Jean C. Nelson, co-founder and CEO of The Land Trust for Tennessee and past chair of the SELC Board of Trustees, was awarded an honorary doctor of civil law degree this month at the University of the South (Sewanee) Founders’ Day Convocation. In addition to other projects on the Cumberland Plateau and across Tennessee, Nelson worked with The Land Trust and Sewanee to complete the purchase and permanent protection of 3,000 acres containing portions of Lost Cove, a “forested gem” now managed by the university.
A longtime SELC board member, Nelson served as chair from 2004 to 2011. She is the former General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and served as Chief Deputy Attorney General for Tennessee. She also was a partner in the law firm of Gullett, Sanford, Robinson & Martin in Nashville.
“The networks of formal and informal alliances that have come into being under Jeanie’s leadership have transformed the way in which Tennesseans in non-profit, private, and governmental positions work toward common goals,” said Sewanee Dean Terry Papillon. “Wherever innovative, effective, and long-lasting conservation action is happening in our state, Jeanie and The Land Trust for Tennessee are present, catalyzing and energizing.”