Nashville School of Law

NSL Recognition Dinner Honors Thomas F. Cone, Sr. ‘64

NSL Recognition Dinner Honors Thomas F. Cone, Sr. ‘64

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On Friday, June 9, 2023, Nashville School of Law honored board member and alumnus Thomas F. Cone, Sr. ’64 at its annual Recognition Dinner.

More than 500 guests gathered at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel to celebrate the business leader and philanthropist, including his wife Charlotte, their daughter Susan Cone Ligon, NSL alumni, board members, faculty, staff and several family members and close friends.

Cone was recognized for his long-standing support of our School which dates back to the early 1990’s when he worked with Nashville attorney Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr., on an NSL fundraising campaign.

“This law school would not exist but for Tom Cone.  We went through an incredibly difficult financial period years ago and I was asked to chair a capital campaign, I said I would do it if I could find an NSL graduate to co-chair.  Tom agreed to co-chair,” said  Harwell, who is chairman of the NSL Board of Trust.

“We needed 600-thousand dollars to avoid going broke. Tom led that campaign, we raised more than that and ultimately Tom saved this law school. People don’t know that story, but it’s a great story of a man dedicated to the mission of NSL.”

Cone joined the NSL board of trust as chairman in 1993 and served in that position until 2015. He remains on the board of trust today.

Cone has made generous contributions to NSL over the years. He and his wife, Charlotte, started holiday open houses which turned into the annual NSL Recognition Dinner.  The couple also funded a scholarship that is awarded to NSL students each year.

“Tom Cone’s remarkable dedication has placed NSL on firm footing and has prepared our School to meet the future with success. His vision, leadership, and support over the decades have enabled our students to study law with intensity and purpose,” said NSL Dean William C. Koch, Jr.

During the dinner, Harwell introduced a special tribute video highlighting the important work and support of Tom Cone.  It shared thoughtful words of congratulations from family and friends.

One close friend who was featured in the film, Walter Hunt, former Metro Councilmember, District 3, met Cone through a political campaign for another NSL alumnus.  Hunt said it has always been easy to like and admire Cone.

“He (Tom) has always kept Nashville School of Law in mind simply because he was a part of it. And I think Tom is the kind of person who once he becomes a part of something good, he will maintain it and keep it going and continue to support it,” said Hunt.

After the tribute video, Cone received a standing ovation for his dedication to the School.

A heartfelt, poignant acceptance speech, on behalf of Cone, was presented by his daughter, Susan Cone Ligon.

The NSL Recognition Dinner came to an end with parting words from Dean Koch and plenty of handshakes and photographs with our honoree, Tom Cone.

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