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KNOXVILLE — Alumni and other friends contributed $83.6 million to the University of Tennessee last year, a new record.

But the impact of those millions is perhaps best illustrated by three-tenths of one percent of the money, UT President J. Wade Gilley said.

Three of Tennessee’s top students are at UT this fall because a Nashville couple – Dortch and Sis Oldham – gave money to help attract the state’s best high school graduates to the flagship university, Gilley said.

Oldham Scholars receive $8,300 grants, renewable for four years, to study at UT in Knoxville. The scholarship pays all tuition and fees, room and meals and provides a one-time $1,500 payment for summer travel and study.

“The Oldhams’ gifts are a great example of how one family can make a difference,” UT President J. Wade Gilley said. “Without scholarships like these, Tennessee might have lost these students to another state.

“When students go out-of-state to college, many never come back to Tennessee.”

Gilley pointed out that most private gifts are designated for specific colleges, programs and scholarships. They do not replace state appropriations that pay faculty salaries and the cost of running the university, he said.

Though they are not graduates of UT, the Oldhams Nashville have long supported the university with their gifts. Three of the Oldhams’ five sons and three daughters-in-law are UT graduates.

Dortch Oldham, who owned Southwestern Publishing Co. and founded NASCO in Nashville, serves on the UT Development Council. The announcement of the gift totals was made at this weekend’s Council meeting here.

The $83.6 million received during the fiscal year that ended in June is a $1.3 million increase over the previous year.

UT units in Knoxville received $58.2 million, including $6.4 million for the Institute of Agriculture. The total for the Health Science Center in Memphis is $15.5 million, with UT-Chattanooga at $7.7 million and UT-Martin at $1.9 million. The UT Space Institute in Tullahoma received more than $300,000.

Deferred gifts totaled $19.1 million and include assets transferred to UT to fund trust instruments and cash received when estates are settled.

UT alumni and friends, through the UT Annual Giving Program, kept the university among the nation’s public school leaders, by giving $18.4 million.
Total from other categories:
*Special gifts, $17.2 million,
*Corporate, $15.9 million.
*Foundations, $10.9 million
*Corporate matching, $1.9 million.