family Academic Success Center.

“Today marks an exciting step forward in our commitment to excellence in our commitment to student success and, and the big umbrella of student flourishing to make sure students have what they need to be successful,” said McQueen at the ceremony. “The gift we celebrate today is a significant endowed gift that ensures that the Academic Success Center will remain a vital resource for years. Endowed gifts are investment in the future. They are permanent and self-sustaining, allowing more students to access the robust services provided by this center. This gift will play a significant role in providing resources to expand our programming to help our students flourish for generations to come.” 

Building and supporting a holistic student success model is an important part of the Lipscomb Impact 360 strategic plan, and the Academic Success Center is an integral component of this effort.

Gerald Coggin speaking

Gerald Coggin speaking on behalf of the family at the dedication ceremony.

In August 2012, the Academic Success Center opened its doors in Beaman Library funded by a gift from the Shumard Foundation, founded by the late former board of trustee member Kenneth Shumard and his wife, Joyce. Their vision set the stage for what has become an important part of our academic community and has connected students, with a robust offering of academic resources that include the writing studio, tutoring and group studies among others. Since its founding, the center has had well over 50,000 student visits. 

The Coggin family has deep roots at Lipscomb. Coggin has served on Lipscomb’s board for 21 years and Joanne is a long-time champion of the Associated Women for Lipscomb chapter in Rutherford County. Their sons Adam (’98) and David (’96), are Lipscomb alumni, and their son, Robert, is married to Lipscomb alumna, Betsy (Joseph ’99). Grandson, Carl, received his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb in 2022 and will graduate in May with a Master of Accountancy degree. “They truly embody the spirit of lifelong commitment to our institution,” said McQueen. 

“This gift is not about us, but is a way we can contribute because God has given us so much. This is a way that we can give back,” said Coggin. “We are just so blessed to be a part of His plan and a part of what he allows us to do in a collective fashion for His good. I can’t think of any better way to show His love than through the opportunity to serve students.”

President Candice McQueen with Gerald and Joanne Coggin.

President Candice McQueen with Gerald and Joanne Coggin.

Tim Ehrhart, director of the center, said this gift will help students succeed in their academic endeavors. 

“I'm grateful for the support of the Coggin family and for their commitment to provide a space and resources for every student to thrive academically, and to nurture their potential, their resilience and their passion for learning,” he said. “This is a place where students will find support and encouragement, where dedicated mentors and tutors will empower them to overcome challenges, explore their intellectual curiosity, and achieve their academic goals. It is a place that serves to deepen and enrich the academic experience at Lipscomb University, a place that will ultimately help our students succeed and truly flourish.”

Learn more about the services offered through the Coggin Family Academic Success Center

— Photos by Kristi Jones