You would imagine a person would feel at home at the University of Knoxville, Tennessee, where someone dressed as your ancestor patrols the sidelines as a mascot. Yes, Eliza Crockett is descended from Davy Crockett’s cousin. But her UT roots run even deeper, and it all means something to Crockett. “I’ve got a cool family,” says the freshman from Brentwood, Tennessee.
Crockett’s great grandfather Adolphus “Buck” Hatcher (’22) was a member of UT’s secret honor society Scarabbean, earned 11 varsity letters (football, basketball, baseball and track), and kicked a 52-yard field goal against Sewanee. Her great grandmother Bernice Cary Hatcher (’28) was a founding member of the campus’ Tri Delta sorority, and both her grandmothers Margaret Hatcher Crockett (’55) and Nancy McMillan Ewell (’58) were Tri Delta sisters. Her grandfather Watkins Ewell (’56) was a Torchbearer and a member of both the Scarabbean and ODK honor societies. Her parents—Joseph (’89), a pharmaceutical rep, and Elizabeth (’89), a realtor—her brothers, Matthew (’17) and Zachary (’19), and many aunts, uncles, and first cousins are UT alumni.
Crockett is studying graphic design in the College of Architecture and Design. “My dream job is to be a graphic designer at a magazine in New York,” she says. “My ultimate dream is to work for Vogue. My art teacher in elementary school, Miss McCue, showed me that anything can be art. And Miss [Mimi] Stricker from Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville where I attended school is the sole reason I’m doing graphic design.”
There was never any question of where Crockett wanted to go to college. “I’ve been growing up coming here,” she says. “I always loved it. It’s a second home for me. I like change, but I love the comfort of UT. For my parents, UT was the best four years of their lives. I felt like I was coming home. I knew this where I wanted to go. I love it. I love it so.”