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Knoxville Human Resources Executive Director Alan ChesneyI encourage you to attend the annual Fall Festival-a tribute to UT employees–from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m tomorrow at TRECS. Hosted by Human Resources, this annual employee appreciation event always draws several thousand staff and faculty. It’s one of my favorite days because so much is going on–bingo, ice cream, music, vendors, door prizes and catered lunch. It’s also one of the few times each year when our employee community comes together and just kicks back.

That’s not to say there isn’t a competitive mood from time to time, especially at the big bingo game.

Another reason I like Fall Festival so much is that it relies on the help of many volunteers from across the campus. You can expect administrators from many Knoxville-area departments to attend, give out prizes, and make new friends. This is one way administrators can express their appreciation for the hard work of employees throughout the year.

The event also serves as a reminder that UT is one of the largest employers in the region, with 7,000 regular employees.

Carol Raxter, main organizer, and the entire Fall Festival team work for several months to pull together an event of this size. Facilities Services employees and TRECS staff always do a great job of preparing the site and breaking down equipment after the festival.

Employees are UT’s greatest asset. Fall Festival underscores the truth of that statement. Friday will be a great opportunity for new employees to meet longtime staff and faculty, and begin to understand just how deep UT pride goes.