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UT has established the Harold “Prof” Powers Scholarship for McMinn County, Tennessee, students, thanks to a gift from Athens native and UT alumnus Larry Pratt.

Pratt is one of Powers’s former students from McMinn County. Pratt established the scholarship to honor Powers for his longtime influence on youth in McMinn County. The scholarship is designed to enhance access by eliminating financial barriers to attend the state’s flagship research university.

McMinn County students who apply for admission and scholarships by November 1 of their senior year in high school, are accepted to UT Knoxville, and meet the same income guidelines as those for the need-based Tennessee Pledge Scholarship will automatically be considered for scholarship as part of their financial aid evaluation.

Harold "Prof" Powers
Harold “Prof” Powers

Powers, a 1950 UT alumnus, was principal at City Park Elementary School for thirty-three years. He also served on the McMinn County Board of Education for thirteen years. The longtime educator is known as the “father of camping” in Tennessee because of his leadership of Boy Scout Troop 116. Powers also directed the city of Athens Learn to Swim program.

“Growing up in McMinn County was a wonderful experience for me and Prof was one of the reasons why. He helped shape who I am today in a very positive way,” Pratt said.

Larry Pratt
Larry Pratt

Pratt, a 1973 College of Business Administration graduate, is chairman and CEO of First Savings Mortgage Corporation in McLean, Virginia. Pratt Pavilion, UT’s 70,000-square-foot basketball practice facility, is named in honor of Pratt, who was the lead donor for the project.

“I am honored to establish this scholarship in Prof’s name. He has helped so many students achieve their full potential, and now I hope to do the same for a deserving student from McMinn County,” Pratt said.

Powers said he was honored to learn of the endowment in his name.

“I am all for education and I was very pleased when Larry called to tell me he was developing this important scholarship,” said Powers. “I was Larry’s eighth grade teacher, principal, scout leader, and he was one of my Eagle Scouts. We have stayed close over the years and I am very proud of him.”

Powers retired more than thirty years ago but spends every Wednesday storytelling at one of Athens’s four elementary schools. He also teaches Sunday school at Wellington Assisted Living Facility. He is a skilled woodworker and has created more than 500 wood pieces for students and athletes to celebrate their honors and achievements.

The Harold “Prof” Powers Scholarship helps extend the university’s ability to provide additional need-based support for in-state students with a family adjusted gross income under $40,000. UT seeks to extend the reach established by the Tennessee Pledge scholarship to allow more Tennessee students to graduate from UT in four years without debt. The Tennessee Pledge Scholarship, when combined with other federal, state, and institutional aid, covers mandatory costs, which includes tuition, fees, the average for on-campus room and board, and an allowance to assist with books.

For more information about financial aid and scholarships, visit


Charles Primm (865-974-5180,