Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE — Five individual educators and a program that put books into the hands of young children will be honored on Thursday when they are inducted into the Educators Hall of Honor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m. at the UT Visitors Center, on Neyland Drive, near Kingston Pike.

The Hall of Honor, housed in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, is a place to acknowledge the work of professionals who have established themselves in the education field. The hall is open to any professional in the United States, and members have come from throughout Tennessee and the nation. Those honored have been teachers from elementary schools to the college ranks.

The new group of honorees includes:

Mary Ann Blank, who has spent most of her professional life as a teacher educator at UT Knoxville and as an educational consultant to numerous school systems in Tennessee and other states. Blank has authored numerous articles and has co-authored several texts targeting teachers and administrators for the betterment of the learning environment.

Joan L. Creasia, who has served as dean for the College of Nursing at UT Knoxville since 1995. Under her leadership, the college has been strong academically and has enlarged to include the anesthesia program and the first dedicated education unit within a hospital providing clinical education for upper-level nursing students. Also, the new Doctor of Nursing Practice Program accepted its first students in January 2011. Another first attributed to the leadership of Creasia is the establishment of the first Homeland Security program in the nation.

The Imagination Library, part of the Knox County Public Library System designed specifically to improve the literacy skills of the children of Knox County by focusing on early education. Dolly Parton founded Imagination Library to promote reading among young children in her native Sevier County in 1996. Parton and The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation have since expanded the program to the entire state of Tennessee. This month, the Imagination Library delivered its one millionth book to a Knox County child.

W J Julian, who is most recognized for raising the standard of the Pride of the Southland Band. He was the innovator that moved the band to the music education department and designed the uniforms still worn today, reflecting the military past of UT and the band. For more than 30 years, Julian dedicated his efforts to establishing a standard of excellence that has been demonstrated at numerous presidential inaugurations and the many bowl game appearances.

Robert Kronick, who is a professor in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences at UT Knoxville. Prior to moving into academia, he spent 20 years trying to rehabilitate and repair criminals. At some point he realized that the key was to reach individuals early, and education was the tool. By working within the university system and bringing college students and elementary students together, Kronick has been instrumental in making the lives of both richer. Long after he has earned the right to retire and enjoy his leisure, his heart for our youth has caused him to stay.

Margaret N. Perry, who is chancellor emeritus of UT Martin. She has the distinction of being the first woman to serve as an executive officer in the UT system and the first woman chancellor or president of any four-year public university in Tennessee. Perry has long been involved in international programs, which included work with France, Iraq, China, Japan, Taiwan and Mexico.

Nominations are made with a contribution of at least $1,000. For a contribution of $25,000 or more, a separate scholarship endowment fund will be established in the honoree’s or donor’s name.

To learn more about the Educators Hall of Honor, see

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,