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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, today announced a student emergency fund to provide financial assistance to students in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is administered through the Office of the Dean of Students and supported through VOLstarter, the university’s crowdfunding platform.

“Right now, our students are concerned about their health, transitioning to an online environment and successfully completing this semester. We want to ease unexpected financial burdens and provide the support they need.” said Dean of Students Shea Kidd Houze. “Our students need us. Many of them work hard to put themselves through school, and we are committed to filling in the gaps that might exist right now.”

If those employed as student workers on campus want to continue working, UT has a job for them. Chancellor Donde Plowman has asked supervisors to be creative and utilize student employees remotely.

“The Volunteer Creed challenges each of us to lift up those around us and this is our opportunity to live out our values as we support our students,” said Kidd Houze.

UT Knoxville students and families will receive information on how to apply to receive assistance in the coming days. To donate to the fund, visit the Student Emergency Fund VOLstarter fundraising page.

“What we do in the coming weeks and months will define us forever,” said Plowman. “A gift to the Student Emergency Fund is an opportunity to show what it truly means to be a Volunteer—because Vols help Vols.”


Mallorie Mendence (, 865-661-6302)