The Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking at The University of Tennessee at Martin was established in 1988 with a financial gift from the family of Mr. Horace Dunagan. Bankers in the West Tennessee region have been active supporters of UT Martin and with their support have helped to establish a $125,000 West Tennessee Banking Library Endowment.
John Clark, former president and CEO of First State Bank, is the interim director of the Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking at the University of Tennessee at Martin. In this capacity, Mr. Clark serves as a liaison between the university and the financial services industry with focus on community banking companies. His role includes serving as a mentor to students in banking-related courses
The chair holder serves as a facilitator to assist regional banks as they address industry-wide issues and frequently conducts research in the area of banking. The office also hosts the Mid-South Agricultural Finance Conference, which is in its 15th year of existence, and co-hosts the Mid-South School of Advanced Agricultural Lending, which is in its fifth year.