Charlene Mullins Putnam County Farm Bureau Scholarship
Putnam County Farm Bureau established the Charlene Mullins Putnam County Farm Bureau Scholarship in 2016 to honor Mrs. Charlene Mullins, who performed with uncommon devotion and enthusiasm throughout her career. Mrs. Mullins served with distinction for more than fifty years as an employee with the University. Mrs. Mullins retired in 2007.
One of the longest-serving TTU faculty members, Mrs. Mullins received her bachelor's degree in Home Economics in 1950 at TTU and went on to complete a master's degree in home economics in 1953 at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A Pickett County native, Mrs. Charlene Groce Mullins was valedictorian of the county's high school in 1943. She was born to Herbert Turney Groce and Nina Belle Rich Groce on January 17, 1926. When Mrs. Mullins retired in 2007, TTU President Robert Bell presented her a certificate of appreciation for her 54 years of service. She had served with five TTU presidents. Mrs. Mullins passed away at her home at the age of 89 on November 19, 2015.
In 1953, she joined the TTU faculty in the Department of Home Economics to expand offerings in human development and relationships. Her life's work focused on early childhood development. She established the Tech Nursery School, now the Child Development Lab. Mrs. Mullins instructed nursing, education, and home economics majors on how to conduct preschool in an orderly fashion at a time when there were no state standards for daycares or preschools in Tennessee. To create those standards, she chaired the governor's Committee on Day Care Standards and served on the task force to organize Head Start centers throughout the Upper Cumberland. She also spearheaded the movement to establish kindergartens in Tennessee. In the early 1960s, TTU President Everett Derryberry tapped Mrs. Mullins to chair a curricula sub-committe on educational programs. It was TTU's first self-study in preparation for accreditation.
She was one of the first to recognize the need for a crisis pregnancy center in the Upper Cumberland. She worked diligently to establish the Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic, where nearly 22,000 women have received counseling since the mid-1980s. Since the early 1960s, Mrs. Mullins' research and instruction has advocated the importance of good prenatal care, citing the dangers of drug use, prolonged emotional stress, poor maternal diet and diseases such as diabetes and influenza as having detrimental effects on infant development.
TTU School of Human Ecology named her Outstanding Alumna in 2008. Mrs. Mullins was recognized nationally for her agricultural heritage work. Her genealogical research of Upper Cumberland pioneers is in the national archives of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C. The Putnam County Farm Bureau named the Mullins family a Farm Family of the Year in 1986 and again in 2007, and she served on its board of directors for more than a decade.
Throughout the history of the Putnam County Farm Bureau the Mullins family has been very involved and since its founding in 1953, a member of the Mullins family has served on the Board of Directors. Prior to her passing, Mrs. Mullins served for many years as a board member and officer of the Putnam County Farm Bureau. In addition to her dedicated service to the University, she was also a strong advocate for the agricultural industry and displayed a great understanding and appreciation for the value of agriculture in daily life.
Scholarships associated with Charlene Mullins Putnam County Farm Bureau Scholarship