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Rocky Top Cover-210

Smokey, the beloved UT mascot, will be joined on his adventures by raccoon and turtle friends in a new interactive electronic book that was released this month.

Tales from Rocky Top, Volume I contains three children’s stories selected through a writing competition that took place last spring. The illustrated stories include music, pop-up facts, and narration. The book is produced through the UT Rocky Top Institute.

Rocky Top CoverThe book features:

  • “Conrad the Rocky Top Turtle,” written by UT alumnus Charles Haun and narrated by Dane Bryant, son of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant—the composers of the song, “Rocky Top.”
  • “Rocky the Raccoon,” written by Bearden High School student Rachel Jones and narrated by UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson.
  • “Smokey’s Rocky Top Tail,” written by Bearden High School student Samantha Arnold and narrated by Bob Kesling, the Voice of the Vols.

Local artist Tiffani Mari Mensch illustrated the three stories.

The electronic book is available for purchase in the UT Bookstore and area retailers including Walgreens. It is in a PDF format on a compact disc that can be copied onto computers and tablets. The CD also includes printable pages for coloring.

The institute has launched the writing contest for Tales from Rocky Top, Volume II. The deadline is February 28. Submission forms, guidelines, and other information are available online.

The UT Rocky Top Institute was established in 2011 as a partnership with the Bryant family. The institute allows students in the UT Retail and Consumer Sciences Program to further develop and grow the Rocky Top brand through the creation of unique products. Proceeds from the sale of the products are divided between UT and the Bryant family. The UT portion is divided between the Pride of the Southland Band and the Retail and Consumer Sciences Program and supports scholarships, fellowships, and institute projects.

Through the institute, students have hands-on learning opportunities in areas including product development, brand management, and marketing. They also strengthen their leadership, creativity, and business skills.


Nancy Rutherford (865-603-2344, nruth@utk.edu)

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993, lalapo@utk.edu)