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Sewanee resident to head Friends of South Cumberland

Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Dr. Ned Murray, a resident of Sewanee, has been hired as executive director for Friends of South Cumberland State Parks, Inc.

Murray has a life-long passion for the outdoors and has successfully led nonprofit organizations through growth, maturity, and transformation. His experience includes strategic planning, fundraising, friend-raising, communications, marketing, partnership development, governance and organizational leadership.

“These are the skills necessary for Friends of South Cumberland State Parks to reach a new level of organizational maturity and resilience,” Murray explained. “My passion for this work is rooted in the beauty, wonder, and diversity of this amazing part of the world. The South Cumberland region remains such a wonderful area thanks to many folks who have worked and fought so hard to protect, preserve, and maintain the most unique areas of this wonderfully diverse landscape.”

Murray will work with FSC committee chairs and its Board of Directors to continue implementation of its current five-year strategic plan, and to guide the process for plan updates.

“FSC is now 30 years old. As one of Tennessee’s largest Friends groups, we are now supporting multiple Tennessee State Parks in the South Cumberland Region,” noted FSC President Tom Sanders. “The challenges our parks are facing are significant, as the parks become ever more popular with visitors. Our mission, to support our park managers and their priorities, while also helping to conserve, protect and maintain these unique and environmentally significant places, requires us to strengthen our organization and increase our capacity to support these parks. Bringing Ned on board is, for us, an outstanding step forward.”

Sanders added, “We are excited to have Ned’s expertise, coupled with his knowledge of our parks and their environmental significance. Ned will be instrumental in helping us build a stronger volunteer organization by engaging with the people and organizations who care about the parks and who want to help enhance FSC’s work with their time, talents and financial support.”

Murray recently retired from his position after 19 years as Head of School for the Episcopal Day School in Augusta, Ga. Prior to that he was Associate Headmaster at Baylor School in Chattanooga. In both communities he was also an active member or board member of several nonprofit organizations, including Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga, Augusta and Chattanooga Rotary, SAIS, and the Augusta Chapter of American Red Cross. He was a founding organizer of both the Elementary Schools Research Collaborative and The Youth Board Augusta.

Murray holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the Virginia Theological Seminary, a master’s degree from UT/Chattanooga, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of the South.

To learn more about Friends of South Cumberland State Parks or to become a member, visit