Don Sundquist has devoted much of his life to advancing the principles of liberty and freedom. As a supporter of The Fund for American Studies from its earliest years, Sundquist holds a deep appreciation for the free market mission which TFAS works to advance.
Sundquist’s involvement in politics began in the seventies serving as Chairman of the Young Republicans from 1971 through 1973. It was during this time that he met fellow activist David R. Jones, one of the founders of TFAS. Through Jones, Sundquist met other TFAS supporters like Randy Teague and Dr. Walter Judd, thus spurring his long-term involvement and support.Sundquist is a trustee emeritus of TFAS, after having served on its Board of Trustees for many years.
As someone who has been heavily involved in politics and government, Sundquist appreciates TFAS’ ability to gather the best and brightest and educate them about the principles of free markets and limited government. He also admires what he refers to as The TFAS “personal touch” with students and the way TFAS helps young leaders rise through the ranks of business, government and politics.
Sundquist has witnessed firsthand the “personal touch” through his son Deke, who completed the ICPES program in 1986. Sundquist believes that Deke’s TFAS experience had as much an impact on him, if not more, than earning his MBA. Deke’s TFAS experience and the friends he met through the Institute have had a lasting impact on his life, career path, and understanding of government.
As a result of the positive role he sees TFAS playing, Sundquist remains a dedicated supporter. He and his wife Martha established The Don and Martha Sundquist Scholarship Fund to support scholarships for students from their home state of Tennessee to attend a TFAS program.
Sundquist is a former Governor of Tennessee, having served two terms from 1995-2003. Prior to his election as governor, he served as a congressman for the seventh district of Tennessee from 1983 to 1995. He remains a partner in the lobbying firm he helped start, The Sundquist Group. In addition, he is a co-founder and board member of the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, and on the board of the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee. In addition he serves as a trustee for his alma mater, Augustana College in Illinois.
The Sundquists currently reside in the small mountain town of Townsend, TN. They have three children and two granddaughters. In their spare time, they enjoy playing golf and traveling.