University of Tennessee

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox University The University of Tennessee (UT), sometimes called the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT Knoxville or UTK), is the primary institution of the statewide land-grant University of Tennessee system, Tennessee's flagship public university. The main campus is often held to be synonymous with the statewide system (especially outside Tennessee). It is headquartered in Knoxville and includes specialized campuses in Memphis, Tullahoma, Martin, and Chattanooga.

The University of Tennessee also operates nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, one of the largest government laboratories in the US. ORNL is a world class supercomputing powerhouse (, as well as the future facility for the world's largest Neutron Accelerator (



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Aerial view overlooking Ayres Hall and The Hill near downtown Knoxville

The University of Tennessee has gradually grown from a small liberal arts college to its present status. In 1826, what was then East Tennessee College moved from its original location on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville to the 40 acre (160,000 m²) tract named Barbara Hill (in honor of Governor Blount's daughter). Known to students and alumni today as just "The Hill," it is only a small part of the Knoxville campus but remains at the heart of UT academic life.

The UT Forensic Anthropology Facility, nicknamed the "Body Farm," is located near the University of Tennessee Memorial Hospital on Alcoa Highway (US 129). Founded by Dr. William Bass, the Body Farm features numerous cadavers posed in various situations behind a fenced plot of land. Scientists at the university study how the human body decays in differing circumstances to gain a better understanding of decomposition. The Body Farm has proved a valuable resource to law enforcement officers and forensic medical examiners worldwide.

In 1998, the university changed the name of Yale Street to Peyton Manning Pass in honor of former Volunteer (and now Indianapolis Colts) quarterback Peyton Manning. According to the United States Postal Service, this is one of only two throughfares designated "Pass" (as opposed to "Avenue," "Street," etc.) in the entire United States.


The University of Tennessee's flagship campus in Knoxville hosts ten colleges, the Institute of Agriculture, the Institute for Public Service, and several schools. The UT Health Science Center at Memphis and the UT Space Institute at Tullahoma are specialized campuses but are not separate institutions. The university itself, however, is one of three institutions that comprise the University of Tennessee system.

As of 2004, UT provides over 110 programs of study for undergraduate students. The university provides a list of all offered majors and minors (


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Ayers Hall. The University of Tennessee was established in 1794, making UT one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the region.
The University of Tennessee's total enrollment in the fall semester of 2003 was 27,281, of which 23,361 were full-time students and 3,920 were part-time. Undergraduates numbered 19,224 students, while graduate students made up the balance of 8,057. UT enrolled 3,579 first-time freshmen.

Of UT's total enrollment, 22,988 students described themselves as white, with 2,020 black, 357 Hispanic, 1,454 Asian, 96 American Indian, and 366 other/not reported. Total minority enrollment was 14%. 1,484 international students enrolled at UT in 2003. Slightly more women (52%) attended UT than men.

Most international students came from China, India, and South Korea. 4,102 students were previously out-of-state U.S. residents, mostly from Virginia, Georgia, and Ohio. 21,695 students already resided in Tennessee, with most previous in-state residents coming from Knox, Shelby, and Davidson counties.


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View of Europa and Zeus at the UT McClung Plaza

The University of Tennessee was chartered on September 10, 1794 as Blount College, by an act of the legislature of the Southwest Territory meeting in the territorial capital, Knoxville. The college was small at its inception and struggled for the next 13 years with a small student body and an even smaller faculty. In 1807, the school was renamed East Tennessee College; however, when its first president and only faculty member died in 1809, the school was temporarily closed. It reopened in 1820, and in 1840 was elevated to East Tennessee University.

The Civil War virtually destroyed the college, as students and faculty left to join both the Union and Confederate forces, their divided loyalties reflecting those of East Tennessee itself. The college buildings were occupied by troops from both sides and were used as hospitals. Shelling significantly damaged the grounds. The president who took the college's reins in 1865 was a Union sympathizer, and he managed to secure some $18,500 in restitution funds from the federal government.

Following the Civil War, the State of Tennessee made the University the beneficiary of the Morrill Act of 1862 which allocated federal land or its monetary value to the various states for the teaching of "agricultural and mechanical" subjects and to provide military training to students. Thus, the University of Tennessee (its designation after 1879) became a land-grant institution. In 1893, the university admitted women regularly for the first time.

The first African Americans were admitted to the graduate and law schools by order of a federal district court in 1952. The first master's degree was awarded to an African American in 1954, and the first doctoral degree (Ed.D.) in 1959. Black undergraduates were not admitted until 1961; the first black faculty member was appointed in 1964. Integration went fairly smoothly; African-American students had more difficulty gaining entry to eating establishments and places of entertainment off campus than they did attending class on campus. Overall, Knoxville and the University had fewer racial troubles in the 1950s and 1960s than did other southern universities.

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Central view of the UT campus, with the Hodges Library ziggurat in the foreground.
In 1968, the university underwent an administrative reorganization which left the Knoxville campus as the flagship and headquarters of its new "university system," comprising the UT Health Science Center at Memphis, a four-year college at Martin, the former private University of Chattanooga (added a year later), the UT Space Institute at Tullahoma, and the Knoxville-based College of Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture Institute, and Public Service Institute. An additional primary campus in Nashville had a brief existence from 1971 to 1979 before it was ordered closed and merged with Tennessee State University.


Athletics and sports

Tennessee competes in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division, along with Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt, and competes in longstanding football rivalries with all; men's basketball rivalries with Vanderbilt and especially Kentucky; and women's basketball rivalries with virtually all except for Kentucky, whose women's basketball program is traditionally weak. Tennessee also has a budding rivalry with the University of Connecticut in women's basketball. These two schools have consistently fought great games against each other in recent years, occasionally with the national championship on the line.

UT's best-known athletic facility by far is Neyland Stadium, home to the football team, which seats nearly 105,000 people and is one of the country's largest facilities of its type. The men's and women's basketball teams play in Thompson-Boling Arena, the largest arena ever built specifically for basketball in the U.S.

Clubs and organizations

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Neyland Stadium, among the largest collegiate sports stadium in the US with 104,079 seating capacity.
University students are active in several student media organizations. The Daily Beacon is an editorially independent student newspaper that has a staff of over 100 and publishes 16,000 copies a day 5 days a week. The university operates two radio stations: student-run The Rock (formerly the Torch) ( (WUTK-FM 90.3MHz) and National Public Radio affiliate WUOT-FM 91.9MHz. The Phoenix, a literary art magazine, is published in the fall and spring semesters and showcases student artistic creativity.


The University of Tennessee, as the oldest institution of higher learning in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the United States, has accumulated numerous traditions over its long history. Former university historian Milton M. Klein summarized the history behind many school traditions on his homepage (


Charles Moore, president of the university's athletic association, chose orange and white for the school colors on April 12, 1889. His inspiration came from the orange and white daisies which grew on the Hill (although a recent investigation indicates there is no such daisy, wild or hybrid). Although students confirmed the colors at a special meeting in 1892, dissatisfaction caused the colors to be dropped. No other acceptable colors were agreed to, however, so the colors were reinstated one day later. Orange and white have remained the university colors since.

Fight song

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Smokey VIII, the UT mascot, recently retired, giving his place to rookie Smokey IX.
Although it is the most famous song played by the Pride, "Rocky Top" is is not the official fight song for the university. It was written in only ten minutes by songwriters Felice and Boudleaux Bryant in 1967. The Bryants were working in Gatlinburg on a collection of slow tempo songs for a project for Archie Campbell and Chet Atkins. Writing the fast-paced "Rocky Top" served as a temporary diversion for them. Later recorded, the song did not become popular until after 1972 when UT's marching band, the Pride of the Southland Band, used it for one of their drills. The football crowd loved the tune and its words; the more the band played it, the more people wanted it. It has now become one of UT's best-known traditions. Its popularity also extends beyond the campus of the University of Tennessee; "Rocky Top" became one of the Tennessee state songs in 1982.

The official fight song is actually "Down the Field," which is played when the Pride opens the "T" for the team to run through at the end of their famous Pregame show and also when the Vols score a touchdown.


In 1953 the campus Pep Club sponsored a contest to have a live mascot. The hound was chosen since it is a native breed and its small stature and loud baying represent a unique combination. Announcements in a local newspaper read, "This can't be an ordinary hound. He must be a 'Houn' Dawg' in the best sense of the word." The Rev. William C. "Bill" Brooks entered his prizewinning Bluetick Coonhound "Brooks' Blue Smokey," which won over the other eight contestants. Although the last hound to be introduced at the half-time contest, Smokey barked when his name was called. The students cheered and Smokey threw his head back and howled again and UT had its new mascot. The current mascot is Smokey IX. He is looked after by two student trainers from Alpha Gamma Rho, a national agricultural fraternity.


Tennessee is known as the "Volunteer State" for the overwhelming, unexpected number of Tennesseans who volunteered for duty in the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and especially the Mexican War. A UT athletic team was dubbed the Volunteers for the first time in 1902 by the Atlanta Constitution following a football game against Georgia Tech. The Knoxville Journal and Tribune did not use the name until 1905. By the fall of 1905 both the Journal and the Knoxville Sentinel were using the nickname. With the creation of women's athletics later in the 20th century, female athletic teams became known as the Lady Volunteers. All varsity teams continue to use their respective nicknames today, although often shortened by cheering fans to just "Vols" and "Lady Vols."

Notable alumni

Famous former students include:

Notable faculty

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In 2004, UT was voted to have the best college football weekend.
Well-known current and former faculty, staff, coaches, and administrators include:

See also

External links

Template:Tennessee public universities Template:UTsystem Template:Southeastern Conference


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