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Last year, nearly 1,600 donors contributed more than $765,000 to the Big Orange Give, UT’s five-day social-media-based giving campaign.

BOG-Logo-3colorThat number included $19,000 raised for band scholarships, which meant that each member of the Pride of the Southland Band received $100 for each year of service to the band.

Jessica Pendleton, a clarinet player from Huntland, Tennessee, graduated in May with a major in marketing concentrating in supply chain management and a minor in Hispanic studies. In addition to her many activities and challenging course load, the band was a constant.

“It was a huge time commitment,” said Pendleton. “Eight hours a week during the season.”

As a fourth-year band member, she received a $400 scholarship. “I was grateful,” she said. “It’s something that says ‘thank you for your contribution.'”

Students and faculty members feel the impact of the Big Orange Give every day in many ways. Here are a few examples of the project’s influence.

  • Increased funds available to the Black Alumni Scholarship, Tennessee Pledge Scholarship Gift Fund, and the Young Alumni Scholarship. (Last year, 88 percent of UT students received financial aid, including scholarships.)
  • Helped raise nearly $10,000 for the University Libraries to acquire a collection of work by UT alumnus and iconic writer David Madden.
  • Supported students’ travel to national conferences, which will further their education and careers.
  • Helped fund Center for Career Development programs to support students in their professional growth.

This year’s Big Orange Give will run October 19 through 23.

“Last year, participants saw the impact they made, even with a small contribution,” said Lance Taylor, UT’s director of annual giving and student philanthropy.

“This year we want to make an even bigger impact. We’ve set a goal of $1 million, and we think we can make it. We have two challenge donors who have committed to donate $500,000 if the Vol Nation can raise $500,000. Not everyone can make an individual gift of that magnitude, but together our passionate alumni and donors can see the power of many gifts.”


Brooks Clark (865-974-5471,