Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to main content

A Knoxville couple’s dedication and generosity to the University of Tennessee teacher training program was recognized Thursday as a portion of a UT building was renamed for them.

The Jane and David Bailey Education Complex, which sits on Volunteer Boulevard between the Claxton Education Building and the College of Nursing, was dedicated on May 31. The wing of the building previously was named the Claxton Addition.

The Baileys have supported UT Knoxville’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) for years, and have established two scholarships. The couple now has issued a challenge to other business professionals to support teacher education programs in Tennessee.

The Baileys created the Top Teachers for Tennessee fund with a $1 million commitment to teacher intern scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to UT students during their required intern teaching year. College officials said the practical teaching experience leaves little time for additional employment and can place a financial strain on the interns. UT’s program allows student teachers to earn 24 credit hours during the intern year, which is approximately two-thirds of a master’s degree.

After creating the fund, the Baileys issued a challenge to other successful Tennesseans to help support students through Top Teachers for Tennessee, or to use the fund as an example to establish endowments or scholarships at other Tennessee colleges and universities.

UT Knoxville Chancellor Loren Crabtree praised the Baileys at the dedication ceremony for their commitment to funding teacher education programs.

“Jane and David realized early on that the business community needs to play a lead role in the support and advancement of education. It is their hope that through this fund and through the Top Teachers for Tennessee Challenge, others in business will also make private funding for teacher programs a priority. The Baileys are truly leading by example,” Crabtree said.

The Top Teachers for Tennessee fund began in 2004, and since then more than $75,000 has been raised, mostly through small gifts by teachers, principals and others in education.

“The Baileys hope that this challenge helps business leaders see the positive influence they can have on the future of this state by investing in well-trained and highly educated teachers,” said Dean Bob Rider.

UT plans to promote the challenge through mailings to Chambers of Commerce and other communication to business and education groups in Tennessee.

Knoxville Chamber President Mike Edwards said he sees value in the challenge.

“Education and economic development are intrinsically linked in the success of the state of Tennessee. Training effective teachers and retaining them is a vital part of developing the well-trained workforce necessary for Tennessee to maintain a strong economy in the future. The Baileys’ financial leadership sets an outstanding example for others in the business community to follow,” he said.

David Bailey graduated from UT’s College of Business Administration in 1950 and has achieved success through a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. Jane Bailey is an alumna of the former UT College of Home Economics. The couple has three children: Kreis Beall, Kim Nelson and Keith Bailey.

For more information on the Top Teachers for Tennessee fund, contact the CEHHS development office at (865) 974-3968 or visit http://www.utk.edu/features/topteachers.

Donna Bletner, CEHHS Development Director, (865) 974-3968 or dbletner@utk.edu

Beth Gladden, UT Public Relations, (865) 974-9008 or beth.gladden@tennessee.edu