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I would like to encourage you to attend the annual Autumn 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.

Another reason I enjoy the Autumn Festival each year is that it relies on the help of many volunteers from across the campus. Administrators from many Knoxville-area departments can be seen giving out prizes and making new friends. This is one way administrators can express their appreciation for the hard work of employees throughout the year.

Due to weather concerns, all events will be held indoors this year. Registration, music, door prize give-aways and ice cream will all be in the TRECS lobby. Lunch will be served on basketball courts A and B. This area also will serve as the location for the always-competitive Bingo games, which will begin at 1 p.m. The cake walk will take place in room 228 and vendor tables from the 25 local companies who are supporting this year’s festival will be placed around the indoor track. Those in attendance also will receive a gift from Men’s and Women’s Athletics.

Each year, the Autumn Festival serves as a reminder that UT is one of the largest employers in the region. Human Resources, Facilities Services and TRECS staff always work hard and do a great job of preparing the site and breaking down equipment after the festival. Employees are UT’s greatest asset. Autumn Festival underscores the truth of that statement. Friday will be a great opportunity for new and longtime employees to meet and mingle, and help UT continue to be a great place to work.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Alan Chesney
Executive Director, Human Resources