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University of Tennessee

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University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee
Motto Veritatem cognoscetis et veritas te liberabit (Latin)
Motto in English You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Established September 10, 1794  (1794-09-10)
Type Flagship public university
Endowment US$826.7 million (2012)[1]
Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek
Provost Susan Martin
Academic staff 1,400[2]
Admin. staff 8,000+[2]
Students 27,171 (Fall 2013)[2]
Undergraduates 21,033 (Fall 2013)[2]
Postgraduates 6,138 (Fall 2013)[2]
Location Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Campus 560 acres (230 ha)[2]
Total: 2,128 acres (861 ha)[3][4][5]
Colors      UT Orange[6]
Athletics NCAA Division I FBSSEC
Sports 21 varsity teams, 25 sport clubs
Nickname Volunteers / Lady Volunteers
Mascot Smokey X
Affiliations University of Tennessee system
Data obtained through UTK Fast Facts

The University of Tennessee (also referred to as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UT Knoxville, UTK, or UT) is a public sun-grant and land-grant university headquartered at Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee entered the Union as the 16th state, it is the flagship institution of the statewide University of Tennessee system with nine undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges and hosts almost 28,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. In its 2014 ranking of universities, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT 106th among all national universities and 46th among public institutions of higher learning. Seven alumni have been selected as Rhodes Scholars; James M. Buchanan, M.S. '41, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics. UT's ties to nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, established under UT President Andrew Holt and continued under the UT-Battelle partnership, allow for considerable research opportunities for faculty and students.

Also affiliated with the university are the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum, which occupies 250 acres (100 ha) of nearby Oak Ridge and features hundreds of species of plants indigenous to the region. The University is a direct partner of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is one of two Level I trauma centers in East Tennessee. As a teaching hospital, it has aggressive medical research programs.

The University of Tennessee is the only university in the nation to have three presidential papers editing projects and holds collections of the papers of all three U.S. presidents from Tennessee—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson. UT is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the oldest secular institution west of the Eastern Continental Divide.


  • History 1
    • Founding and early days 1.1
    • Civil War and reconstruction 1.2
    • World War II 1.3
    • Civil rights era 1.4
    • Statewide reorganization 1.5
  • Organization 2
    • Administration 2.1
    • Budget 2.2
    • University Medical Center 2.3
  • Students and faculty 3
    • Profile 3.1
    • Rankings 3.2
    • Research 3.3
      • Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3.3.1
      • Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy 3.3.2
      • SECU: the SEC Academic Initiative 3.3.3
  • Campus layout and organization 4
    • Main campus 4.1
    • Agricultural Campus 4.2
    • Cherokee Research Campus 4.3
    • Campus master plan 4.4
  • Student life 5
    • Activities 5.1
    • Organizations 5.2
    • Greek institutions 5.3
    • Housing 5.4
    • Army and Air Force ROTC 5.5
  • Athletics 6
    • Club sports 6.1
  • Traditions 7
    • Colors 7.1
    • Pride of the Southland Band 7.2
    • Fight song 7.3
    • Mascot 7.4
    • Nickname 7.5
    • The Rock 7.6
  • Notable people 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


The Hill. The University of Tennessee was established in 1794, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the U.S.

Founding and early days

On September 10, 1794, two years before Tennessee became a state and at a meeting of the legislature of the Southwest Territory at Knoxville, the University of Tennessee was chartered as Blount College. The new, all-male, non-sectarian institution struggled for 13 years with a small student body and faculty, and in 1807, the school was rechartered as East Tennessee College as a condition of receiving the proceeds from the settlement devised in the Compact of 1806. When Samuel Carrick, its first president and only faculty member, died in 1809, the school was temporarily closed until 1820. When it reopened, it began experiencing growing pains. Thomas Jefferson had previously recommended that the college leave its confining single building in the city and relocate to a place it could spread out. Ironically, in the Summer of 1826 (the year that Thomas Jefferson died), the trustees explored "Barbara Hill" (today known simply as The Hill) as a potential site and relocated there by 1828.[7] In 1840, the college was elevated to East Tennessee University (ETU). The school's status as a religiously non-affiliated institution of higher learning was unusual for the period of time in which it was chartered, and the school is generally recognized as the oldest such establishment of its kind west of the Appalachian Divide.[8]

Civil War and reconstruction

East Tennessee was considered to be a bastion of Union sympathies throughout the American Civil War, although the University and the city of Knoxville were fairly divided for the duration of the conflict. As the threat of armed conflict between Union and Confederate forces loomed over the city of Knoxville, UT was forced to close its doors to students at the onset of the Siege of Knoxville and the campus's main buildings were requisitioned as hospitals and barracks. The school and its grounds suffered severe damage not only from the Battle of Fort Sanders, but also from its unfortunate position between Union artillery based at Fort Sanders, situated immediately to the north of the 40-acre (16 ha) campus, and Fort Dickerson to the south, overlooking the school from a bluff rising above the southern bank of the Tennessee River.

Tennessee was a member of the Confederacy in 1862 when the Morrill Act was passed, providing for endowment funds from the sale of federal land to state agricultural colleges. On February 28, 1867, Congress passed a special Act making the State of Tennessee eligible to participate in the Morrill Act of 1862 program. In January 1869, ETU was designated as Tennessee's recipient of the Land-Grant designation and funds. In accepting the funds, the University would focus upon instructing students in military, agricultural, and mechanical subjects. ETU eventually received $396,000 as its endowment under the program. Trustees soon approved the establishment of a medical program under the auspices of the Nashville School of Medicine and added advanced degree programs. East Tennessee University was renamed the University of Tennessee in 1879 by the state legislature.[9]

World War II

During World War II, UT was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[10]

Civil rights era

The first African Americans were admitted to the graduate and law schools following a suit filed in federal district court in 1952. The first master's degree was awarded to a black student in 1954, the first Law degree (LlB) in 1956, and the first doctoral degree (Ed.D.) in 1959. Black undergraduates were admitted in 1961; the first black faculty member was appointed in 1964. Integration went fairly smoothly; Black students had more difficulty gaining entry to eating establishments and places of entertainment off campus than they did attending class on campus. Overall, Knoxville and UT had fewer racial troubles in the 1950s and 1960s than did other southern universities.

Despite this climate, African-American attorney Rita Sanders Geier filed suit against the state of Tennessee in 1968 alleging that its higher education system remained segregated despite a federal mandate ordering desegregation. She claimed that the opening of a University of Tennessee campus at Nashville, Tennessee would lead to the creation of another predominantly white institution that would strip resources from Tennessee State University, the only state-funded Historically black university. The suit was not settled until 2001, when the Geier Consent Decree resulted in the appropriation of $77 million in state funding to increase diversity among student and faculty populations among all Tennessee institutions of higher learning.[11]

Statewide reorganization

In 1968, the university underwent an administrative reorganization which left the Knoxville campus as the flagship and headquarters of its new "university system," comprising the UT Health Science Center at Memphis, a four-year college at Martin, the formerly private University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (added a year later), the UT Space Institute at Tullahoma, and the Knoxville-based College of Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture Institute, and Public Service Institute. An additional primary campus in Nashville had a brief existence from 1971 to 1979 before it was ordered closed and merged with Tennessee State University.

The University of Tennessee's flagship campus in Knoxville hosts the Institute of Agriculture and the Institute for Public Service. The UT Health Science Center at Memphis and the UT Space Institute at Tullahoma are specialized campuses but are not separate institutions.



The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is the flagship campus of the statewide University of Tennessee system, which is governed by a 26-member board of trustees appointed by the Governor of Tennessee. The campus is headed by a Chancellor who functions as the chief executive officer of the campus, responsible for its daily administration and management. The chancellor reports to the president of the university system and is elected annually by the UT Board of Trustees at the recommendation of the system president. Jimmy Cheek has been Chancellor of the Knoxville campus since February 1, 2009. Joseph A. DiPietro has been system president since January 1, 2011. Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan D. Martin is responsible for the academic administration of the Knoxville campus and reports directly to the Chancellor.[12]

Campus policing and security is provided by the University of Tennessee Police Department.


University of Tennessee
  • Research budget (2004):
    • Main campus: $109,525,996
    • Institute of Agriculture: $26,987,367
    • Experiment Station: $9,262,186
    • Extension: $14,000,673
    • Veterinary Medicine: $3,724,508
    • Institute for Public Service: $5,882,079
    • Space Institute: $2,552,297
    • Total: $307.9 million (2006)[13]
  • Total budget: $1.4 billion (2006)[13]

According to the University's 2009 budget, state appropriations increased 26.4 percent from 2000 to 2009, although this amounts to only a 1.1 percent when adjusted for inflation.[14]

University Medical Center

The University of Tennessee Medical Center, administered by University Health Systems and affiliated with the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, collaborates with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to attract and train the majority of its medical staff. Many doctors and nurses at UTMC have integrated careers as teachers and healthcare professionals, and the center promotes itself as the area's only academic, or "teaching hospital." Serving on the UTMC Board of Directors are the President of the University of Tennessee, the Chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and UT President Emeritus Joseph E. Johnson, PhD

The University Medical Center is the primary referral center for Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and Southeastern Kentucky and along with Johnson City Medical Center, it is one of two Level I trauma centers in the East Tennessee geographic region. Extensive expansion programs were embarked upon the 1990s and 2000s (decade) and saw the construction of two sprawling additions to the hospital's campus, a new Cancer Institute and a Heart Lung Vascular Institute. The new UT Medical Center Heart Hospital received its first patient on April 27, 2010.[15] The facility is served by LIFESTAR, a fleet of Bell helicopters providing aeromedical evacuation support within a 150-mile (240 km) radius of Knoxville.

Students and faculty


Demographics of the UT Knoxville Student body - Fall 2013[16]
Racial/ethnic group Percent of student body
African American 6.8%
Asian American 5%
Non-Hispanic White 77.7%
Hispanic American 2.9%
Native American 0.2%
International student 4.4%

During the 2013–2014 academic calendar year, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville had a total enrollment of 21,033 undergraduate and 6,138 graduate and professional students. UT hosts students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 foreign countries, although the majority of undergraduates hail from the American Southeast states of Virginia, with more than 14,000 from Tennessee alone. Currently 49% of students are female, 50% are male, and 17% of UT students identify themselves as non-caucasian.[17]

UT offers its students more than 300 degree programs in its eleven colleges of: Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Communication and Information, Health, Education, and Human Sciences, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Social Work, and Veterinary Medicine, and offers two intercollegiate programs in Aviation Systems, through the University of Tennessee Space Institute at Tullahoma, and Cooperative and Experimental Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. The University employs 1,550 full-time faculty members, of whom 57% are tenured and 81% claim a PhD or other terminal degree in their respective fields. As of the 2007–2008 academic year, 71% of courses taken featured class sizes smaller than 30 students, and students at the Knoxville campus enjoy a 16:1 ratio of faculty-to-students.

The university is classified as "more selective" by U.S. News & World Report, with a Fall 2008 acceptance rate of 64.8%.


University rankings
Forbes[18] 282
U.S. News & World Report[19] 106
Washington Monthly[20] 178
ARWU[21] 151-200
QS[22] 390

The University of Tennessee is ranked 47th among public universities of America,[23] and 101st among all United States universities by U.S. News & World Report, making it a first tier institution.[24]

Specialty rankings are:

  • 1 UT MBA program in alumni value (value for the money) three years after graduation, Financial Times Global Business School Rankings.
  • 2 UT College of Architecture and Design out of Southern Universities according to the journal DesignIntelligence in its publication "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools".[25]
  • 2 The supply chain management/logistics programs as published in Supply Chain Management Review.
  • 4 UT School of Art's Graduate Program in Printmaking, 2012 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 5 UT MBA program overall among U.S. Public Universities according to Wall Street Journal 2005.
  • 5 UT Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program, 2014 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 5 Best Athletic Facilities according to the Princeton Review.[26]
  • 6 UT's senior executive MBA program, for alumni goal achievement and satisfaction according to the Financial Times.
  • 7 The supply chain management/logistics programs in the UT College of Business Administration, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • 8 Best Parties according to Playboy Magazine.[27]
  • 9 UT MBA Program by Forbes Magazine.[28]
  • 9 UT Health Science Center Department of Ophthalmology by Ophthalmology Times.
  • 9 UT's Athletic Program by the Hall of Fame's ranking of Top Collegiate Athletic Programs.[29]
  • 9 Joel A. Katz Law Library in the UT College of Law by National Jurist magazine.
  • 10 UT College of Law, in the National Jurist Best School for the Money ratings, and the clinical training specialty is ranked 19th while the college's overall graduate program is ranked 53rd in the U.S.
  • 14 UT School of Veterinary Medicine[30]
  • 15 UT College of Social Work's Graduate Program, 2012 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 15 Most Fraternity & Sorority friendly according to the Princeton Review.[26]
  • 16 Least Tolerant of Homosexuality according to the Princeton Review[26] (Note: UT's one of only 3 public universities within the top 16, the other 12 are private, religiously affiliated universities) (Note: as of Aug 2013,retrieved 6/4/2014, UTK is no longer on the Least Tolerant List.[31][32]
  • 17 UT Health Science Center - College of Pharmacy, 2014 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 17 UT College of Information Sciences, 2014 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 19 Most Athletic Student Body according to the Princeton Review.
  • 23 UT Physician Executive MBA program of the College of Business Administration.[26]
  • 25 Most Attractive Student Body by AOL Time Warner's PopCrunch Magazine.[33]
  • 27 UT College of Business Business Administration Undergraduate Program, 2012 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 26 UT College of Social Work, 2012 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 30 UT Libraries, Association of Research Libraries.
  • 32 UT College of Engineering Undergraduate Program, 2012 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 35 UT College of Education, Health and Human Science.
  • 37 UT College of Social Work, 2014 U.S. News & World Report.
  • 45 UT Master of Fine Arts program, U.S. News & World Report.
  • 45 UT School of Art, 2014 U.S. News & World Report.
  • The University of Tennessee is ranked as a Best Southeastern College by the Princeton Review.[26]
  • The University of Tennessee is listed as one of the 150 Best Value Colleges for 2014 by the Princeton Review.[26]
  • The Master of Science in Business Analytics program is ranked as a Big Data Analytics Master's Degrees: 20 Top Programs by InformationWeek.[34]


The total research endowment of the UT Knoxville campus was $127,983,213 for FY 2006. UT Knoxville boasts several faculty who are among the leading contributors to their fields, including Harry McSween, generally recognized as one of the world's leading experts in the study of meteorites and a member of the science team for Mars Pathfinder and later a co-investigator for the Mars Odyssey and Mars Exploration Rovers projects.[35] The university also hosts Barry T. Rouse, an international award-winning Distinguished Professor of Microbiology who has conducted multiple NIH-funded studies on the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and who is a leading researcher in his field.[36] UT's agricultural research programs are considered to be among the most accomplished in the nation, and the School of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is home to the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Initiative, recognized by the United States Department of Energy as the "best local clean fuels program in America.".[37] UT Knoxville operates the most powerful U.S. academic supercomputer, Kraken, a National Institute for Computational Sciences supercomputer hosted on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory campus.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The major hub of research at the University of Tennessee is Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), one of the largest government laboratories in the United States. ORNL is a major center of civilian and governmental research[38] and features one of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The University is a participant in the Open Science Grid which allows physicists to process data from the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy

The Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy began its activities at the University of Tennessee in early 2003. The mission of the Baker Center is to develop programs and promote research to further the public's knowledge of the American system of governance, and also to explore the importance of public service. The Baker Center places a special emphasis on examining the role of the media in society and maintains and promotes research in the papers of Howard Baker and other political collections at the University of Tennessee. It hosts public programs on issues of local, regional, national, and international significance which focus upon a wide array of topics, with special interest given to the role of the media. The Baker Center creates a number of individual and recurring publications for students, faculty, community members and policy makers. Its most prestigious publication, the Baker Center Journal of Applied Public Policy, is published twice a year, but Baker Center fellows often publish editorials and articles on a more regular basis. Many of the Center's conferences produce policy publications designed to address problems and to produce applicable, real world solutions.

Looking west along the Pedestrian Walkway

SECU: the SEC Academic Initiative

The University of Tennessee is a member of the SEC Academic Consortium. Now renamed the University of Florida, Vanderbilt University and other SEC institutions, SECU formed its mission to serve as a means to bolster collaborative academic endeavors of Southeastern Conference universities. Its goals include highlighting the endeavors and achievements of SEC faculty, students and its universities and advancing the academic reputation of SEC universities.[39][40]

In 2013, the University of Tennessee participated in the SEC Symposium in UGA Bioenergy Systems Research Institute. The topic of the Symposium was titled, the "Impact of the Southeast in the World's Renewable Energy Future."[41]

Campus layout and organization

The university traces its roots to September 10, 1794, two years before Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state, when Blount College was established by the legislature of the Southwest Territory as one of the first three colleges chartered west of the Appalachian Mountains. At this time, Knoxville was the territorial capital and the area of land occupied by the University was largely farmland bordering a broad stretch of the Tennessee River. In 1807 the school was rechristened East Tennessee College and in 1828 was moved from Gay Street in downtown Knoxville to a 40 acre (160,000 m²) tract known as Barbara Hill, named in honor of Governor Blount's daughter, and was renamed East Tennessee University in 1848. Known to students and alumni today as simply "The Hill", it is only a small part of the Knoxville campus but constitutes a veritable acropolis of expansive and well-preserved red-brick buildings. Construction of the iconic Ayres Hall was completed in 1921 following the Tennessee State Legislature's first $1 million appropriation, and today that structure remains the most widely recognized symbol of the flagship Knoxville campus.

Main campus

The main Knoxville campus can be divided into three distinct blocks of housing, academic, and athletic structures. Two main avenues of traffic, Volunteer Boulevard and Andy Holt Avenue bisect the campus, intersecting with smaller side streets. The majority of dormitories share a north street face along Andy Holt Avenue, which is broken by the Pedestrian Mall and Walkway between the John C. Hodges Library and the Humanities Plaza complex. The terrain of the campus is mostly hilly in its outlay and the school is bound by the Tennessee River to the South and a section of U.S. Route 70 to the North. Known to Knoxvillians as Cumberland Avenue and to UT students and faculty simply as "The Strip," this roughly half-mile stretch of road is home to many businesses and eateries serving the University population and is a popular entertainment venue throughout the year.

A number of capital improvement project were undertaken in the 1990s and 2000s (decade) and resulted in major additions to the campus, including the James A. Haslam II Business Building, the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy Building, and the Joe Johnson and John Ward Pedestrian Mall that replaced a section of Andy Holt Avenue which had previously separated the central student study hub of John C. Hodges Library from the heavily trafficked Humanities Plaza office and classroom complex. That project was a significant beautification effort which established a central, tree-lined commons area for the Knoxville campus, complete with an amphitheater and a large expanse of open green space with a panoramic vista of The Hill and downtown Knoxville.

The campus is well served by the "T," a fleet of brightly painted orange buses operated by biodiesel fuels, transporting University faculty, students, and staff at no charge. The "T-Link" is an on-call taxi service available after dark to students who are not comfortable traveling alone on campus or through adjoining residential neighborhoods such as the popular Fort Sanders, and is offered at no charge to students who present a valid UT student ID card.

Agricultural Campus

The University of Tennessee Agricultural Campus is directly adjacent to the main Knoxville campus and is home to the largest portion of the University's principle agricultural and natural sciences research infrastructure, but occupies only a fraction of the total lands held by the University for research purposes. The Ag Campus is the site of UT's Plant Biotech Building and associated facilities, the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Sciences facility, UT's College of Veterinary Medicine and its associated teaching hospital of veterinary medicine, the Pendergrass Library Agricultural and Veterinary Medicine Library, the Tennessee Division of Forestry, UT's new Business Incubator, built in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Forestry Products and Resources facility, vast greenhouses and growth chambers, and the administrative offices and multiple classroom halls devoted to UT's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Numerous sites further afield, in both Knox County and Blount County are held by the University and are devoted to multiple endeavors of agricultural and forestry sciences, including the cultivation and research of forestry products and the production of biofuels. The UT Gardens occupy the portion of the Ag Campus bordering the Tennessee River and feature hundreds of species of native plants and constitute a sizable arboretum that is open to University affiliates and the public throughout the year.

The University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, nicknamed the "Body Farm", is located near the University of Tennessee Medical Center on Alcoa Highway (US 129). Founded by Dr. William M. Bass in 1972,[42] the Body Farm endeavors to increase anthropological and forensic knowledge specifically related to the decomposition of the human body and is one of the leading centers for such research in the United States.

Cherokee Research Campus

On March 16, 2009, the University broke ground on a 188-acre (76 ha) campus in downtown Knoxville that will feature new, world-class facilities devoted to the pursuit of nanotechnology, neutron science, and materials science, energy and climate studies, environmental science, and biomedical science.[43] This new hub will dramatically expand the University's research capacity, and operations will be a collaboration between the University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the State of Tennessee, and the private sector. Currently, 16 research and support structures have been designed for the campus, and the master plan allows for the development of more, as well as expansion of existing facilities once they are built. Construction is scheduled to begin on campus infrastructure in August 2009.

Campus master plan

The University has implemented a 25-year (2001–2026) campus master plan that will facilitate a sweeping overhaul of campus design.[44] The plan is designed to make the campus more pedestrian-friendly by establishing large areas of open green space and relegating parking facilities to the periphery of the campus, and to increase the aesthetic appeal of the school by establishing uniform building design codes and by physically remodeling, restoring, and expanding existing academic, athletic, and housing facilities. Centrally located, iconic Ayres Hall is currently undergoing a massive upgrade as part of Phase I of the project, with work expected to be completed around 2011. A new university center is planned, along with substantial new facilities for science, the performing arts, and athletics. An expected 3,000 new parking spaces will be developed along with improved mass transit and walking spaces. The plan calls for the removal of many of the roads that bisect the campus, along with the development of two new quads, one each on the main and agricultural campuses. Restoration and renovations of existing campus buildings are expected to be conducted in concert with historical preservationists when appropriate, according to the 2001 Master Plan document.[44]

View of Europa and the Bull at McClung Plaza

Student life


Pedestrian Mall and Amphitheater
The Pedestrian Mall and its adjoining, grassy amphitheater is the most popular student gathering point on campus, situated between the John C. Hodges Library and the Humanities Plaza complex of McClung Tower and the Humanities classroom building. Studying, kite-flying, protests, proselytizing, hammock lounging, picnics, sunbathing, frisbee, barbecues and free concerts are common activities that occur throughout the academic year and beyond.
Students and faculty not affiliated with the athletic department enjoy free use of the state-of-the-art Tennessee Recreational Center for Students, known universally on campus as "T-RECS." T-RECS offers two Olympic-sized swimming pool (one indoor and one outdoor), four indoor basketball courts, more than 80 cardiovascular exercise stations with access to an in-house entertainment center and XM radio, more than 100 strength training centers, multiple banks of free weights, and a Smoothie King. T-RECS patrons may borrow a variety of equipment for outdoor activities such as soccer and tennis for no charge.
International House
The International House is a popular gathering place for visiting international students and delegations and University of Tennessee students who have previously or are currently interested in studying abroad through the Programs Abroad Office. A full kitchen, meeting rooms, and a library provide support for frequent cultural events ranging from salsa dance lessons and nation-themed culture nights to Peace Corps interest meetings.[45]
Black Cultural Center
The Black Cultural Center, or BCC, houses the Office of Minority Student Affairs and offers a student computer lab, free Spanish tutoring, and a textbook loan service for economically disadvantaged students. There is a small but well-stocked library featuring numerous works examining religious and minority issues, and the facility offers free use of its meeting rooms to campus organizations and their affiliates.[46]
Central Program Council
The Central Program Council (CPC) is a student organization with nearly two hundred members that runs the majority of campus events, activities, and programs for the student body. CPC hosts around a hundred events per year and is consistently ranked as one of the best collegiate programming organizations in the nation. Examples include homecoming, lectures, concerts, raves, movies, art exhibitions, and dance performances. CPC runs both traditional events like the comedic skit competition "Carnicus" which is over a hundred years old and single-time events like musical performances.


The University of Tennessee has over 450 registered

  • Official website
  • Official men's athletics website
  • Official women's athletics website
  • The history behind many school traditions summarized by former university historian Milton M. Klein

External links

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  6. ^ a b "UT Logo and Colors". Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ Neeley, Jack. Knoxville's Secret History. Knoxville: Scruffy City Publishing, 1995, pp. 81-83. Retrieved 2012-10-27
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  9. ^ "Renaming of University of Tennessee". 
  10. ^ "U.S. Naval Administration in World War II". HyperWar Foundation. 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "". 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  12. ^ Campus Administration, University of Tennessee Knoxville website, accessed April 13, 2011
  13. ^ a b "The University System". Retrieved November 29, 2006. 
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  15. ^ University of Tennessee Medical Center
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
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  18. ^ "America's Top Colleges". LLC™. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  20. ^ "About the Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014-United States". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ "University Rankings". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
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  27. ^ "". 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  28. ^ "Full-time MBA Program Ranked 9th Among Public Programs by Forbes Inc. | Tennessee Today". 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
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  30. ^ "Best Veterinary Medicine Programs | Top Veterinary Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools". Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  31. ^ EvanBeltran (2013-08-07). "Princeton Review releases list of most and least gay-friendly colleges | Articles". dot429. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  32. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
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  34. ^ "Big Data Analytics Master's Degrees: 20 Top Programs". InformationWeek. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
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  38. ^ "Leadership-class Computing for Science" (PDF). ORNL Review 37 (2). 2004. ISSN 0048-1262. Retrieved November 23, 2005. 
  39. ^ "SECU". SEC. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  40. ^ "SECU: The Academic Initiative of the SEC". SEC Digital Network. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  41. ^ "SEC Symposium to address role of Southeast in renewable energy". University of Georgia. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  42. ^ "Author Interview with Jefferson Bass". Retrieved March 7, 2008. 
  43. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  44. ^ a b "Facilities Master Plan". University of Tennessee. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  45. ^ "International House". University of Tennessee - Knoxville. 
  46. ^ "Black Cultural Center". University of Tennessee - Knoxville. 
  47. ^ "Student Organizations Resource Page". Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  48. ^ "90.3 The Rock". Retrieved November 23, 2005. 
  49. ^ TVC - The Volunteer Channel | School of Journalism & Electronic Media
  50. ^
  51. ^ "'"Student section named 'Rocky Top Rowdies. Retrieved 2014-09-16. 
  52. ^ "One Tennessee: Branding Restructure" (Press release). University of Tennessee Athletics. November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  53. ^ "UT Knoxville | RecSports". Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  54. ^ "Our Primary Color". UTK Office of Communications & Marketing. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  55. ^ "University of Tennessee Traditions: Volunteer Nickname". Retrieved August 2, 2007. 
  56. ^ "University of Tennessee Traditions: The Rock". Retrieved June 13, 2011. 


See also

Notable people

Unearthed in the 1960s, the Rock probably soon thereafter became a "canvas" for student messages. For years the university sandblasted away the messages but eventually deferred to students’ artistic endeavors. The Daily Beacon has editorialized: "Originally a smaller rock, The Rock has grown in prestige and size while thousands of coats of paint have been thrown on its jagged face. Really, its function is as an open forum for students."[56]

The Rock

Tennessee is known as the "Volunteer State" for the large number of Tennesseans who volunteered for duty in the Knoxville Journal and Tribune did not use the name until 1905. By the fall of 1905 both the Journal and the then-Sentinel were using the nickname.[55] With the creation of women's athletics later in the 20th century, female athletic teams became known as the Lady Volunteers. All varsity teams continue to use their nicknames today, although often shortened to simply "Vols" or "Lady Vols".


In 1953 the campus Pep Club sponsored a contest to have a live mascot. The hound was chosen after announcements recruiting potential mascots in a local newspaper read, "This can't be an ordinary hound. He must be a 'Houn' Dawg' in the best sense of the word." The Rev. William C. "Bill" Brooks entered his prizewinning Bluetick Coonhound "Brooks' Blue Smokey", which won against eight other hounds. Smokey is said to have barked when his name was called at a half-time contest and students cheered as Smokey threw his head back and howled again, and UT thus claimed its new mascot. The current mascot is Smokey X and is cared for by two student trainers from the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.


Although it is the most frequently played song at football games on campus, "Rocky Top" is not the official fight song for the University. "Rocky Top" was written in only ten minutes by songwriters Felice and Boudleaux Bryant in 1967 while they were working in Gatlinburg on a collection of slow-tempo songs for a project for Archie Campbell and Chet Atkins. Writing the fast-paced "Rocky Top" served as a temporary diversion for them. Known elsewhere in the United States as a bluegrass tune, the song did not become popular until after 1972 when the Pride first introduced it during a routine drill. Its popularity now extends beyond the campus of the University of Tennessee; "Rocky Top" became one of the Tennessee state songs in 1982.

The official fight song is "Down the Field", which is played when the Pride "Opens the T" for the team to run through at the end of their pregame show, as well as after a Vols score.

Fight song

The Pride of the Southland Band (or simply The Pride) is UT's marching band. As one of the oldest institutions at the university, the band partakes in many of the gameday traditions. At every home game, the Pride performs the "March to the Stadium" which includes a parade sequence and climaxes when the band stops at the bottom of The Hill and performs the "Salute to the Hill", an homage to the history and legacy of the university. The band is known for its pregame show at the beginning of every home game, which ends with the football team running onto the field through the "Opening of the T".

5 min video of the open of a football game

Pride of the Southland Band

Charles Moore, president of the university's athletic association, chose orange and white for the school colors on April 12, 1889. His inspiration is said to have come from orange and white daisies which grew on the Hill. To this day there are still orange and white flowers grown outside the University Center. Although students confirmed the colors at a special meeting in 1892, dissatisfaction caused the colors to be dropped. No other acceptable colors could be agreed on, however, and the original colors were reinstated a day later. The University of Tennessee's official colors are UT Orange (Pantone 151), White, and Smokey Gray (Pantone 426).[54]


The University of Tennessee has accumulated numerous traditions over its long history.


The university also offers a number of recreational sports, many offering intercollegiate play. Sports include soccer, wrestling, hockey, running, crew, golf and paintball.[53] Teams often join intercollegiate conferences, such as the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference, or play Southeastern Conference and in other rivals on a regular basis.

Club sports

On November 10, 2014, as part of a university-wide branding overhaul, the UT athletic department announced that starting with the 2015–16 school year, all UT women's teams except for basketball would drop "Lady" from their nickname and become simply "Volunteers". The rebranding will coincide with UT's switch from Adidas to Nike as its uniform supplier.[52]

In August 2014, University of Tennessee students were given the opportunity to vote for a name for the Neyland Stadium student section. The name "Rocky Top Rowdies" was selected over "General's Quarters," "Smokey's Howl," "Vol Army," and "Big Orange Crew." [51]

The swimming program trains at the Jones Aquatic Center, which is directly adjacent to the Student Aquatic Center. This first-class complex is capable of hosting the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Championships, as well as national and international events. Also included in the new facility is a weight room, training room, and the University of Tennessee Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.

UT's best-known athletic facility by far is Neyland Stadium, home to the football team, which seats over 102,000 people and is one of the country's largest facilities of its type. The stadium is currently undergoing a $200 million renovation with construction expected to last into the 2010s.[50] The Volunteers and Lady Vols basketball teams play in Thompson-Boling Arena. When it opened in 1987, it was the largest arena (by capacity) ever built specifically for basketball in the United States, but more recent renovations have somewhat reduced its capacity. Both basketball teams currently train at the adjacent Pratt Pavilion, a $20 million facility opened in 2008 which houses two full size gymnasia, one each for the men and women varsity basketball teams, and space for sports medicine, strength training, film study, and recruiting.

The Vanderbilt, and LSU.

The Volunteers won the 1998 NCAA Division I-A National Championship in football, and the team is noted for its 1938, 1940, 1950, 1951, and 1998 National Championship victories. The Volunteers were coached by Phillip Fulmer from 1992 until November 2008, succeeded by Lane Kiffin who left one year later. In January 2010, Derek Dooley was signed as the new head coach. Dooley was fired on November 18, 2012. On December 7, 2012, Butch Jones was hired as his replacement. Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning and the deceased NFL Hall of Fame player Reggie White are among the numerous NFL athletes to begin their careers at the University of Tennessee. The men's basketball program is headed by Donnie Tyndall. In 2008 the Vols won their first SEC regular season championship in 41 years. In 2010, the men's team advanced to the Elite Eight, or quarterfinal round, in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament for the first time.

Tennessee competes in the Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt, and has longstanding football rivalries with all except for Missouri, which did not join the SEC until 2012. The only UT team that does not compete in the SEC is the women's rowing program, which competes as a single-sport member of the Big 12 Conference.

UT athletics logo


One of the most well known parts of the program is the Dragoon Company, the oldest part of the campus ROTC. Formed as part of the US 2nd Dragoons in the Mexican–American War, the Dragoons lead every Vol Walk before every home football game and represent the University and ROTC on and off campus. They can be recognized by their uniforms designed to accurately represent the uniforms from the Mexican–American War, and the Dragoons carry the university flag, state flag, and national colors.

UT Knoxville is home of Rocky Top Battalion, an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, and Detachment 800 (Air Force ROTC). The Battalion puts on the Mountain Man Memorial March each year in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This 26.2-mile (42.2 km) ruck/road march was started to honor fallen soldier Frank B. Walkup, a Rocky Top Battalion alum killed action in Iraq on June 16, 2007, and has since expanded to honor all fallen soldiers and their families. Proceeds from the event benefit the Gold Star Mothers and the Wounded Warrior Campaign. In its fourth year, the march offered full and half marathon divisions, as well as a 10K. Each division has military and civilian categories—all are welcome to participate.

Army and Air Force ROTC

In December 2013, the university announced an approximately $234 million project to tear down existing residence halls Resse, Humes, North Carrick, South Carrick, and Andy Holt and replace them with three and four-floor modern structures in a village-style community.

The University of Tennessee houses over 7500 students. Also, all freshman are required to live on campus.

The University of Tennessee, along with Panhellenic, built Sorority Village at Morgan Hill. The first residents moved into the village in the fall of 2012.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is also affiliated with the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) as well as the South Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (SAACURH). In 2010, UTK was the host institution of the NACURH Services and Recognition Office (NSRO), a national office that changes host institutions every two years.

URHC is the second largest student organization on campus with over 7,000 on-campus residents enjoying full membership. Each of the twelve residence halls has its own RHA hosting smaller scale, more hall specific programs. Each RHA has its own executive board to govern the activities of its residence hall. Each RHA's budget consists of $11 per bed that is allocated from each student's housing activities fee. The URHC holds biweekly general body meetings that are open to all residents.

The University of Tennessee has a Residence Hall Association. Created in 1972 as the Inter-Residence Halls Council, the IRHC changed its name to the United Residence Halls Council (URHC) the next year. URHC sponsors many events focusing on various aspects of on-campus living throughout the fall and spring semesters. In addition, URHC serves as an advocacy board for all on-campus residents. Residents can use URHC as a vehicle to promote positive change on campus.


The University of Tennessee hosts 21 sororities and 26 fraternities.

Greek institutions

TNJN is an online news publication of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media. It is a collaboration of regular student editorial staff and student contributors, many of whom receive classroom credit for their work.

The Tennessee Journalist

The Volunteer Channel (TVC) is the University's student run television station. TVC reaches nearly 7,000 UT students in residence halls and 100,000 residents in surrounding counties on Comcast Digital Channel 194. [49]

The Volunteer Channel

The publication began as a semi-monthly publication under the name The University Times-Prospectus in 1871. The Orange and White followed in 1906 as a weekly publication and was later published semi-weekly. The Daily Beacon was established 61 years later under the management of alumnus David Hall (1965) and was published four times per week and soon saw publication each day of the academic week. Approximately 180 issues per academic year are published while classes are in session. The newspaper unveiled a drastically improved website and content management system in 2010, marking a significant new emphasis on online distribution. It began publishing on the Kindle shortly thereafter, becoming the first daily student newspaper to do so.

The editorially independent student newspaper of the University publishes 15,000 copies a day, five days a week, and claims a staff of over 100 consisting of an editorial team of 14, more than 60 staff writers, photographers, copyeditors, and others during the Fall and Spring semesters. The paper publishes twice weekly during the summer semester (May through August) and has significantly fewer staff writers at that time.

The Daily Beacon

The university operates two radio stations: student-run The Rock (formerly the Torch)[48] (WUTK-FM 90.3 MHz) and National Public Radio affiliate WUOT-FM 91.9 MHz. The university's first radio station was on the AM frequency 850 kHz, a donation from Knoxville radio station WIVK-AM/FM. The Phoenix, a literary art magazine, is published in the fall and spring semesters and showcases student artistic creativity.

The University of Tennessee hosts the Destination Imagination Global Finals, a problem solving competition held annually during the last week of May. The event draws thousands of young students and their families to Knoxville and is a significant event for the campus after the end of each academic year. Numerous religious centers are located along "Church Row," including the University of Tennessee's Baptist Collegiate Ministry, the Christian Student Fellowship, the Knoxville campus' Non-Denominational Protestant Christian group, the Wesley Foundation (a United Methodist student center), John XXIII Catholic Center, and the Christian Student Center. Honors societies also have a strong presence on the campus with Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Scarabbean Senior Society as some of the more prominent.


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