KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tony Award winner and a former U.S. State Department official, both graduates of the University of Tennessee, will be honored in Founder’s Day ceremonies Thursday, Sept. 10.
UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder will present the Founder’s Day Medal to John Cullum, actor; and Philander P. Claxton Jr., whose public service includes more than 25 years in the U.S. State Department.
The Notable UT-Knoxville Woman Award will be given by the campus Commission on Women to Mary Douglas Ayres Ewell, 103, for her pioneering role in women’s athletics.
All ceremonies begin at 3 p.m. in the Volunteer Ballroom, University Center.
Other presentations will include the Alumni Academic Hall of Fame, Library Plaque Awards, Pioneer Award for Students, and the Hardy J. Liston Jr. Award.
Boyd Richards and Laura Lee Rappe, Student Government Association president and vice president, respectively, will make History Week presentations.
Cullum earned the bachelor of arts degree in 1953 at UT-Knoxville. His credits include two Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Award, and an Emmy Award nomination for best supporting actor in the television series “Northern Exposure.”
Claxton, a 1934 UT history graduate, earned the master’s degree at Princeton University and the doctorate of jurisprudence at Yale University.
Claxton’s State Department assignments included special assistant for far eastern affairs, special assistant for congressional relations, senior seminar on foreign policy, multilateral force negotiating team, and special assistant to the Secretary of State.
In 1972, Claxton was U.S. representative to the Second Asian Population Conference. He has held top positions in the World Population Society since 1975.
Ewell, who was daughter of UT President Brown Ayres, was named coach of the UT “girls’ basketball team” in 1919. The following year, with Ewell’s approval, women at UT asked the administration for “equal rights and privileges” with male athletes including team travel, increased funding, and representation on the Athletics Council.
Contact: Bill Snyder (423-974-3288)