When Middle Tennessee State University freshman Jonathan Lusk moved into Corlew Hall last fall, he and his mother were surprised to learn that the guy helping lug the boxes was President Sidney A. McPhee.
Jonathan Lusk (left) stands with MTSU President Sidney McPhee and his parents as they present a $100,000 check to the university during February 2013 visit to Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
The Lusk family later surprised McPhee with a $100,000 donation, which they asked be split between scholarships and a computer science laboratory renovation. They presented the check to the president during a recent visit to campus.
"My wife and I want to support my grandson and make sure he gets a quality education," said Jonathan's grandfather, William C. Lusk, retired senior executive vice president & CFO for Shaw Industries Inc., a Fortune 500 company, based in Dalton, Ga., that is one of the world's largest manufacturers of carpet and floor coverings.
It was Jonathan's mother, Ju-Hsin, who recognized McPhee during “We-Haul,” a three-day event where volunteers from across campus pitch in to help about 3,000 students move into the university’s 14 traditional residence halls, two apartment complexes and two houses on Greek Row.
"I was very impressed," said Ju-Hsin Lusk, managing director of corporate training, workforce development and continuing education for Chattanooga State Community College.
As for Jonathan, he said while he appreciated the kindness, he had no idea who McPhee was on that day.
"The first time I met him was when we were moving into the dorm and he shook my hand," Jonathan said. "My mom pointed out to me that it was the president."
McPhee, who makes a point to help out during We-Haul each year, said the Lusk family's gift to the College of Basic and Applied Sciences was deeply appreciated.
"The contribution by the Lusk family will be put to very good use and will help many students," McPhee said. "We are delighted that the Lusk family honored our university with this generous gift."
Jonathan is studying computer science and hopes to take advantage of the improvements that his grandfather's gift will make possible. He has been impressed with campus.
"Good teachers, great students," he said.