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Clay Jones (’71) of Naples, Florida, the former chairman and CEO of Rockwell Collins Inc., began serving as president of the Alumni Board of Directors on July 1. The board comprises representatives of UT’s more than 235,000 alumni.

Clay Jones
Clay Jones

“The University of Tennessee is producing leaders who can guide our state, nation, and beyond to new heights,” said Jones. “Serving on the alumni board is a great privilege, especially as the university moves forward on its journey to the Top 25.”

Jones, who as a student received UT’s highest undergraduate honor by being named a Torchbearer, graduated with a degree in political science. He served for eight years as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force and then began his thirty-four-year career with Rockwell International. In 1982, he served a fellowship in the White House Executive Exchange program, where he was assigned to the Environmental Protection Agency.

As active supporters of UT’s Center for Leadership and Service, Jones and his wife, Debbie Jones, established the Director of Leadership Programming Endowment, which is used to expand students’ leadership opportunities across campus through programs such as the Ignite Summit and the Emerging Leaders Program. The Joneses also helped establish the Torchbearer 2000 Endowment, which supports students involved in activities and community service at the university.

Robert Lewis (’81) of Stamford, Connecticut, vice president of global packaging and engineering technology for PepsiCo Inc., is the alumni board’s president-elect. Terry Begley (’74, ’69) of Kingsport, Tennessee, retired vice president of supply chain and chief procurement officer of Eastman Chemical Company, and Jason Little (’97) of Eads, Tennessee, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation, will serve as immediate past president and past president, respectively.

The alumni board added eight new members:

  • Stacey Becker (’98), case manager for vascular surgery, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville
  • Don Frieson (’90), executive vice president of operations, Sam’s Club, Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Mike Keith (’91), director of broadcasting, Tennessee Titans, Nashville
  • Joe McDonald (’75), president and CEO, Catholic Health System, Buffalo, New York
  • Linda Hampton Starnes (’82), disability advocate and public speaker, Parent Educational Network of Florida, Orlando
  • Gary Wade (’73), dean, Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law, Knoxville
  • Charlie Wagner III (’66, ’73), vice chairman and legal counsel, Jewelry TV, Knoxville
  • Mary Beth West (’94), principal, Mary Beth West Communications, Alcoa, Tennessee

The board also added five new ex officio members:

  • Elliott DeVore (’11), doctoral student and Special Interest and Diversity councils representative, Knoxville
  • Carson Hollingsworth, senior and student government representative, Knoxville
  • Alan Moore (’06, ’10) trust officer at First Tennessee Bank and Young Alumni Council representative, Knoxville
  • Bonnie Ownley, professor and Faculty Senate representative, Knoxville
  • Hannah Swanner, UT senior and Student Alumni Associates representative, Knoxville

The other fifteen board members are:

  • Jennifer Armstrong (’72), Manhasset, New York
  • Mike Berry (’77), Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Gary Blauser (’67), Batavia, Illinois
  • Chris Bollinger (’93), Nashville
  • Don Bosch (’85, ’88), Knoxville
  • Shirley Pih Broadbery (’79), Atlanta
  • Jim Clayton (’75), Knoxville
  • Susan Crunk (’80), Gallatin, Tennessee
  • Mei Ling Davis (’06, ’12), Knoxville
  • Rick Federico (’76), Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Gordon Ferguson (’82), Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • Ed Ingle (’83), McLean, Virginia
  • Phil Jacobs (’77), Houston
  • Gary Rose (’85), Gallatin, Tennessee
  • Meghan Morgan Ruel (’02), Knoxville


Brooks Clark 865-974-5471