Womacks donate scholarship for veterans and their dependents

Posted on: May 9, 2012

Maj. Gen. Fred Womack and his wife Teresa recently made a major gift to the college and have pledged to donate funds every year for five years to TWC students with military backgrounds.

Maj. Gen. Fred Womack and his wife Teresa value an education more than anything. While the two are passionate about flying planes, traveling and spending time with family, their principal passion is giving back.  For the next five years they are “returning the favor” for Tennessee Wesleyan College students who are veterans or spouses or dependents of veterans.

“Fred has always wanted to give back,” said Teresa. “That’s his big motto, giving back. I know he feels like he was mentored by some people in his career and so this scholarship is a good way to return that favor.”

The Womacks recently made a major gift to the college and have pledged to donate funds every year for five years to TWC students with military backgrounds.

“I’m a veteran,” said Fred, a former chair of TWC’s board of trustees and current member of the board of directors of the East Tennessee Foundation. “I feel like there are a lot of veteran’s out there that have served their country and this is just another pat on the back for them.”

Graduating from TWC in 1963 with a business degree, Fred completed his U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training in 1966 and continued on to graduate from the Air War College in 1984, later becoming the Commander of the Tennessee Air National Guard.

“My goal in life was to be an Air Force pilot,” said Fred, now a member of the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame. “The only way I could be an Air Force pilot was to get a college degree. I enrolled in Tennessee Wesleyan College with the desire in my mind to go to Air Force pilot training. After I got into college life, that priority was still there but it slipped a little bit because I realized I was really getting a good education. There’s definitely a difference between training and education. There’s a big difference.”

Valuing the personalized education a small liberal arts college can provide, Fred and Teresa hope that their scholarship donation will be one component in the college’s continuing growth.

“As long as we have the faculty and staff that we have, this college will continue to grow and prosper,” said Fred, who finished out his TWC board of trustees term by serving as acting president at the college in the spring of 2010. “This country needs small liberal arts colleges like Tennessee Wesleyan. Students need that type of environment to learn. I don’t think I could have succeeded at a bigger university. I needed the special help and attention that a small college offers.”