Distinguished Alumni


Gary J. Burchett

Gary Burchett grew up in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, and has been familiar with Lincoln Memorial University most of his life.  A 1963 cum laude graduate of  LMU, Burchett also received a master’s in student personnel services, higher education administration, and vocational guidance and counseling from the University of Tennessee.  Tennessee Wesleyan College awarded him the honorary Doctor of Public Service and  he holds the honorary Doctor of Letters from Limestone College.

Following a stint as a reading specialist in the city schools in Franklin, Ohio, Burchett became assistant director of admissions and records for the University of Tennessee, coordinating the entire freshmen admissions operation from recruitment through placement and follow-up, working with junior colleges in transfer articulation and process.  In 1969, he was named senior academic counselor in the UT College of Business Administration.

In 1972, Burchett went to Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, as coordinator of admissions and records.  He stayed at MECC one year until he was lured away by LMU to become assistant to the president.  He later served as vice president for development, contributing significantly to the fund raising efforts of the University, and then as executive vice president, where he became involved in the overall administration of the University while continuing to teach part-time and aid students in their pursuit of a college education.

In 1981, the Board of Trustees name Burchett president of his alma mater.  During his tenure, Burchett led LMU to significant growth in academic programs, enrollment and in the procurement of funds from private sources.  Many physical changes occurred on the campus, and old friendships were rekindled with alumni. 

In 1991, Burchett announced that he was retiring from higher education administration to move into the corporate world.  Today, he is vice president of manufacturing at DeRoyal Industries, a job that takes him to cities and countries all over the world. 

Burchett is  a member of the LMU Board of Trustees where he serves on the Executive Committee, J. Frank White Academy Committee, Committee on Athletics, Chairperson of the Committee on Marketing and Committee on Properties.  He can be found each Sunday morning hosting a gospel show from LMU’s Sigmon Communications Center.