On Thurs., 27 Jan. 2011, my friend and colleague, Terry Holcomb, passed away. I got to know Terry over the past few months as we discussed life, students, politics, and history. I was looking forward to hearing his feedback on the Jackson biography and working with him on revitalizing the political science program.
Terry lived a fascinating life and brought to his students and colleagues valuable wisdom and perspective on what was important in life. He was enthusiastic, often poking his head into my office to share a new idea that was percolating. I feel a profound sense of loss for his family, our university community, and, selfishly, for myself.
Terry’s biographical page, copied below, describes his accomplishments, but it doesn’t speak to what he meant in the lives of those with whom he came into contact, even over the course of a friendship as short as ours.
DegreesB.A., Vanderbilt University, 1968M.A. University of Memphis, 1975Mr. Holcomb joined the Cumberland faculty in January 2010. He has broad experience in education, performing arts, government, business, and international consulting. His work includes seventeen years as a teacher and twenty-five years as a communications professional.His teaching and performing arts experience includes three years at Montgomery Bell Academy, where he received the Bell Dedication Award; seven years as Assistant Professor and Director of Theatre at Walters State Community College, where he was named “Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year” in 1978; and a Karl Bickel Fellow at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was founding director of the Germantown Theatre in Germantown, Tennessee, 1973-1976. He has conducted numerous communications seminars for U. S. Government agencies, including the Foreign Service Institute of the U. S. State Department, the National Park Service, NASA, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Defense.Mr. Holcomb has completed assignments in government and international projects that include service as: Chief of Staff to a member of the United Congress; Chief of Party in Moscow and in Kiev for the International Foundation for Election Systems; Communications Consultant in Kazakhstan for the U. S. Information Service; and Assistant to the Commissioner in the Tennessee Department of Conservation. He has provided on-site election assistance to numerous organizations including election authorities in South Africa, Liberia, Moldova, Romania, Estonia, Guyana, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.Mr. Holcomb devoted much of the past ten years to work in international import/export business. He was Director of International Sales, Europe and Asia, for Election Systems and Software, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska; and Director of Sales and Marketing for Davis Cabinet Company, Nashville, Tennessee. He manages design development and quality control for clients and manufacturers in China, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He has also worked as communications and marketing consultant to a number of businesses, including Preston Trucking Company in Maryland and the National Power Corporation of the Philippines.Mr. Holcomb is a poet and playwright whose work has been published in Southern Theatre in 1974 and 1975. He has a number of articles published by the International Foundation for Election Systems, including: Election Day: A Model Democracy Curriculum, 1994; Russian Students Practice Democracy, 1998; and Leadership in a Democratic Society,1992,translated into Romanian (1992), Hungarian (1993), Russian (1994), Estonian (1995), and Ukrainian (1995) and used in leadership training seminars.