Lincoln Memorial University


Endowed Chair in Biology Named in Honor of Estel Pershing Muncy


Harrogate, Tennessee, December 21, 2017—Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) has announced the establishment of the Estle Pershing Muncy Endowed Chair in Biology. A primary focus of the position will be to raise the academic profile of LMU’s biological science programs.


Dr. Adam W. Rollins, dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences, was honored as the inaugural chair holder at a naming ceremony held on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, on November 30, 2017.


“Lasting as long as the University exists, an endowed chair is tied to the academic fabric of an institution,” LMU Vice President for Academic Affairs Amiel Jarstfer said. “One of the highest academic honors LMU bestows on a faculty member, it both honors the named holder of the appointment and serves as an enduring tribute to the donor who establishes it.”


During the naming event, individuals reflected on Rollins’ career and the many reasons he is deserving of the honor. Dr. LaRoy Brandt, assistant professor of biology and conservation biology, shared his experiences with Rollins as a dean while senior biology major Katherine Griffin described Rollins as a mentor constantly pushing her and supporting her. Dr. John Copeland, professor emeritus, reflected on Rollins as a collaborator and colleague. Rollins’ former pupil Derrick Lindsay, now a forest steward with Kentucky National Lands Trust, also made remarks on behalf of his mentor.


“An endowed chair is an honor that very few faculty ever have the opportunity to fill," Copeland said. “It is a distinct honor that you have earned and I have no doubt that you will continue to build on Dr. Muncy’s legacy and enhance LMU’s academic reputation.”


“When I made the decision to accept a position on the faculty of LMU there is no way I could have imagined how rewarding that decision would be. It was truly life changing. I came here and I met great colleagues, I found inspirational mentors and I work with some of the greatest students in the world,” Rollins said. “Dr. Muncy’s legacy provides us with inspiration and examples of how to life live to its fullest. Dr. Muncy was clearly a man of action and recognized the importance of service. His legacy truly inspires me to elevate my own teaching, scholarship and my service.”


Vice President for University Advancement Cynthia Whitt brought greetings from Muncy’s widow, Dr. Jean Hayter Muncy, who honored her late husband by endowing the chair in his name.


“Dr. Jean Muncy established this endowed chair in her husband’s honor while he was living. He was delighted that this would assist faculty in biology at his alma mater,” Whitt said. “Dr. Muncy is brilliant, caring and compassionate friend. We honor her today for her generosity in establishing the Dr. Estle Pershing Muncy Endowed Chair in Biology at LMU”


A 1939 graduate of LMU, Muncy walked to LMU from his home and worked various jobs to finance his education. He also participated in a full spectrum of campus activities. He served as editor of the student newspaper, lettered in track and gained an appreciation for literature, the sciences, logical thinking and human relationships – a good, basic liberal arts education.


Muncy earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee, served his country in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, got specialized training in cardiology and internal medicine in Texas and New England and was an extremely successful physician for 40 years. But medical practice was only one of his passions. He was an accomplished photographer, writer, historian, entrepreneur, city planner, counselor, cook and gardener, and was active in professional, civic and community affairs.


Rollins joined the LMU faculty in 2008, where his primary teaching focus has been biology. He was named dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences in July 2017. Rollins has served in several additional academic leadership roles, including administrative dean of the Master of Science Program, chair of the Department of Biology, program director of the master of science life sciences research major and director of the Cumberland Mountain Research Center.


Rollins holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Fairmont State University, a master’s degree in forestry from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Arkansas.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at


CAPTION: LMU Vice President for Academic Affairs Amiel Jarstfer presents Dr. Adam Rollins, dean of the LMU School of Mathematics and Sciences, with a pair of pocket scissors that once belonged to Dr. Estel Pershing Muncy. Rollins was honored as the inaugural Estel Pershing Muncy Endowed Chair holder at a naming ceremony held on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, on November 30, 2017.



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