Huge Honor for Carlton Tarkington - Class of 1955  

Posted 3/28/12......It has been brought to my attention that Carlton Tarkington, Cohn class of '55, has received a very prestigious honor, and I want all of you to know about it. Carlton was named the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for the Vanderbilt School of Law. This is not bad for a guy that grew up on Kentucky Avenue and walked to school with many of you. Carlton was a senior at George Peabody College and was planning on becoming a teacher when an old family friend and mentor, Judge Benson Trimble, suggested that he apply to Vanderbilt law School and offered to be his “sponsor and guide” there. Carlton was not only admitted but was also awarded a scholarship. While a law student Carlton ran for a Metro Nashville council seat and won to become a charter member of the Metro council. Despite his duties as a councilman, Carlton opened up a law office in West Nashville after earning his law degree in 1963. A short time later Carlton was approached about selling law libraries with West Publishing. He saw another great opportunity and jumped on it. He knew he could make a lot of money and still be “forever associated with the practice of law.” Carlton was associated with West Publishing until they were sold in 1996. Despite the death of Carlton’s father at age seven, he managed, through a combination of savvy, pluck, luck, hard work and a number of mentors who stepped in to offer fatherly advice and assistance, to earn both his undergraduate and law degree from Vanderbilt, build an extremely successful sales career, and then found a boutique investment firm from which he has yet to retire. Carlton Tarkington’s successes are a direct result of two traits for which he is well known: a strong sense of personal integrity and an almost uncanny ability to recognize excellent opportunities and take full advantage of them. Carlton Tarkington was honored at the Founders Circle Dinner this past April 8th for his career accomplishments and his philanthropy, which includes his significant contribution to the law school’s building and the endowed Tarkington Chair of Teaching Excellence, a three year chair appointment that celebrates faculty who are renowned teachers. Carlton created the chair in memory of his law professors at Vanderbilt. Although Carlton Tarkington credits much of his success to “being in the right place at the right time,” he also credits his law degree at Vanderbilt with helping him to get to the right place. Carlton has never forgotten his roots and even now still insists that he was fortunate to have so many wonderful teachers while a student at Cohn High. CONGRATULATIONS to Carlton Tarkington on a fantastic honor and one that the Cohn High alumni association is very proud to announce. Carlton has also been a big supporter of the Cohn High Alumni Center, and we are so grateful for that as well. Farrell Owens ‘63 2011-12 Cohn High Alumni President