2003 Honorary Alumni
Betty DeVinney has long had a passion for education. Though most know her as a community liaison for Eastman Chemical Company, her first career was as an English teacher in school systems in Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia in the mid to late 1960s. Although she left teaching behind in 1970, the desire to further educational causes stayed with her.
For more than three decades, she has remained committed to education, and no one institution has benefited more from her dedication than East Tennessee State University. Currently she serves as a member of the ETSU Foundation and on the board of advisors for the ETSU College of Business. Last year DeVinney was inducted into the College of Business' Hall of Fame. She has also acted as a recruiter for the university, and has frequently shared her learning and experiences with students through numerous guest-speaking opportunities. Over the years, she has been instrumental in securing financial support for worthwhile endeavors at the university, such as the establishment of the Eastman Chemical Company Distinguished Chair of Business Leadership. This donation not only enhances ETSU's business curriculum, but it also allows students the opportunity to build their business and leadership skills by learning from nationally and internationally recognized business leaders.
A native of Hattiesburg, Miss., DeVinney received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1964. She completed the Executive Development Program at the University of Tennessee in 1993.
DeVinney began her career with Eastman in 1973 in the sales and treasurer's division. In 1983, she joined the human resources division where she worked in compensation and staffing. She went on to serve as employment manager from 1989 until 1995. She was appointed manager, corporate relations in 1995, and was named vice president, communications and public affairs in 1998. She assumed her current position of senior vice president for human resources and communications and public affairs on January 1, 2002.
In addition to her many responsibilities at Eastman and ETSU, DeVinney has also held numerous leadership positions in a wide range of civic and professional organizations across East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. She also serves on the board of advisors for the College of Business Administration at the University of Southern Mississippi.
On June 1, 2003, she plans to retire from her position at Eastman so that she can spend more time with her family, which includes her husband George, son Dennis, and granddaughter Sydney. Fortunately, she does not plan to retire, at least not completely, from community service, nor does she plan to abandon her commitment to education.