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Law school founder’s descendant to visit Cumberland on Friday

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM

A direct descendant of the founder of the Cumberland University Law School plans to visit Lebanon for the first time Friday. 

Julia Bradford, great-great-great granddaughter of Abram Caruthers, from New York City, will attend the public preview of the restoration of eight of the portraits hanging in Memorial Hall prior to Symphony on the Lawn.

The Cumberland Portrait Restoration Committee invites the community to preview the portraits of Cumberland’s early leaders on display in Baird Chapel and Memorial Hall on Friday from 5-7 p.m. prior to the Symphony on the Lawn performance.

Bradford is a friend of Lebanon resident Judy Sullivan, who is on the Cumberland University Portrait Restoration Committee and regent of the Margaret Gaston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Bradford and Sullivan met in Bahrain in 1980 when they attended the same American Women’s Auxiliary playgroup with their toddler sons. They reconnected on social media years later and met in New York about five years ago and discovered the “small world” connection to Lebanon’s history.

Cumberland University’s Law School held its first class in 1847 and was sold to Samford University in 1961. The first graduate, Payne Prim, became chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Along with Prim, the law school graduated governors, senators, state and U.S. Supreme Court justices Horace Lurton and Howell Jackson and Cordell Hull, secretary of state and Nobel Peace laureate.

The Cumberland restoration project has restored eight portraits to date, including the portraits of Thomas C. Anderson, Judge Abram Caruthers, Winstead Paine Bone, Bob Clement, John Royall Harris, Dr. Charlene McCoin Johnson Kozy, Dr. Claire Eugene Martin, and Dr. Ray Phillips. Future restoration portraits include Andrew Buchanan, Robert Caruthers, Nathan Green, Cordell Hull, Andrew Martin, Dr. Earnest L. Stockton and Imogene Ahles.

To be part of Cumberland’s history, patrons can adopt a portrait for restoration with a tax-deductible gift. For more information, call Rusty Richardson, vice president for advancement, at 615-257-4401 or rrichardson@cumberland.edu.

Cumberland University Fine Arts Council, the Nashville Symphony, Benefits Inc. and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are sponsors of Symphony on the Lawn.

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