Robert T. "Rab" & Nita Wilkes Summers - 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy

Rab & Nita Summers

Rab Summers is a native of East Tennessee and the third-generation owner of Summers-Taylor Inc., a leading highway construction firm in the region. Nita, a native of South Carolina, was educated in speech therapy. They have two children – Grant, who graduated from Duke University, and Lena, a graduate of ETSU who played soccer and ran track at the university.

Mr. and Mrs. Summers "provided ... leadership and support to develop what we believe is the finest intercollegiate soccer stadium in the Atlantic Sun Conference."

Summers-Taylor Stadium, named in their honor, provides game and practice facilities for the Buccaneer men's and women's soccer teams. The facility was built through the Reaching Higher campaign and fulfills a major component of the university's master plan.

Rab and Nita Summers' support of ETSU athletics also includes membership in the Buccaneer Athletics Scholarship Association and the Hoops Club, as well as giving to the men's and women's golf teams. Summers-Taylor was a key philanthropic partner in the development of the Warren-Greene Golf Center at ETSU.

In addition to their support of intercollegiate athletics, Mr. and Mrs. Summers have made significant gifts to the prestigious Roan Scholars Leadership Program at ETSU, including the funding of annual scholarships that provide full tuition, room and board, and books for worthy student leaders. They have also supported the Division of Theatre and Dance, the Rondal Cole Research Laboratory, the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, nursing scholarships, and more.

The university has recognized Rab and Nita Summers as President's Trust Gold Society members for their lifetime giving, and the ETSU Alumni Association also named them Honorary Alumni in 2006.