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In a ceremony at the College of Communication and Information, Judy Flanagan was honored for her service to the university.

Judy Flanagan, right, with UT Chief Development Officer Jonathan Spiceland, left, Vice Chancellor of Alumni Affairs and Development Scott Rabenold, second from left, and President Emeritus Joe Johnson.

As director of special events from 1990 to 2006, Flanagan served seven UT presidents and led major events surrounding such historic events as UT’s 200th anniversary in 1994, Neyland Stadium’s 1996 expansion dedication, the 1998 national football championship celebration, Lady Vols NCAA basketball title banquets, and a number of groundbreaking ceremonies and building dedications.

“Today we honor Judy for her service, for her professionalism, and for her generosity by presenting her the university’s Jefferson Cup,” said Scott Rabenold, vice chancellor of alumni affairs and development.

“What all of us know is that Judy is passionate about her profession, a perfectionist, and also a generous individual. Her future support of UT will go to the Judy Flanagan Special Events Scholarship in the College of Communication and Information, benefiting UT students who have an interest in special events careers.

“Judy has also created the Judy Flanagan Animal Law Excellence Endowment, which provides support for animal law programs at the College of Law, including support for students participating in animal law moot court, animal law pro bono projects, animal law student organizations, and faculty teachings.”

Born and raised in Kissimmee, Florida, Flanagan received a BS degree from Memphis State University in 1972. She earned a master’s degree in communications from UT in 2004 with a thesis titled “Special Event Communication in the Age of Terrorism.”

After starting her career at Walt Disney World, she directed parades for two World’s Fairs, worked with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1977, managed events from Gatlinburg to Puerto Rico to Canada, and coordinated projects for Universal Studios Florida.

UT recognizes special service to the university by awarding engraved silver cups named for Thomas Jefferson, who designed them. In an 1810 letter to UT’s trustees, Jefferson described his thoughts on the ideal design for a university, and the trustees incorporated those ideas into the UT campus. Because of this link to Jefferson and his vision for higher education in early America, the Jefferson cups serve as official campus gifts.


Brooks Clark (865-310-1277,