In 1859, US Representative Justin Morrill helped shape the future of Tennessee and the rest of the nation with the idea that higher education should be available to everyone.
Curious about how and when our traditions began? We’ve got you covered with this extensive (but not exhaustive) timeline.
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.
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.
Betsey Creekmore possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of UT history and traditions—that she has translated into an enduring gift to present and future Vols: an online encyclopedia of university history, facts, legends, and traditions.
On September 10, 1794, at the edge of the American frontier, a spark of an idea was kindled. That flame has grown into a beacon that continues to grow stronger.
Two centuries ago, UT was called East Tennessee College, but even in those days, its educational scope was much broader than the region it called home.
For more than a century, UT has attracted some of the great thinkers of the world to campus for a few hours or a few days.
Every university is judged by its alumni, and former UT students have distinguished themselves all over the world in the sciences, literature, and performing arts.