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KNOXVILLE — The second annual African-American Image Awards will be handed out Thursday, Feb. 28 to celebrate excellence and leadership displayed by black students and faculty at the University of Tennessee.

The event, to be held at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center Auditorium, is sponsored by UT’s chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the Student African-American Brotherhood and the Diva Opals.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and will close at 6:30 p.m. for the program to begin.

The Love United Gospel Choir will be among the featured performers at the event, and a reception will take place in the UC Room 225 following the show.

Last year’s faculty honorees were James T. Pippin, director of Engineering Diversity Programs; Anton Reece, director of student activities; Michael Blackwell, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine; Stan L. Bowie, associate professor of social work; and Theotis Robinson, vice president for equity and diversity. Former SGA President Curtis Sanderfer was honored for collegiate achievement, along with several other students who were recognized for outstanding leadership, scholarship and service.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1914 by three African-American students who wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service. Today Phi Beta Sigma is an international organization of leaders. The Kappa Chi Chapter was chartered at the University of Tennessee in 1979.

The Student African-American Brotherhood, with more than 70 chapters in the United States and abroad, was founded on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Ga., in 1990. Its goal is to provide student development intervention and support to African-American men enrolled in college.

The Diva Opals was established at UT in fall 2005. Jocelyn Milton, associate director of Minority Student Affairs, decided that an organization needed to be formed for African-American women to come together on an academic, spiritual and emotional level. The group volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House.


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,

Antoine Johnson, (615) 887-6348,