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Last year was a record fundraising year for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with more than 32,700 alumni and friends contributing more than $104.7 million. The total was up $7.6 million over 2010-2011.

Such private support is essential to the University of Tennessee’s goal of becoming a Top 25 public research university.

“Successful fundraising efforts are an integral part of our journey,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “It allows us to recruit the best students with scholarships, educate and challenge them with the best faculty, who are recruited or retained with privately funded professorships and chairs, and, in the end, the future of our state is enhanced as the best and brightest minds from our university make a positive impact on all Tennesseans through their research and discovery.”

In July 2011, Cheek announced the Chancellor’s Faculty Salary Support Challenge, a catalyst to retain and recruit outstanding faculty. The challenge offers immediate access to funding on all new gifts and five-year pledges for faculty awards, professorships, and chairs. It has already made a transformative impact with fifteen faculty awards and professorships in a number of colleges, including nursing, engineering, social work, and business administration.

In addition to the faculty challenge, eighty endowments were created that will provide continuous, endless income to the Knoxville campus.

“We are thankful for the support of our loyal alumni and donors who invest in the future and vision of this great university. With the support of private gifts we are able to improve the quality of education that each student receives,” said Cheek.

C O N T A C T :

Haylee Marshall, (865-974-5801,

Beth Gladden, (865-974-9008,