Conn Named to Inaugural Class of TICUA Hall of Fame

Cleveland, TN–Dr. Paul Conn, Lee University chancellor, was recently inducted into the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association’s (TICUA) Hall of Fame, which aims to honor distinguished alumni from TICUA institutions while highlighting their contributions to the state, nation, and world.

“The inaugural class of the TICUA Hall of Fame features a diverse and incredibly impressive group of citizens that our institutions have helped prepare,” said Dr. Claude Pressnell, TICUA president. “All of these alumni have made significant contributions worth learning about. We are proud to be able to give them just a small portion of the recognition they deserve.”

Conn was one of 25 honorees inducted into TICUA’s Hall of Fame. Others include the late civil rights leader John Lewis; Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham; Cordell Hull, who was Secretary of State during World War II; coach of the NBA Houston Rockets; and former president of the University of Georgia, Michael Adams.

Conn currently serves as the chancellor of Lee University after serving 34 years as the university’s president. He started teaching at Lee in 1971 as an instructor in psychology and served as chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences within the next 15 years. Conn was awarded the school’s top award for Excellence in Teaching in 1981 and has been a full professor of psychology since 1982.

Conn is currently the longest-serving member of the Lee faculty, with 49 years of continuous service. He has taught at least one psychology class each year during that period, including throughout his presidential tenure. He spent five years at Harvard University in postdoctoral study and research, working with such well-known figures as developmental psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg and Derek Bok, a Harvard president for 20 years.

Conn is also an author and co-author of more than 20 books about various public, business, and political leaders. Four of these books reached the Top Ten on the New York Times bestseller list and three were adapted for television. He won numerous awards during his faculty tenure and served on the governing boards of many national and regional higher education organizations, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council for Independent Colleges.

During his presidency, he oversaw Lee University’s explosive growth in size, quality, reputation, and reach with enrollment and physical campus size increasing fivefold, 30 building projects, a tenfold increase in operating budget, and status as one of Cleveland, Tennessee’s, largest employers.

Conn was also recently awarded the rank of Distinguished Professor of psychology by the Lee University Board of Directors.

TICUA engages Tennessee’s private, non-profit colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to better serve the State and its citizens. TICUA membership includes 35 member institutions comprised of four-year colleges and universities and professional colleges.

To learn more about TICUA, visit

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