Tull fueled by love of ETSU, community


Editor’s Note: On October 14, we will hold a reception to celebrate our 30th class of 40 Under Forty honorees. Each week in 2022, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will highlight one of our 2021 40 Under Forty honorees leading up to the announcement of our milestone class.

When you love what you do for a living, you won’t work a day in your life.

That’s certainly the way Caleb Tull feels in his role as Assistant Director of Alumni Outreach & Membership at ETSU. Tull is a proud graduate of the university and has spent over a decade reaching out to his fellow alums.

“So many people in this region are alums, so going to work each day is like going to hang out with some friends,” Tull said.

Those who work with Tull keep going back to the same word when they describe him – ambassador. His ability to connect with both alums and non-alums and represent ETSU in a positive light make him a shining endorsement for the university he graduated from.

Tull credits several mentors for helping him along his path to career success. First off, Tull said Dr. Bob Plummer’s love for ETSU and penchant for persistence have helped guide him in his role.

“He sleeps and breathes ETSU,” Tull said. “The advice that he would give me is just keep going. Keep your nose down, keep grinding and eventually you’ll look up and realize you’ve created something.”

Tull’s enthusiasm and work ethic were important traits when ETSU President Brian Noland called upon him in 2015 to help out with the reinstated football program. His efforts helped ensure the relaunch was successful, and he then moved into his current role with the university once the inaugural season was complete.

Along with Plummer, Tull counts Noland and ETSU’s Director of Alumni Programs Lee Ann Davis as his greatest professional mentors. They have built upon the foundation laid by Tull’s first and greatest mentor – his father.

“His advice is the same as Dr. Plummer’s,” Tull said. “Work hard and be kind to everyone.”

Tull’s kindness has helped him cultivate many friendships in the region. With his wife and kids by his side, Tull has every intention of continuing to cultivate a strong sense of community that resonates across our region.

“It’s nice to be around family and friends and community that kind of embraces you,” he said. “My goal for the next five and 10 years will be to just continue the work that makes me feel fulfilled and happy.”

Next week we will profile Alana Wilson of Friendship Enterprises

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