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KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee President Designate John W. Shumaker announced Thursday a $300,000 gift to provide overseas educational opportunities for UT students.

Shumaker, who was elected March 5 by UT’s Board of Trustees as the university’s 21st president, said the scholarship endowment would fund university-sanctioned travel abroad for students in the statewide UT system.

Dr. John Shumaker, UT President Designate

“I very much believe that private support is an important component of public university budgets,” Shumaker said. “I think that faculty, staff and students, as well as presidents, should participate in philanthropy in an active way.

“It is my intention to pledge a sum of $300,000 over time to create a scholarship fund to endow opportunities for travel and study abroad by students from across the entire UT system.

“I think it is a very important part of the educational process for graduate and undergraduates alike to have a chance to participate in the excitement of international learning.”

Shumaker announced the gift at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the UT Board of Trustees, which unanimously approved his employment contract as president of the university.

Under the six-year contract, Shumaker will receive an annual salary of $365,000, James Haslam II, who chairs the executive committee, said.

The contract also contains provisions for performance-based increases subject to approval by the board.

“We are very excited about Dr. Shumaker’s decision to come to UT,” Haslam said.

Shumaker comes to UT from the University of Louisville, where he has been president since 1995.