Trevecca Recognizes Steele and Cummings with Honorary Doctorates

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Katharine Steele and Helen Cummings were recognized with honorary doctorates from Trevecca Nazarene University as part of the University’s commencement activities on Saturday, May 4. The two women demonstrated outstanding service to the Trevecca community by establishing scholarships, along with their late husbands, that have helped hundreds of students attend college, graduate and pursue their careers and callings.

2023-BLOG-PHOTO-Honorary-Doctorates-WEB-v01Katharine Steele was born in North Carolina. After attending business school, she met and married her husband Richard, a Trevecca graduate. They eventually settled back in North Carolina. Where she became a passionate gardener, master horticulture judge, photographer, painter and writer. In 1999, the Steeles established the Richard Steele Scholarship to grow available scholarship funds for non-ministerial students preparing for professional careers. After his passing in 2004, she has continued to make annual gifts to this fund, which has become one of Trevecca’s largest scholarship endowments - valued at over $3 million. Well over 125 students have been recipients thus far. 

2023-BLOG-PHOTO-Honorary-Doctorates-WEB-v02Helen King Cummings was born in Monterey, Tenn. She graduated from the Tennessee Tech College of Business in 1960. Cummings began her career with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in 1968 and served in various positions until her retirement in 1995. In the mid-1980s, Steele and her late husband Harvey knew they wanted to help talented college students who had limited financial resources. This desire led them to Dr. Homer Adams, then president of Trevecca, and their relationship with the University began as they established the Agape Scholarship. In the decades since, their endowed scholarship fund has assisted in the educational experience of hundreds of Trevecca students and will continue to for decades to come.  

Steele was presented with her award in North Carolina by Dr. Boone and Cummings received hers on campus during Commencement. 

Social Media: Trevecca was thrilled to award honorary degrees to Helen King Cummings and Katharine Steele during Commencement this year. Both of these impactful women founded significant endowment scholarships along with their husbands. They’ve made it possible for hundreds of students to receive an education and follow their calling. Thank you for your generosity and dedication to the Trevecca community!