Descendant of David Lipscomb finishes college journey

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What’s in a name, really?

David and Margaret LipscombWell … at Lipscomb University, if your name is Lipscomb, there likely is a link to the very early days of the university.

At spring commencement May 4, Henry Zellner Lipscomb V — yes, one of THE Lipscombs — received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He represents the latest generation of Lipscombs born since 1891 when David Lipscomb, along with James A. Harding, established Nashville Bible School, known today as Lipscomb University.

“It was kind of cool when I was younger to have the same name as the school,” said Henry, who has attended Lipscomb since the first grade. “People definitely know or recognize my name. People ask me about it a lot and will preface it by saying, ‘I know you get this question all the time, but …’”

Henry’s story begins more than 150 years ago with sisters Margaret and Henrie Zellner, of Maury County, Tenn., who married two brothers from Franklin County, Tenn. Margaret married David Lipscomb on July 22, 1862. In 1874, Henrie married Horace Greely Lipscomb, David’s half brother.

On Sept. 23, 1863, Margaret gave birth to son, Zellner, who lived only nine months. They were unable to have other children, but reared several children who were not their own through the years, becoming known to them as “Uncle Dave” and “Aunt Mag.” David set to work establishing Nashville Bible School in 1891.

Meanwhile, Horace and Henrie had several children. In 1892, Horace founded H.G. Lipscomb Hardware, which is still in operation today. Although he chose a different vocation, Horace supported and helped David any way he could as the fledgling school took shape.

Fast forward to 2013. Henry, the great-great-great grandson of Horace and Henrie and the great-great-great nephew of David and Margaret, has worked in the family business while pursuing his college education at Lipscomb. Henry said he plans to continue working in the family business after graduation.

Just as most families don’t talk much about their heritage on a regular basis, Henry said his family doesn’t often have discussions about days gone by. But, he is proud of his family’s story. And, he has enjoyed spending his formative years at the school that bears his family’s name.

“I’ve loved my experience at Lipscomb—at the campus school and the university,” said Henry, who is a member of Delta Tau social club. “I’ve had many great teachers who have taken a personal interest in me. There is more of a hands-on, personal experience that I’ve had with my professors here than I would have gotten at other schools. They have been accessible and influential in my life.”

Henry said that Allison Duke, assistant professor of management, and Carrie Abood, instructor in education who was his high school English teacher, have been especially encouraging and influential in his educational experience.

Commencement begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. Watch it live by clicking here.