Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — “Food for Thought” is the theme of the University of Tennessee’s 2009 Alumni Summer College, where alumni and friends are invited to return to campus July 15-19 for five days of fun, fellowship and presentations by faculty, staff and other experts.

On July 15, at the opening night dinner, the keynote address will be from Alan Wilson, a UT alumnus who is now CEO and president of McCormick, a global leader in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of spices, herbs, seasonings, specialty foods and flavors.

On July 16, participants will take an educational tour of Blackberry Farm, a 4,200-acre mountain haven retreat known for its luxurious accommodations and culinary excellence. That will be followed by lunch at Maryville’s Ruby Tuesday Lodge. Participants will then return to campus for a tour of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy followed by dinner and wine sampling at The Foundry. The wine sampling will be led by William Morris, professor and extension specialist.

On July 17, there will be a series of presentations on food-related topics and issues, lunch with the deans and a dinner. Presenters include:

– Morris, who will speak on “In a Perfect World Everyone Would Have a Glass of Wine Every Evening.”

– David Golden, professor of food microbiology, who will discuss eating habits in a lecture titled, “You Mean You Eat That?!”

– John Mount, associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, who will provide a lesson in “Hands-on Food Science.”

– Sharon Thompson, director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness and assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine at UT’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She will talk about “The Potential for Food Terrorism.”

– Daniel De Lo Torre Ugarte, professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and associate director of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, who will lecture on “The Food vs. Fuel Dilemma: Challenge or Opportunity.”

– Jay Whelan, professor and head of the Department of Nutrition, who will talk about “Fish as a Functional Food: Are the Health Claims a Little ‘Fishy?'”

On July 18, participants will take a field trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., and then return to Knoxville for dinner catered by Calhoun’s at the East Tennessee Historical Society.

The program concludes on July 19 with a farewell brunch at the Marriott.

Registration deadline is July 1. Space is limited and registrations are being taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cost is $350, which includes seminars, activities, materials, transportation, tours and most meals. Hotel reservations must be made by the participants; a block of rooms is being held at the Knoxville Marriott downtown. Alumni Summer College is open to all UT alumni, friends and the general public. For more information and to register online, see

C O N T A C T:

Patrick Wade, (865-974-2180,