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More than 270 UT alumni, spouses, families, and special guests gathered to honor 18 Volunteers representing a broad spectrum of ages and professions at the UT Knoxville Alumni Board Awards Dinner on September 8.

Mintha Roach (’74), president and CEO of the Knoxville Utilities Board and former president of the of the UT Knoxville Alumni Board of Directors, served as master of ceremonies at the event, which was held at the Knoxville Convention Center.

The evening culminated with recognition of the top honor, the Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Awards.

2017 Alumni Awards winners
The 2017 Alumni Awards winners are, from left to right, Chris LaPorte, Chancellor Beverly Davenport, Martha S. (Missy) Wallen, Patrick Hazari, Sharrie Williams, Margaret Scobey, Cristen Garrett (Crissy) Haslam, Charles P. Tombras Jr., Wilma Hacker Jordan, Tim Love, Barbie S. Bigelow, Michael C. Crabtree, Elizabeth Ford, Micah Johnson, Mason Jones, Matthew Thornton III, Kathryn P. Cyphers, and emcee Mintha Roach. (Not pictured: Jenny H. Boyd, Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr.)  

Michael Crabtree (’73, ’75), co-founder of CTI Molecular Imaging Inc., thanked Professor Emeritus Robert Bodenheimer, who presented him with his award. “This is a story about giving back. I’m grateful to the [Tickle] College of Engineering and also grateful for the projects to develop and communicate PET scanners that allowed me to establish the Bodenheimer Fellowship. That endowment now stands at over a million dollars and has supported 41 graduate students. I’d call that a great return on investment. It makes me smile to know that I’ve given back a little.” 

Crissy Haslam (’85), the first lady of Tennessee, said, “I’m so honored to accept the award. It brings back fond memories of my classes and professors in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. I also worked at UT, in the admissions office. As first lady, my goal is to bring awareness of the importance of reading and reading readiness as foundations to success. It’s so important what is going on at UT’s College of EHHS. They are educating our educators, and that is very powerful.”

Wilma Hacker Jordan (’70), one of three founders and former CEO of the 13-30 Corporation, is now CEO of the Jordan Edmiston Group, the most successful independent investment bank for the information, marketing, media, software, and tech-enabled-services sectors. “I’m humbled to be standing here,” said Jordan. “I’m a multigenerational East Tennessee native. I want to thank my family and my close friends from the University of Tennessee. I visited classes today in the Haslam College of Business, and all I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t have to compete with those kids.” 

Margaret Scobey (’71, ’73), former US Ambassador to Syria and the Arab Republic of Egypt, said, “When my parents decided to send my two brothers and me to UT, it was a big investment. You would have to say it paid off.  It offered me a safe opportunity to grow and develop, and provided circles of friends at UT that you never leave.”

The evening culminated with a special performance of the alma mater andRocky Top” by the UT Singers.

Read more about the Distinguished Alumnus winners and others:  


Brooks Clark, 865-974-5471