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KNOXVILLE — What happens when you combine the efforts of the university, a Knoxville elementary school, a philanthropist and the community?

According to businessman and philanthropist Randy Boyd, the lives of children and families in one area of our community can be greatly improved.

Boyd, founder and president/CEO of Radio Systems of Knoxville, will lead a presentation at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the Toyota Auditorium of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This event is free and open to the public.

Boyd will be joined by Dane Bradshaw, former UT basketball player; UT Professor Bob Kronick; Bob Rider, dean of the college of Education, Health and Human Sciences; and Elizabeth Williams, a UT undergraduate majoring in the College Scholars Program who will talk about service learning work she’s done.

Boyd recently gave $323,850 to UT’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences to further Kronick’s work with the University-Assisted Community Schools Project. Pond Gap Elementary School is the focus of this project for the coming academic year.

Through this project, Pond Gap’s mission is being broadened to provide health, mental health and other services for students and families. The goal is that the school provides some basic care — providing meals, doing laundry, etc. — that families, for various reasons, are unable to provide for their children. Among the long-term goals of full-service schools: preventing crime, mental illness and poverty.

The presentation will describe how Pond Gap’s project works and challenge the community to develop other projects like it.

“We will discuss the philanthropist’s role, the role of the community and the university and the role of students,” Kronick said. “Why is the connection between education and philanthropy so important and so beneficial? How do we grow programs like this? How do we keep them afloat after the donor is gone? What are some models for effective community-engaged philanthropy?

“I encourage anyone who is interested in improving the lives of families in our community to attend and look for a way to get involved,” Kronick said. “We want to reach out to people who are looking for ways to become civically engaged in the Knoxville community, either by giving their time or money. We would love for UT students to attend because they are prime civic engagers, and we would love for UT faculty to attend to show how they can facilitate service learning opportunities for their students.”

This lecture is sponsored by University-Assisted Community Schools, the UT College of Education, Health and Human Sciences and the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

For more information about UT’s work with this project, contact Kronick at or 865-974-8799.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,