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Madeline Rogero

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero will headline the College of Communication and Information’s annual Experience Diversity Banquet at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 22, at the Bearden Banquet Hall, 5806 Kingston Pike, in Knoxville.

Madeline RogeroRogero will deliver the keynote address and also will be presented with the 2013 College of Communication and Information Diversity Award.

Alice R. Bowling Wirth, a lecturer in the college’s School of Communication Studies and director of the college’s Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS), said the banquet is DSLS’s major fundraiser for the year.

“The banquet provides an inspirational diversity experience for everyone who attends in addition to raising funds to support the college’s diversity and inclusion program,” Wirth said. “Our goal is to provide an open and accepting community for CCI students, to provide underrepresented students with support, mentoring, and programs to help them stay in college, and to help students be more marketable in the global workforce.”

Rogero was elected mayor of Knoxville in 2011. She is the first woman to hold the office. Her official biography says she “believes Knoxville’s strength comes from the diversity of its people” and the region’s natural resources.

Prior to joining the City of Knoxville, Rogero held leadership positions in organizations such as UT’s Community Partnership Center, Knoxville’s Promise—The Alliance for Youth, Dolly Parton’s nonprofit Dollywood Foundation, and the Coal Employment Project.

Rogero is a 1992 graduate of Leadership Knoxville and a 1994 graduate of Community Leadership. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from UT.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Rogero placed her college studies on hold in the 1970s to work with labor leader Cesar Chavez to help farm workers improve their living and working conditions.

In addition to the keynote speech, the program will include creative diversity presentations, music, and dancing. A limited number of tickets are still available. To check on ticket availability, contact Beth Cole at 865-974-1540 or

C O N T A C T :

Charles Primm (865-974-5180,