Community

We strive to fulfill our mission as a land-grant university by serving the citizens of our community and state—and increasingly, our nation and world. Our efforts extend beyond the campus and into our community through many partnerships, ranging from an annual statewide high school science and humanities symposium to scholarship programs to recruit and retain students from underserved populations.

In the Knoxville community, faculty and graduate students in sports psychology help local girls develop good exercise habits and healthy self-images; our College of Law performs pro bono work for underserved clients; and our Veterinary Social Work program supports pet owners during care for their animals.

In the US, UT strives to help combat hunger, homelessness, natural disaster destruction, and poverty from Appalachia, through the South, to the Great Lakes, and Washington, DC.

Our students also take part in community improvement projects around the world including medical missions in Guatemala, farming and gardening sustainability in Uganda and Jamaica, and potable water system creation in Peru.

Students also lead the way in giving back to the community by volunteering with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics of Greater Knoxville, the Knox County Read With Me children’s literacy program, the Ronald McDonald House, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

But our interaction with the community does not simply flow outward; members of the public have free access to many of UT’s cultural and academic resources, including the Frank H. McClung Museum, the UT Gardens, music recitals, and public lectures.

Our Center for Business and Economic Impact recently estimated that UT has an economic impact of more than $800 million on the state, accounting not only for direct expenditures by the university, but also the multiplied impact of things like spending by employees, jobs created by research funding, and more. The university’s partnership with Battelle Memorial Institute to manage Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will continue to attract leading researchers in the sciences to conduct their work in Tennessee.

UT contributes to every aspect of life, and we continue to move forward in our mission to be the preeminent public research and teaching university linking the people of Tennessee to the community, the nation, and the world.

Community News

Staff Member’s Dog Helps Make Elementary School Reading Class Less “Ruff”

A dog teaching students how to read may sound silly. But Boudreaux, a big, fluffy, white rescue dog from Louisiana—accompanied by the UT staff member who owns him—spends one morning each week giving students the encouragement they need to excel in the classroom.


Ayres Hall Featured on Princeton Review Guide Cover

Ayres Hall is featured on the cover of the Princeton Review's 2015 edition of The Best 379 Colleges.


Tassel Time in Tennessee: Commencement Ceremonies to Be Held This Week

It's tassel time in Tennessee with 1,747 undergraduate, graduate, and law students set to don mortarboards and receive their degrees from UT this week. Graduate hooding will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 12, and the undergraduate commencement ceremony will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 13. During Saturday's ceremony, an honorary degree will be awarded to Edward O. Wilson, who is considered the founder of sociobiology and the world’s leading authority on ants.


McClung Museum Celebrates Holidays with Free December Family Programs

Families and community members are invited to explore and enjoy free winter holiday-themed family events throughout December at the McClung Museum.


Friends Don’t Let Friends Forget Big Orange Friday

On Rocky Top, every Friday is Big Orange Friday. Watch the latest Big Orange Friday video, which highlights the new Fred D. Brown Jr. Residence Hall and the new extension of Pedestrian Walkway. The cold weather gives these students even more ways to keep orange on Friday.


Chancellor Meets with President Obama Again About Higher Ed Access

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek is meeting with a group led by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington, DC, today to address increasing college access for low-income students. This is the second time this year Cheek has been invited by the White House to discuss this issue. Cheek will share UT's commitment aimed at increasing STEM graduates by 20 to 25 percent with a primary focus on underrepresented students. Find more information on the College Opportunity Day of Action summit, or watch it live at WhiteHouse.gov.


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The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway