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KNOXVILLE — Phillip Moffitt, former student body president at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and editor of Esquire magazine, returns to his alma mater Nov. 10 to discuss his new book and to meet with students.

Phillip Moffitt
Phillip Moffitt
Moffitt also will be honored by the Accomplished Alumni program, a new venture by the UT Office of Alumni Affairs to attract prominent alumni to campus to share their successes with students, faculty and staff.

Moffitt will discuss and sign copies of his book “Dancing with Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering” from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Hodges Library Auditorium.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Writers in the Library and the Dr. and Mrs. A. H. Lancaster Library Friends Lecture Series. Free parking will be available in the University Center parking garage.

Moffitt earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UT. He served as UT student body president from 1967 to 1968 and assistant dean of students from 1969 to 1970. In 1971, along with several college friends, he founded the Knoxville-based publishing company 13-30 Corporation. The company purchased Esquire magazine when the publication was struggling to survive and managed to make the magazine highly profitable.

In 1987, Moffitt left Esquire to fully devote himself to the study of Buddhism and the examination of spirituality. He was subsequently ordained as a lay priest in Theravada Buddhism at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California, where he now teaches.

The Office of Alumni Affairs will recognize Moffitt as an Accomplished Alumnus at the event in the library. Several alumni have been recognized so far this semester, including Bush Brothers and Co. Chief Financial Officer Al Williams and Nashville Predators Chairman Dave Freeman.

Earlier in the day, Moffitt will talk about “Life Balance and Leadership” with students attending a special “Leadershop,” a series of workshops that teach students about personal leadership development and how to be a successful leader.


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,

Hannah Barker, UT Libraries, (865) 974-4725,