Tusculum Students, Alumnus Share Experiences During ‘The College Tour’ Episode Filmed On Campus
By The Greenvile Sun I October16, 2023
Cameras rolled as nine Tusculum University students and an alumnus shared the strengths of the higher education institution and how it has equipped them to be career-ready professionals.
A four-person crew from “The College Tour” came to campus Monday, Oct. 9-Friday, Oct. 13, to capture the Tusculum story and the campus’ beauty. The crew heard passionate accounts about the university’s impact on these Pioneers’ lives and reasons prospective students should choose Tusculum. The crew will now work with representatives from the university on the post-production process that will lead to an episode of “The College Tour” featuring Tusculum airing in 2024.
“The enthusiasm from our Pioneers and the crew’s great work enhanced the quality of the filming and will result in an excellent program,” said Dr. Jacob Fait, Tusculum’s vice president of enrollment management and financial aid. “Participating in this show will take our student recruitment initiatives to the next level and enable us to share the value of a Tusculum education even more effectively. Prospective students will learn through ‘The College Tour’ that Tusculum’s active and experiential learning, civic engagement opportunities and one-on-one connections in a caring Christian environment will position them for success in their chosen fields.”
Students David Bowlin, Stephen Brewer, Isabelle Delbridge, Kobe Funderburk, Josie Norton, Grayson Patterson, Xavier Velazquez, Maggie Vickers and Todd Wallin as well as 2012 graduate Dionté Grey participated in short segments. They highlighted their backgrounds, their Tusculum experience and the multiple programs at Tusculum that transform students’ lives.
“I wanted to share my story and let people know what you can do at Tusculum and how campus life operates,” said Brewer, a junior studying sport science pre-physical therapy. “There are a lot of different programs at Tusculum to help you succeed. I want everybody to know you will have people around you to help you succeed. The faculty and staff have programs to back you up. Even though you are away from home, you will always have another support system here.”
Norton, a junior majoring in communication, with a concentration in theater, had similar thoughts.
“When they picked me, I realized they were wanting to hear the real story and how people really feel,” she said. “I’m proud to be able to show off all that Tusculum has been able to do for me and I’ve been able to do through Tusculum. I liked getting to know the crew for even just the little time we spent together. They were very supportive.”
Grey decided to participate because the show is an excellent opportunity for Tusculum to receive much-deserved exposure. It also allowed him to give voice to the alumni experience.
“It is important for alumni to continue to engage, so if I get that opportunity, I want to step into it,” said Grey, who serves as founder and executive director of UrbanPromise Los Angeles. “Giving back is something all of us should do, and that’s what my life is built on. Tusculum played such a huge role in shaping who I am as a man and as a person and has influenced so much of what I do with my life.”
The Tusculum episode will drop on Amazon Prime May 28, 2024, but the university will have access to the master episode and the segments within it in February to use on social media, the university’s website and other venues.
The show is hosted by Alex Boylan, who won CBS’ “Amazing Race” show at 23 and has enjoyed a diverse career that also includes hosting “At the Chef’s Table,” the No. 1 food series on PBS, and “Animal Attractions,” the No. 1 animal series on that network. He also received an Emmy nomination for his production work on “The Steve Harvey Show.”
“The College Tour” was born out of a personal experience for Boylan. His niece visited him in Los Angeles to look at potential colleges to attend, but she also wanted to see some in the Boston area, where he and her mother were raised, as well as in Tennessee. His sister told his niece that the money was not available to conduct that type of search. That stuck with Boylan, who wondered why there was not a television show about college campuses that one could watch from home.
Boylan joined the crew at Tusculum to film his segments of the show.
“Tusculum University has a beautiful campus in a really cool area of the country,” Boylan said. “The experiential learning stands out. You’re hearing from real students telling these stories. The story of Dionté, who went to LA and created this amazing organization to help others is a testament of the culture here.”