Vaughan Retires from THC

Brenda Vaughan

In January, Grants Administrator Brenda Vaughan retired from the State of Tennessee after a distinguished 40-year career, the last six years of her tenure being with the Tennessee Historical Commission. Mrs. Vaughan joined the THC staff in April 2016. In her role she skillfully oversaw the administration and management of the THC grant programs, ensuring adherence to state and federal regulations in all aspects of the grant process and grant allocations. Mrs. Vaughan was also responsible for all purchasing and procurement for the Commission.

For Vaughan, her tenure at the THC “completed a circle” as she stated that began as a child. She recalled that “growing up, my family were friends with the longtime director of THC, the late Mr. Herbert Harper. My parents- along with Mr. Harper and fellow historians- met monthly in their homes to share their passion of history. I went with my parents to some of these meetings, as well as to historic sites that would provide the backdrop for annual picnics that took place at Historic Sam Davis and Traveler’s Rest, to name a few places. These were historic sites that I would later learn more about through my role as the grants administrator. I came to appreciate the dedication of so many to the preservation of these sites, many of them led by volunteers. As an employee and proud Tennessean, I also came to appreciate the commitment of our State Historic Preservation Office and the mission of THC, we are all stewards for a brief time.”

Executive Director Patrick McIntyre reflected that Vaughan “brought an amazing enthusiasm for her work. Her interest and knowledge of history led to strong working relationships with staff at our state historic sites, in our office, and with other grantees. She is also a gifted photographer. She has an artist’s eye and would bring wonderful floral arrangements that she had created from local plants and trees to brighten up our workplace.”

As Vaughan moves into retirement, she looks forward to more opportunities to pursue her many interests, while appreciating concluding her long tenure with the State at the Commission. “The first time I entered the grounds of Clover Bottom Mansion, I stopped to take in the beauty of the historic mansion and grounds, a jewel that had remained as the city built up around it. The friendships I made will be what I cherish and miss the most. I’m thankful for my time here.”