Lipscomb University’s Office of Alumni Relations recently announced the 2018 recipients of the Lipscomb Honors Award, the highest honor conferred on alumni of the institution and recognizes the inspiring ways Lipscomb alumni are making a profound impact in the world.
Alumni Jim and Linda (Shackleford) Allen of Destin, Florida; Steve Groom of Nashville; James Netterville of Nashville; and MarQo Patton of Nashville will be honored at the third annual “Lipscomb Honors: An Evening of Story and Song” on Nov. 9 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The event kicks off the university’s Homecoming weekend celebration. The evening also includes performances by award-winning songwriter Mike Reid (“I Can’t Make You Love Me,” “There’s A Stranger In My House”) and husband-and-wife songwriters Gary Burr ("I Try To Think About Elvis," "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me") and Georgia Middleman ("When The Right One Comes Along," "While He Still Knows Who I Am").
Lipscomb Honors begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 6:30 p.m. dinner and program. The cost is $100 per person, and seating is limited.
A former vice president for business affairs at Lipscomb, Jim Allen is a founder and operating partner of Meritage Private Equity. He graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is a veteran communications industry executive with 40 years of experience in the creation and management of start-up services businesses. He has held key leadership roles in building six enterprises valued at in excess of $16 billion cumulatively. He served on the Lipscomb University Board of Trustees 1998-2017, during which time he served on the finance and real estate, development and executive committees.
Linda Shackelford Allen also attended Lipscomb university and is a member of the Associated Women for Lipscomb. The Allens funded construction of the Allen Bell Tower in memory of their late son, Michael. The couple also gave one of the largest gifts in university history toward the construction of Allen Arena.
A 1973 graduate, Steve Groom is an attorney with Neal & Harwell in Nashville. He began his professional career as a banker with Memphis Bank & Trust Company. While working for the bank, Groom received a law degree from the University of Memphis, where he was a member of the Law Review. He practiced law for more than 38 years, including more than a decade in private practice. He spent 11 years in executive and general counsel roles with SunTrust Banks and more than 16 years with CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America. His most recent role with CoreCivic was executive vice president and general counsel.
Groom has been on the Board of Advisors and the adjunct faculty of Lipscomb’s Institute for Conflict Management since the program’s inception in 2006. In addition, he has also served on the College of Business’s Board of Visitors and taught courses in the MBA program, as well as business law in the undergraduate program. Groom has served as Executive-in-Residence for the “Business as Mission” program and taught an introductory course in entrepreneurship. The Grooms have supported the “Business as Mission” program and helped provide scholarships to Institute for Conflict Management students.
Groom is on the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society, and serves on the Capital Campaign Committee of Operation Stand Down Tennessee, an organization that assists veterans. For many years, Groom has worked with the Men of Valor prison ministry program by serving as a mentor and offering conflict management training to inmates and ex-offenders.
A 1976 graduate of Lipscomb, James Netterville is the director of head and neck surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is an international leading authority of treating head and neck cancer, and also is one of the world’s experts in the treatment of skull base tumors. In March, Netterville was recognized with the Medical Research Advancement Award by the T.J. Martell Foundation in Nashville.
A native of Nashville, Netterville attended Lipscomb from elementary school through college. His father, John (’51), was a teacher at Lipscomb Academy and later was named chair of the Department of Chemistry at Lipscomb University.
Netterville attended medical school at the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he completed a residency in otolaryngology head and neck surgery. He then moved to the University of Iowa for a fellowship in head and neck cancer surgery, reconstructive and cleft lip surgery. In 1986, Netterville helped start the Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery and Vanderbilt Medical Center.
In addition, Netterville has made 25 global health education and surgical mission trips to Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Haiti and 15 humanitarian missions in Central America.
MarQo Patton received a master’s degree in instructional education in 2012 and added a doctorate in education leadership in 2017. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fisk University.
An alumnus of and baritone for the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers, Patton has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the White House. Most recently, he was featured as guest artist at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
An educator for more than eight years, Patton is one of the founding music business instructors at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, home of the first student-run record label, Relentless Entertainment Group. Through this work, Patton’s students have engaged entertainment industry legends and significant stakeholders in the music industry through industry-leading partnerships. His vocal students sang for a national primetime production, as well as were the 2016 recipients of the GRAMMY Signature Schools Enterprise Award.
Through Jusreall Music Group Global LLC, Patton offers consultation and vocal coaching to independent artists who seek self-publishing and creative development. Patton has served as an intern for The Recording Academy, was featured on local news stations for teaching and speaking engagements, was a recipient of the inaugural Human Rights Rising Advocate Award from the State of Tennessee, was filmed as a real-life mentor in the documentary “All the Difference” that was produced by Emmy-award winning and Academy-award winning Tod Lending of Nomadic Pictures.
“We’re excited about this year’s Lipscomb Honors event as part of Homecoming, and sharing the exponential impact Jim, Linda, Steve, Jimmy and MarQo have had on individuals and communities,” Phil Ellenburg, vice president for alumni relations at Lipscomb, said. “In addition to their inspiring stories of faith, perseverance and success, the evening will be highly entertaining. We will be showcasing world-class songwriters who will perform and share the stories behind a few of their hit songs. It’s going to be a fantastic evening!”
For information about the Lipscomb Honors event or to reserve seats, visit www.lipscomb.edu/homecoming or contact the Lipscomb University Office of Alumni Relations at 615-966-6212.