TASFAA – Looking Back to the Beginning…
With TASFAA’s 50th Anniversary fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to look back at TASFAA’s beginning. For those of you that have been a TASFAA member for a long time, you probably know about its history. For those of you that are new to the Association, I thought you might enjoy learning how TASFAA began. As I was looking through some of our historical documents, I came across a piece written by Everett Holmes for TASFAA’s 25th Anniversary about the Association’s early years. Everett was TASFAA’s President for 1984-85 and was also its Poet Laureate. The following was taken from Everett’s writing.
“The Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which came to be lovingly known as TASFAA, came into being in April of 1967. Founded by a few, with a vision that was to lead to greatness, TASFAA came on the scene at a time of very small, initial beginnings. Marc Maurer, in an annual presidential address delivered to the National Federation of the Blind, stated, ‘Once in a great while there comes a dramatic change—an event so striking in its effect that forever after a new direction is inevitable. But more often, change does not have the appearance of drama. Instead, there is a slight shift in emphasis—an alteration of mood. Often the change that tips the scale is so slight that (at the time it occurs) it is completely unrecognized. Only later, with the long view of history, can it be seen that this was a particular moment, the watershed, the critical juncture.’ Financial aid is like that. Saturated with change. Watersheds and benchmarks abound yearly. Our early TASFAA leaders could not have known how their efforts of organization would impact those who would follow. Their desire to equip themselves for service ultimately led to providing training and assistance not only for TASFAA members, but also to others from many states.”
In a meeting that took place at the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 21, 1967, the group chose as its name, The Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The 1967-68 officers the Association chose are as follows:
Belt Keathley, President
Middle Tennessee State University
James A. Scholes, Vice President
Sylvia Holloway, Secretary
Tennessee Educational Loan Corporation
Eunice Edwards, Treasurer
TASFAA offered membership to all persons in Tennessee who were primarily concerned with the administration of Student Financial Aid in institutions of higher education. Fifty-two delegates from 42 state and private colleges and universities throughout Tennessee attended the organizational meeting hosted by Mr. George M. Talley (Executive Director) and Ms. Sylvia Holloway (Secretary) of the Tennessee Educational Loan Corporation. Present at this organizational meeting were John G. Bannister, State Membership Chairman of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, who called and chaired this organizational meeting; Tennessee Commissioner of Education, J. H. Warf; and Mrs. Marlan Watkins, U. S. Office of Education, who discussed with the group “Proposed Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.”
The second meeting was held October 30, 1967 once again in the Cordell Hull Building. Annual dues were $2.00 per member, active or associate. The minutes of the meeting stated that a copy of the Constitution prepared by the Executive Committee was presented to each member. The Constitution was adopted.
From the beginning, TASFAA held two major meetings each year. A workshop, normally held in October, was built around the application for Federal funds. An annual meeting conducted in April provided experiences for the professional development of the membership. Special emphasis was given to programs for the training and equipping of the new financial aid administrators.
During the state meeting at the February 1970 SASFAA Conference, a suggested change in the TASFAA Constitution and By-laws was submitted. This change was a recommendation that an Annual Award be given each year at the spring meeting “to a member in good standing who has made a significant contribution in the field of Student Financial Aid Administration.” This Award was titled “Outstanding Financial Aid Administrator of the Year.”
The Spring 1970 conference was held in Nashville at the Ramada Inn. Room rates were $11.50 for a single and $14.50 for a double! As the 1969-70 year came to a close, John Bannister, Treasurer, reported a bank balance of $263.29.
In 1971-72, Eunice Edwards from Fisk University became the first female, as well as the first member of TASFAA, to serve as SASFAA President.
Everett Holmes symbolized the care, pride, and dedication that have made our organization the success it is. Everett passed away in December 2008, and is still missed by those of us that knew him.