torch illustration

Lighting the Way

Volunteers have always worked to make the world a better place—it’s what we do. Read about a few of our alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who have helped to light the way for others.

Theotis Robinson in 2019

Trailblazer

On January 4, 1961, Theotis Robinson Jr. arrived on campus as an undergraduate student. It was his application and subsequent meetings with UT administrators, including President Andy Holt, that led to the change in the admissions policy that barred black undergraduate students.

Lester McClain, Gene Mitchell Gray, Sammye Wynn, and Condredge Holloway

UT Integrates

The climax of Southern university desegregation came in the early 1960s with rancorous confrontations and even riots on some campuses of the Deep South. The white leadership of the University of Tennessee was reluctant, but its path to racial integration was quieter and less acrimonious.