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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee is experiencing strong momentum and steady growth in its statewide fundraising results.

This good news — announced to members of the Board of Trustees today — is a direct result of the Campaign for Tennessee, the university’s $1 billion campaign.

More than $63 million has been received since the official public campaign launch in April, bringing the total to $767,531,811, or 77 percent of the goal.

The most ambitious effort in the university’s history, the campaign provides resources to enhance programs of excellence at all campuses and institutes.

UT President John Petersen said private giving allows for programs to develop and grow, even when faced with statewide budget cuts that affect UT and all state colleges and universities.

“Private giving allows us to enhance quality programs and take advantage of strategic opportunities that will serve the state by strengthening the economy, fueling job growth and enhancing the state’s workforce,” said Petersen. “We are pleased with the level of enthusiasm of our alumni and friends who have participated in the campaign and grateful for their willingness to invest in what we provide for our state.”

The campaign seeks support for initiatives that impact student access and success, research, economic development, outreach and goals for globalization. Funds are raised through outright gifts and pledges, planned gifts and private grants for research.

Campaign priorities include endowed scholarships and professorships, chairs of excellence, new and enhanced facilities and other innovative faculty and student programs.

Officials noted that private support has a long-term impact on specific programs — rather than helping to meet the overall and annual needs for operating money for the university. More than 98 percent of all gifts are restricted for a specific program as set forth by the donor.

“Increasing private support, however, clearly demonstrates how much UT is valued by our citizens. That kind of success will encourage increased investment from all sources going forward,” Petersen added.

Since the campaign began, more than $140 million in private funds has gone to support undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships.

Several gifts of more than $1 million have been received recently benefiting scholarships or other programs. These include:

– Doug and Brenda Horne committed $2 million to support the College of Business Administration in Knoxville with the establishment of a Distinguished Professorship in Finance and support of the technology in the new Haslam Business Building, along with a gift to the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, and the creation of an excellence endowment. Additional gifts by the Hornes have supported Tennessee Athletics. Doug Horne is a member of the UT Board of Trustees.
– Clayton McWhorter committed $2.1 million supporting the UT Martin College of Business and Public Affairs.
– Bill and Vicki Brakebill committed a $1 million bequest expectancy to establish an undergraduate scholarship fund and a graduate student award on the Knoxville campus.
– Jerry Baird committed a $4 million bequest expectancy to the Institute of Agriculture for teaching research and extension in the Plant Sciences department.
– Steve and Ann Bailey committed $1 million in support of the UT Knoxville School of Art and its downtown gallery, the Horticulture Department in the Institute of Agriculture and Pratt Pavilion.
– Michael and Tiffiny West committed a $1 million gift to the College of Business Administration at UT Knoxville for technology support in the new Haslam Business Building. In recognition of this gift, the conference room will be named in their honor. Additional gifts by the Wests support Tennessee Athletics.
– William and Roberta Blankenship have committed a $2 million unrestricted deferred gift to UT Martin. Past gifts have been used for academic and athletic programs, including establishing a College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Research Endowment, important equipment purchases, support of UTM tennis programs and charter membership in the Annual Giving Leadership Society.
– Ron and Catherine Turner committed $2.1 million to the UT Knoxville College of Engineering and Tennessee Athletics.
– John “Spike” and Lisa Tickle committed $1 million for the “Spike Tickle STEM Fellowships” for graduate students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering at Knoxville.
– Ralph and Barbara Hamilton made an additional $1 million gift to the Department of Ophthalmology at the Health Science Center in Memphis.
– Chad and Ann Holliday committed $1 million for graduate fellowships in Industrial Engineering at UT Knoxville.

The Campaign for Tennessee places UT among the ranks of the nation’s largest public and private institutions that have sought this level of private support. The campaign’s silent phase launched in 2005 and will run through 2011.


Karen Collins, (865) 974-5186 or (865) 216-6862

Beth Gladden, (865) 974-9008,