News + Events

Adamsville Couple Gives Coral Collection to Freed-Hardeman University

Henderson, Tenn. - Aug 15, 2016

An Adamsville, Tennessee, couple has donated a large collection of coral to Freed-Hardeman University. The collection, given by Terry and Sherry Manuel, may be seen in the lobby of Anderson Science Center on the FHU campus.

The couple has collected coral and rocks since the early days of their marriage, almost 50 years ago. The most valuable piece in the collection is a naturally-occurring coral punch bowl with an 18 inch diameter.

Also on display in Anderson Science Center is a rock collection that includes a soccer ball-sized lava bomb from Mount St. Helens, gold from northern Georgia and a meteorite that landed in Chester County.

Coral organisms, called polyps, are primarily associated with the limestone communities, or reefs, they construct. The polyps are tiny, soft-bodied organisms related to sea anemones and jellyfish. At their base is a hard, protective limestone skeleton which forms the structure of coral reefs. Corals live in tropical waters throughout the world.

"We are fortunate to receive this beautiful coral collection from the Manuels," Dr. Brian Butterfield, FHU biology department chairman, said. "The students who have classes in Anderson Science Center will be able to view it as they pursue their studies."

Because coral is disappearing from the waters, many countries have made taking live coral illegal. Items in this collection were gathered prior to this regulation.