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KNOXVILLE — For UT Knoxville pre-med sophomore Morgan McPheeters, the Regal Scholarship is just what the doctor ordered.

McPheeters received $2,500 to help him with college expenses this year.

“I work to pay for my tuition, and my mother, who is on disability, inputs everything she can to ensure that I receive an adequate education,” McPheeters said. “This generous donation relieves some of this pressure.”

The Regal Scholarship program, offered through UT to students for the first time this fall, provides $2,500 annual scholarships for up to 40 Knox County students — 10 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 10 juniors and 10 seniors.

To be eligible for the Regal Scholarship program, students must be enrolled at or admitted to attend UT Knoxville, and they must meet the same income guidelines as those for the need-based Tennessee Pledge Scholarship (a family adjusted gross income of up to $40,000). Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis.

To learn more about applying for the Regal Scholarship, as well as other UT scholarships, please visit the university’s financial aid website. This site lists important deadlines and criteria for scholarship awards. Also, students applying to UT Knoxville for admission for fall 2011 are encouraged to visit their high school guidance counselor who has information on the Regal Scholarship and other scholarship programs.

Regal has pledged to give up to $100,000 annually for the next five years to support the scholarships.

The scholarship program is just one of several gifts that Regal Entertainment Group and its foundation have given UT as part of the Campaign for Tennessee.

“The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is very grateful for its partnerships with private businesses, like Regal Entertainment Group,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “The company’s generosity will have a tremendous impact on the students.”

Amy Miles, UT alumna and CEO of Regal Entertainment Group, said, “Investing in our local community is a point of pride for us. Supporting the students, the faculty and the athletic programs at UT, as well as the students and programs at UT Medical Center, are significant parts of our commitment to be a corporate leader in Tennessee.”

Headquartered in Knoxville, Regal Entertainment Group is the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world, operating 6,775 screens in 548 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

Regal Entertainment Group’s gifts to UT Knoxville include

UT Academics — In addition to funding of the Regal Scholarships, UT’s College of Business Administration has benefited from two more investments by Regal Entertainment Group. One will establish the endowed Regal Entertainment Group Distinguished Professorship. The other will support the CBA Technology Fund which helps maintain state-of-the-art computers, software and other technology in classrooms in the James A. Haslam II Business Building. In appreciation, a second-floor team room in the building will be named the “Regal Entertainment Group Team Room.”

  • UT Athletics — The Regal Soccer Stadium, named in honor of Regal Entertainment Group’s legacy of support for UT Athletics, was dedicated in 2008. The $7.5 million facility was paid for by private donations. An additional gift by Regal Entertainment Group will help build a new state-of-the-art football training center adjacent to the Brenda Lawson Athletic Center and Haslam Field.
  • UT Medical Center — The Regal Foundation, the charitable arm of Regal Entertainment Group, with the Will Rogers Institute, recently donated $1 million to UT Medical Center and UT Graduate School of Medicine to establish the Mike Campbell Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship. The fellowship will foster enhanced research and training for physicians specializing in pulmonary disease and also will help attract the nation’s leading pulmonary residents.

Regal’s gifts are part of the university’s $1 billion fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Tennessee. The most ambitious effort in the university’s history, the campaign places UT among the ranks of the nation’s largest public and private institutions that have sought this level of private support.

The campaign secures private gifts through contributions, pledges and planned giving to advance the university’s strategic goals that include improving student access and success, research and economic development, outreach and globalization. More than 98 percent of all gifts are designated for a specific purpose or program, such as scholarships or endowed professorships, and help provide the vital resources to advance key initiatives.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: A reception welcoming the first group of Regal Scholars and recognizing the generosity of the Regal Entertainment Group Foundation will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, in the West Wing on the fourth floor of the James A. Haslam II Business Building.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,