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The May 1 college confirmation deadline is just around the corner, and UT’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions will celebrate the day with a live Declaration Day event akin to National Football Signing Day.

Admissions is teaming with VFL films to produce a one-hour live broadcast of this first-of-its-kind event, hosted by Tennessee Titans announcer Mike Keith, which will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. (EDT). The public is invited to view the Declaration Day event online or on Facebook and engage with Undergraduate Admissions on social media.

The campus community is invited to watch the festivities, which will take place in the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio and directly outside in the plaza. Alumni and campus community members are encouraged to wear orange on May 1, use the Welcome to the Vol Family graphic on social media, and engage with Undergraduate Admissions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Students who will be enrolling at UT in the fall are encouraged to use the hashtags #volsdeclare and #utk21. Students can also share the I’m a Vol! and I Declared graphics. High school students interested in attending UT in the future are also encouraged to watch to learn more about the university.

“We want incoming students and those who may still be contemplating their decision that day to get caught up in the excitement of becoming part of the Volunteer family,” said Kari Alldredge, vice provost for enrollment management. “The event will have a festive atmosphere and let us highlight some of the students, faculty, staff, traditions, and accomplishments that make UT a great college choice.”

Alldredge said student confirmations are still arriving and UT is striving for another record-setting freshman enrollment in the fall.

Last year, UT enrolled 4,851 freshmen, the largest class in at least 30 years. It marked the sixth consecutive year of freshman growth.

The Declaration Day event will feature live and recorded interviews with high school seniors who have decided to attend UT in the fall, including a group of students whose families were affected by the Gatlinburg fires. UT Admissions traveled to Gatlinburg Pittman High School after the wildfires to meet with 20 admitted students and replace admissions items that may have been lost in the disaster.

Chancellor Beverly Davenport is expected to call in live during the event to congratulate new Vols on their decision to come to Rocky Top.

The event also will feature live and recorded interviews with current UT students, admissions staff, faculty, and alumni.

Segments will feature mini-tours of the UT campus, focusing on the beauty of the area and UT’s prime location in the urban wilderness of East Tennessee, near the Great Smoky Mountains

The set will showcase foods from popular campus dining facilities. A tally board will track the number of confirmations received from the region during the event, and a One Stop counselor will call applicants so they can confirm live on the broadcast.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,