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KNOXVILLE — Thursday was moving day for University of Tennessee president-elect Dr. John Petersen, as he and his wife Carol began unpacking their belongings at the presidential residence.

Petersen takes office July 1.

Carol and John Petersen

“We’re very happy with the house,” Petersen said. “When we were at the University of Connecticut, we built our own house, but Carol loves older homes, and this is certainly a beautiful place to live and entertain guests.”

The presidential residence, located at 940 Cherokee Blvd. in Knoxville, is a four-story Georgian-style brick home on three acres of land.

Dr. Walter Starnes Nash, a Knoxville surgeon, had the home built in 1931. It features a walnut staircase that was disassembled from Nash’s previous home and installed in the new home in the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood.

Part of the job description of university president is hosting social events, and Petersen said the presidential residence is well-suited for the task.

“We want to have a place that is warm and inviting for students, faculty, staff, donors and friends of the university,” Petersen said. “This house fits the bill.”

Carol Petersen said the friendliness of people in the Knoxville community has made the transition much easier.

“We still have many friends in Connecticut whom we will miss,” she said, “but the people of UT and Knoxville have welcomed us with open arms and we couldn’t be happier.”