Susan Basham appointed Commissioner of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
Governor Bredesen recently appointed Susan A Basham as a Commissioner of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Ms. Basham joins Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. and Walter Knestrick as one of the College’s three commissioners. Her appointment as Commissioner follows 11 years of service on the College’s Board of Trust.
Ms. Basham is the 35th commissioner appointed during Watkins’ 123-year history. While Watkins operates as an independent college, it is held in trust by the State of Tennessee in keeping with the will of its founder Samuel Watkins. In his will, Mr. Watkins required that the Governor appoint three commissioners to oversee the administration of Watkins. Ms. Basham follows Cecy Reed (Mrs. Jim Reed III) who served as Commissioner from 1996 until her death last January. Ms. Basham was a student of Mrs. Reed who taught for nineteen years in the school’s interior design program. She is the first alumnus to hold the Commissioner position.
Ms. Basham graduated from Watkins with her Associates of Fine Arts in Interior Design in 1985. She is the first Watkins graduate to become licensed by the Board of Architects and Engineers for the State of Tennessee. She is also the first graduate to pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam and is the first to become a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. In addition to her degree coursework, Ms. Basham has taken various Community Education classes at Watkins since 1972.
Ms. Basham received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. She was a senior buyer for Castner Knott for ten years, a manufacturer’s representative for a decorative accessories sales business, Wayne Bonner and Associates, for five years and a partner in Bonner-Avant Interiors for ten years. She currently is a partner in Belle Meade Shoppes, an antique and interiors market. She is married to Ray Basham, retired Metro District Fire Chief.
According to Samuel Stumpf, Board Chair, “With the many roles Susan has played at Watkins—gifted student, loyal alumna, and extremely active, hands on trustee, she is the ideal person to become our newest commissioner. We are delighted and very fortunate that she has been appointed to this position which is so important to the future of the College.”