Knoxville’s Dr. Ted Russell was named today to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) Hall of Fame. TICUA and its member institutions selected 24 alumni, highlighting their contributions to the state, country and world in a variety of disciplines. Russell is a 1962 Carson-Newman University alumnus.


“We are so pleased that TICUA is honoring our own Dr. Ted Russell,” Carson-Newman President Charles A. Fowler said. “His contributions to Christian higher education can not be overstated. His heart for helping students prepare to impact the world for Christ is a testament to the devotion he has to see the next generation become educated citizens and worldwide servant-leaders.”


A retired business owner turned philanthropist, Russell’s focus and mission is to financially support charitable, educational, and religious purposes through his organization, East Tennessee Foundation. Russell is credited for representing the highest of Christian values and showcases his Carson-Newman education and Christ-centered mission with excellence through his gifts of time, leadership, encouragement and financial contributions.


After graduating from Carson-Newman, the Morristown native went on to build an automotive empire in East Tennessee. Russell used his business success to give back to his alma mater and his community.

His leadership at Carson-Newman provides an inspirational example for students. In 2009, Ted Russell Hall, the academic home for C-N’s School of Business opened for classes. In 2015, the Drama Russell Nursing Clinical Simulation Lab opened giving nursing students a state-of-the-art learning experience.


On July 9, 2021, Carson-Newman broke ground on the Drama and Ted Russell Center, which will house the University’s nursing department. Russell’s gift enables the construction of a new high-tech center for educational innovation in health sciences. The building is slated for completion in 2023.


“We launched the TICUA Hall of Fame last year to honor the accomplishments and impact of graduates and the institutions who helped to prepare them,” said TICUA President Dr. Claude Pressnell. “We are proud to once again recognize an astounding group of alumni who have made significant contributions to their institutions, communities, and society. Their stories are worthy of recognition and accolade and, on behalf of our member institutions, we are proud to offer this small token of our appreciation for their achievements.”