Alumni Service

UT alumni’s generous commitments to service and philanthropy transform lives and make future improvements possible.

Cristen Garrett Haslam (’85)

As first lady of Tennessee, Cristen “Crissy” Haslam created and launched a three-part initiative which recognizes the importance of families in improving children’s literacy.

Senator Bob Corker (’74)

After a mission trip to Haiti, Senator Bob Corker began to take a closer look at needs in his own community. That led to the creation of the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, a nonprofit organization that has helped more than 10,000 families secure decent, fit, and affordable housing.

Jerry H. Summers (’66)

Jerry Summers⁠, one of only two College of Law graduates inducted into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, is a founder of the College of Law Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution.

Ambassador Margaret Scobey (’71, ’73)

During more than 30 years with the US Foreign Service, Ambassador Margaret Scobey served as US Ambassador to Syria, US Ambassador to Egypt, political counselor in Baghdad, and deputy commandant at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Management.

Robert Edward Kirkland

The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation enabled Robert and his wife to focus on improving conditions for young people in Obion County, Tennessee. Robert Kirkland also masterminded Discovery Park of America, a world-class educational facility in Union City, Tennessee.

Interim UT President Randy Boyd (’79)

Interim UT President Randy Boyd previously served as Gov. Bill Haslam’s adviser for higher education and was the architect for Tennessee Promise, Drive to 55, and Tennessee Achieves. Through his philanthropy, Boyd supports the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research and the Boyd Venture Challenge seed grant program for student entrepreneurs.

John and Ann Tickle (’65)

The Tickle College of Engineering was renamed in 2016 for alumni benefactors John and Ann Tickle. The couple’s generosity has also resulted in the John D. Tickle Engineering Building, the John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital, and the John and Ann Tickle Athletic Development Suite. John Tickle currently serves on the UT Advisory Board.

Rick Kuhlman (’73)

Rick Kuhlman is the founding director of Knoxville Fellows, a program that provides leadership training of future leaders and teaches recent college graduates how to integrate their faith in their vocation.

Elizabeth Ford (’77)

Beth Ford has served for 18 years as the federal community defender for Federal Defender Services of East Tennessee. While managing a large team of attorneys, Ford also provides hands-on experience to law students through internships and externships.

Anne Holt Blackburn (’73)

Anne Holt Blackburn was the first woman, first African American, and first news anchor (WKRN in Nashville) to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters. She was also inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

Doug Horne (’67)

Doug Horne is a former member of the Chancellor’s Associates and the UT Board of Trustees who championed the creation of Tennessee’s HOPE Scholarship.

W. Dwight Kessel, Jr. (’50)

Dwight Kessel served as Knox County Clerk and was elected the first Knox County Executive. Kessel and his wife have established scholarships, professorships, and fellowships in the Tickle College of Engineering.

Kathryn P. Cyphers (’07, ’08)

In 2015, Katie Cyphers founded Education Cures, a nonprofit focused on developing and improving teacher education programs in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Michael Wahid Hanna (’95)

Michael Wahid Hanna is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation where he works on issues of international security, international law, and US foreign policy.

Lydia Criss Mays (’01, ’02)

As president and CEO of See Beautiful, Lydia Mays has collaborated with several humanitarian and philanthropic organizations so that, with each purchase, a consumer can pick an organization to support.

Kenneth and Blaire Mossman (’70, ’71, ’73)

The Ken and Blaire Mossman Building is named for the late couple, whose contributions to UT fund professorships and scholarships and established the Mossman Lecture Series. Kenneth Mossman was a presidential appointee to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board when he died in 2013.

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