CU's unique history "Rises from the Ashes"



In doing so, the university will honor veterans of the divisions by giving them Master of Military Arts degrees. The title is well worth it; at least 250 soldiers died while training at Cumberland alone. The school believes the amount of hours, education and hard work these veterans went through earns them a degree in Military Arts.


Its no surprise that Cumberland would think of creating such an honor. Veterans are not new to the city of Lebanon. The impact Lebanon soldiers have had on Middle Tennessee dates back to the Civil War, and soldiers of the past have created what this city and school truly stand for.


Memorials at the university tell the story of fallen soldiers, heroes and famous alumni, but some believe the history of the school doesnt just lie in the memorabilia. In fact, some believe it walks down the halls, sits in the dorms, and roams on campus.


Yeah, at CU you come to realize youre not alone. The soldiers are still here reminding you of their achievements from days past. I usually hear em at night. It's like the campus is a battleground again! 24-year-old alumnus Carson Gulley explains casually as his friends nod in agreement.


Some say the shouts of Confederate and Union soldiers can be heard across the grounds at night, and, as Carson puts it, the campus never seems to sleep.


Whether there are ghosts or not, the universitys old buildings remain full of life with the history rooted within them.


One building thats experienced a lot is Memorial Hall. Its a brick structure that stands in the center of campus, tall and strong, showing visitors its persistence to remain steadfast through the years despite what its been through.


Since the establishment of the university in 1847, Memorial Hall has burned to the ground, served as military training headquarters, and become the inspiration for Cumberland Universitys mascot and motto.


Along with the rest of the campus, the hall was burned to mere ashes in 1862 by Confederatesleaving but two columns standing.


To the time of the Civil War, Cumberland enjoyed years of success as one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. By 1859, it became one of the largest law schools in the nation, adopting a trial advocacy program (which allows students to participate in mock court trials) that, according to U.S. News & World Report, ranked fifth in the nation that year.


When the war came, however, the campus quickly split into sides for the North and the South. The university transformed into a battleground and a destroyed campus. Tents and men covered the grounds as the battle carried on. Much of Lebanon was demolished as well.


It took 15 years after the schools destruction to restore it and even then bringing in students proved to be difficult.


However, the university eventually rose out of this depression, becoming just as prestigious as before and educating an extensive list of impressive alumni including U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, 80 congressmen, and three ambassadors.


In the 1940s, World War II took over the grounds once again and the newly constructed Memorial Hall became the location for the 2nd Army Maneuvers Headquarters, training veterans whom the university will honor this May.


Today, the maroon and white CU logo with a phoenix mascot covers campus doors, T-shirts and places like the small football stadium.


Were proud to be phoenixes. Our mascot stands for our history and what we here at Cumberland are all about, alumnus Jim Sawyer, 25, exclaims with enthusiasm, ending with E Cineribus Resurgam.


E Cineribus Resurgam, meaning From Ashes I Shall Arise, is the motto for the university. When the school stood as only two columns, a student engraved in one of them this phrase, and since then the words have been used to represent Cumberland University and its history of picking up the pieces and surviving after such destruction.


The mythical phoenix is born from its own ashes, just as Cumberland was reconstructed from where its ashes once laid in the late 1800s. Cumberlands emblem and motto collectively represent the universitys long life through the hard times and the good times.


This May, veterans of the 2nd Maneuvers will be added to the list of notable soldiers who have served and trained on Cumberland grounds throughout history. As long as Cumberland continues to make history through its academics, service to the nation and historic campus, the stories of past times will rise from their ashes and live on in Lebanon forever.


Editors Note: Hannah Forbes will be a junior this fall at Middle Tennessee State University where she is majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. She is from Fairview.