The University of Tennessee  
July 23, 2014   A-Z Index | WebMail | Dept. Dir. | Text Only | Accessibility 
The University of Tennessee System

Largest Personal Gift in UT History

The University of Tennessee announced at its Board of Trustees meeting on November 3 that an anonymous pledge of $50 million has been received for the institution's capital campaign, representing the largest personal gift in the history of the state's flagship school.

The donors have notified UT President Dr. John Petersen that half the gift is to be targeted to specific initiatives in Veterinary Medicine and the College of Engineering, while the other half is to be designated for intercollegiate athletics, including the historic Neyland Stadium renovations.

The initial installment of the gift will be a $10 million grant. The additional $40 million will be in an estate gift funding specific programs and initiatives developed over time in the donors' areas of interest.

"This is a tremendous validation of the good work already taking place on our campuses and a testament to the fact that private individuals recognize the power of philanthropy in impacting the future of UT and in turn the development of the entire state of Tennessee," said Petersen.

The anonymous gift comes on the heels of Knoxville philanthropists Jim and Natalie Haslam's earlier 2006 commitment of $32.5 million, the previous largest individual gift.

"Just as we hoped that our commitment would encourage others to support our great University, I'm sure that these anonymous donors would want someone else to come forward and eclipse even this incredible gift," said Haslam.

In just 18 months, UT's campaign, currently in the "silent phase," has reaped commitments exceeding $400 million through October 2006. UT officials have not yet publicly announced a campaign goal.

"For UT to achieve its truly desired impact in the region, state and nation, private support will be essential, but it cannot replace state support in funding the operating requirements of the University," said Petersen. "The entire University community salutes these visionary anonymous leaders who with this commitment have personally challenged the institution to continue to lead our state into the 21st century."