KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Arts and Sciences has received $500,000 for population studies, officials announced Monday.
Dr. Carol Harden, head of UT-Knoxville’s geography department, said a $250,000 gift from Knoxville’s J. Harrison Livingston and his wife, Robbie, was matched by the National Geographic Society Education Foundation.
Harden said an endowment established by the gifts will fund joint projects between university geographers and K-12 teachers in Tennessee. One planned project is a UT institute to help K-12 teachers learn how population growth affects the environment, Harden said.
“Geography once was considered a subject where students simply memorized names of places,” Harden said. “As teaching of contemporary geography has improved, it has become essential in the global marketplace.
“The Livingston gift helps us continue to improve geography education in Tennessee.”
Dr. Sidney Jumper, state geographer and UT-Knoxville professor emeritus, said the population studies will be directed by the Tennessee Geographic Alliance at UT, which he heads. The alliance was formed in 1986 as part of a National Geographic Society program to promote geography education.
“This generous gift from the Livingstons and the matching NGS funds ensures a permanent state endowment is established in perpetuity so that future generations benefit from today’s investment,” Jumper said.
Harrison Livingston, who owned and operated a local automobile business for more than 50 years before retiring in 1985, studied business administration at UT-Knoxville in the class of 1934. His wife, Robbie, attended the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala., and graduated from Athens College in Athens, Ala.
The Livingstons’ children, Ann and Jay, are UT-Knoxville graduates who live here with their spouses Joseph Huie and Carol Bonham Livingston.
“UT has helped foster economic growth in the area,” Harrison Livingston said. “Faculty from UT have generously contributed to the local scientific and business communities, the arts and public secondary education.
“We want to give what we can to a university that has enriched all our lives.”
Contact: Dr. Carol Harden, Dr. Sidney Jumper (423-974-2418)