Weatherford Chair of Finance

The Weatherford Chair of Finance was established in 1986 to honor Jack O. Weatherford, one of Tennessee's most distinguished bankers of the postwar era. A decorated Navy veteran of World War II, Weatherford completed his education at MTSU and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, earning a B.S. degree in business administration in 1949.

He began his banking career at Murfreesboro Bank and Trust Company, where he rose through the ranks to chairman and CEO in 1970. During the 1970s and 1980s, he became widely recognized as one of Tennessee's and the nation's leading community bankers. He was elected president of the Tennessee Bankers Association and also held top positions in national banking organizations, serving as head of the Community Banking Division of the American Bankers Association in 1980 and as ABA's national vice chairman in 1982-83.

During the same period, he led his bank through a series of mergers involving acquisitions of smaller area banks from which it emerged as Mid-South Bank and Trust Co. in 1984. Mid-South was merged into the Third National Bank of Nashville in 1985, with Weatherford continuing as CEO. He became a vice chairman of Third National Bank in Nashville when it merged with SunTrust Banks of Atlanta, one of America's premier super-regional banks.

In 2003 he led a group of investors who founded the new MidSouth Bank, based in Murfreesboro, which merged with Franklin Synergy Bank in 2014, where he served as senior chairman until his retirement in 2009.