The Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking at The University of Tennessee at Martin was established in 1988 with a financial gift from the family of Mr. Horace Dunagan. The memorial contribution from his wife, Ms. Sara Dunagan and family after the death of Mr. Dunagan, served as the impetus to other organizations and the UT System to support and maintain the Chair of Excellence. Mr. Dunagan, who attended UT Junior College in Martin and graduated from UT Knoxville went on to have a successful banking career in Tennessee and Missouri that spanned almost 40 years.
Bankers in the West Tennessee region have been active supporters of UT Martin and with their support have helped to establish a $125,000 West Tennessee Banking Library Endowment. The Chair of Excellence in Banking provides a means for a systematic and effective interaction between the University and the banking community.
The Chair holder position, since its establishment, has been occupied by four individuals and most recently by Dr. Thomas H. Payne, who served in the position for 17 successful years.
The Chair holder holds both banking and academic credentials and serves as a facilitator to assist the banks in the region as they address industry-wide issues and opportunities. In addition to assisting the regional banks, the chair is involved in research primarily in the area of banking.
The UT Martin College of Business and Global Affairs serves as the center of operations and academic program for the Chair.
The Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking at UT Martin is currently the host for the Mid-South Agricultural Finance Conference, which is in its 14th year of existence. Additionally, the Gil Parker Chair of Excellence in Food and Fiber assists the Dunagan Chair of Excellence in co-sponsoring the Mid-South School of Advanced Agricultural Lending, which is in its 3rd year of existence.
The Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking position at UT Martin is currently vacant and is undergoing a national search in order to fill the position.
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