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KNOXVILLE — First Tennessee has pledged $1 million to support two University of Tennessee community initiatives through the UT Extension and the College of Business Administration. The gift is to be made through the First Tennessee Foundation.

Funds will be provided for youth financial management classes offered throughout the state by UT Extension offices and for a Master of Business Administration symposium. Each program will receive a total of $500,000 in funding through 2015.

“This $1 million total gift is a win-win-win — it supports our state’s foremost institution of higher learning, benefits students across Tennessee through financial education and brings high visibility to the College of Business Administration here at UT’s flagship Knoxville campus,” said Pam Fansler, First Tennessee – Knoxville president. “Building better communities begins at home, and First Tennessee is committed to making our home state of Tennessee the best it can be for both residents and businesses.”

One portion of the gift will fund a position within UT Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences Department to implement financial management courses offered to schools in all Tennessee counties. The gift also will help to revamp two specific programs — On My Own and LifeSmarts.

On My Own is a financial simulation that gives young people the opportunity to make lifestyle and spending choices similar to those adults face. Students are given an employment and financial situation and must prepare a budget, pay taxes and even spend disposable income.

LifeSmarts, a high school program, and LifeSkills, its middle-school counterpart, are game-show style competitions emphasizing wise use of credit, banking skills, purchasing decisions and consumer regulation.

“As the state’s land grant university, we are charged with improving the overall well-being of Tennesseans,” said UT President John Petersen. “UT’s Extension agents are establishing sound fiscal practices in Tennessee’s youth which is essential to the success of this state, and we are grateful to First Tennessee for their partnership and commitment to this goal.”

The First Tennessee Foundation also has pledged funds to establish UT’s MBA Symposium.

Each fall, a high-profile business leader will be invited to discuss a business topic of interest to students and the general community.

“The full-time MBA program is ranked among the best in the country, and a symposium of the caliber First Tennessee has proposed will greatly increase the practical learning experience of our students,” said Loren Crabtree, chancellor of the flagship Knoxville campus.

Program representatives from the UT College of Business Administration and First Tennessee will decide the topic of each year’s symposium.

“We hope to bring speakers who can address different aspects of business, such as policies and impact on society,” said Glen Schuler, full-time MBA program director. “We want these speakers to give our students a flavor of how business leaders are considering issues.”

The full-time MBA program has been ranked 21st among all public universities by the Financial Times, 40th among all public universities by U.S. News and World Report and 12th in the U.S. among regional universities by the Wall Street Journal.

Jennifer Holder, First Tennessee, (865) 971-2053 or
Beth Gladden, UT media relations, (865) 974-9008 or