LMU MOURNS FORMER FACULTY MEMBER HERMAN MATTHEWS
August 22, 2008 - Harrogate, Tennessee — Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is mourning the loss of dear friend, honored alumnus, retired faculty member and football ranking guru Herman Matthews, who passed away on August 22.
“Herman dedicated over 40 years of his life to Lincoln Memorial University and to teaching students math,” LMU President Nancy B. Moody said. “The dedication, hard work and love of others that Herman Matthews exhibited on a daily basis were blessings to this University and our community. He will be missed.”
Born on April 11, 1930, Matthews attended three different high schools be for attending LMU. A 1955 graduate of LMU, he devoted 44 years of service to the University as a professor of mathematics. He received a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 1959.
During his tenure at LMU, Matthews has impacted the lives of countless students and given tirelessly to the University, serving as both faculty member and administrator. He served as chair for various departments at LMU including the department of math and natural sciences from 1992 to 1998 and from 2002 to 2003, the department of mathematics and computer sciences from 1998 to 2001 and the department of mathematics from 2001 to 2002. He was the active mace barer at commencement until his retirement in May of 2007. He was honored at the May Commencement ceremony with a resolution from the board of trustees.
Matthews turned a passion for numbers and a love of football into a nationally recognized rating system which was used in the Bowl Championship Series (BSC) formula. He started his ranking system crunching numbers with a pencil and paper in 1945. He was a featured mathematician for the Scripps Howard News Service which had carried his football rating system for over 15 years. His ratings have also appeared in Football News, the Middlesboro Daily News, the Harlan Daily Enterprise and the Lexington Herald. Stories on his system have been featured in Sports Illustrated and USA Today.
Matthews was a member of the Mathematical Association of America and is a member of the LMU Educators’ Hall of Fame. He was a pianist at First Baptist Church in Middlesboro, Ky. He also served as Sunday school teacher, Training Union Director and a member of the Board of Deacons.
He is survived by his wife the former Janet M. Billingsley of Middlesboro, seven children and many grandchildren. Creech Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Visitation will be at the First Baptist Church in Middlesboro, KY from 2 – 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 24. His funeral is scheduled at 4 p.m. (First Baptist Church) and his burial will follow.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at email@example.com.
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