The William W. Fincher, Jr. Chair of the Visual Arts -- Reinhardt's first Endowed Chair -- has been awarded to Mr. T. Brett Mullinix. "I am extremely honored to be awarded the position of Endowed Chair," said Mullinix. "On a personal level, it is very rewarding to have this bestowed upon me, and it is definitely a peak accomplishment. I have been teaching for over 15 years, and I see the selection as a great endorsement of the work that is being done here and a positive indicator that even better work is to come in the future."
"The William W. Fincher, Jr. Chair of the Visual Arts is the first endowed faculty chair at Reinhardt College," explained Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood. "The creation of this prestigious honor is a testament to the quality of Reinhardt College and the generosity of the Fincher family."
In 1997, the late Senator William W. Fincher, Jr. -- a Cherokee County native -- and his wife, Eunice, set up a Charitable Remainder Unitrust, payable to Reinhardt following their deaths. The Finchers' daughters -- Mary Jane Peterson, Phyllis Parsons and Frances Hansford -- decided to use the trust's earnings to establish the Fincher Chair. In addition, the trust provides maintenance funds for the Fincher Visual Arts Center, for which Mr. Fincher and his wife gave the naming gift in 1997.
"Reinhardt was always a very important school for my father," said Peterson, the Finchers' oldest of three daughters. "He admired its goals as a Christian-based institution, and because it's a Methodist school -- that was a very important part of his love for Reinhardt. Father's love of Reinhardt grew out of his family's involvement with the school over several generations."
The ties between the Fincher family and the College are long and strong. Mr. Fincher's parents both attended Reinhardt. In the late 1800s, Mr. Fincher's paternal grandparents lived in the area and all nine of their children received their education at Reinhardt. During that time, Mr. Fincher's maternal grandparents, the Chambers, moved to Waleska so their 10 children could attend Reinhardt. In those days, Reinhardt taught students from first grade through two years of college. Over the years, many Fincher and Chambers descendants have attended Reinhardt.
In the early 1970s, Mr. and Mrs. Fincher initiated another milestone for Reinhardt -- its first off-campus center. They asked that classes be offered in Chatsworth, Ga., because they felt their community would benefit from students earning their degrees close to home. The College's Chatsworth Center operated from 1975 though 1996 with many of its alumni becoming business, civic and educational leaders.
"This College has a wonderful history of families who have come forward with support -- the Finchers are such a family," Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood said. "They have brought a legacy of service and generosity to this College, and we are most grateful. They understood what the Reinhardt experience meant to our young people, and they chose to further it by supporting the arts."
Mullinix has been an art professor at the College for more than nine years. He previously taught at High Point University, Guilford College, Rowan Cabarrus Community College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Mullinix received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and his Master of Fine Arts from UNC- Greensboro. He resides in Canton, Ga., with his wife, Brenda.
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