Pillars of Support

The Pillars of Support Program and Exhibit recognizes and preserves the history of East Tennessee community leaders, businesses, and institutions that have, over time, contributed significantly to the growth and betterment of the region. 

Pillars of Support contributions are permanent gifts that will build our Endowment Fund and/or Capital Fund in support of our educational mission and public programming. Permanent naming opportunities may be available for specifically designated contributions. From time to time, the ETHS Board may designate an honorary Pillar for his or her contributions to the region or to ETHS.

The ETHS Board of Directors continues to add new Pillars so that we may preserve the many unique stories of businesses, individuals, and institutions and their contributions. 

Because each Pillar is a history-maker in his or her own right, video biographies for each Pillar are produced with the help of family and sponsors. These videos are shared with the public on a permanent kiosk exhibit wall at the entrance to the Museum of East Tennessee History and on the ETHS website. A list and links are provided below.

History of the Pillars of Support

Pillars of Support was established in 1992 under the Bringing the Past to Life Capital Campaign to establish the new Museum of East Tennessee History. It was established on the recommendation of Bob Webb, ETHS board member and campaign chair.

In 2006, eleven individual Pillars and one corporate/institutional member were inducted into Pillars of Support, with their financial contributions going to support the Museum Capital Campaign or ETHS Endowment Fund. The second induction, held in 2011, honored five new Pillars for their significant contributions to the region and to ETHS.

Pillars of Support

Entrepreneur / Albers Drug Company
Senator, White House Chief of Staff, Ambassador to Japan
W.W. Woodruff's Hardware Company, Civic Leader and Benefactor, Theater Authority
Clayton Bank and Trust, Clayton Foundation, Founder of Clayton Homes, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Attorney at Law
Founder, Pilot Corporation
Knoxville's Hometown Bank
Founder, SCC, Service Solutions
Volunteer and Benefactor for Educational and Medical Causes
Legendary Football Coach
Newspaper Editor and Publisher
Coca-Cola Bottling Pioneer
Knox County Library Pioneer
Publisher, Landmark Communications
Founder, Webb School of Knoxville
Community Leader and established Friendship House at Helen Ross McNabb Center