1990-2011

Athletic Excellence

President George H. W. Bush Visit

1990

President George H. W. Bush Visit

1990

President George H. W. Bush Visit

During a February 2, 1990 visit to UT, President George H. W. Bush toured a laboratory; spoke to high school students who excelled in math and science; and addressed a large assembly of faculty, students, and administrators about his administration’s educational goals.

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Third Women’s Basketball National Championship

1991

Third Women’s Basketball National Championship

1991

Third Women’s Basketball National Championship

The Lady Vols basketball team won its third national championship in 1991 under head coach Pat Summitt. The Lady Vols tied the game against Virginia at 60 by the end of regulation and won in overtime 70–67. It was their third national title in five years.

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Second Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship

1991

Second Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship

1991

Second Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship

The men’s outdoor track and field team won its second national championship in 1991 under head coach Bill Webb.

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William Snyder Chancellorship

1992 – 1999

William Snyder Chancellorship

1992 – 1999

William Snyder Chancellorship

Acting Chancellor William Snyder, who was also the acting vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, became UT’s fifth chancellor in 1992. Snyder had joined the faculty at the UT Space Institute in 1964, and he came to Knoxville in 1970 as head of engineering science and mechanics. He was named dean of engineering in 1983. After he stepped down from the chancellor’s office, Snyder spent almost a year serving as UT’s acting senior vice president. He is equally well known in Knoxville for his 39-year volunteer gig playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ at the Tennessee Theatre.

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Smokey VII in Service

1992 – 1994

Smokey VII in Service

1992 – 1994

Smokey VII in Service

Although Smokey VII began service in 1992 under head football coach Johnny Majors, he proved too temperamental for a game-day mascot. Smokey VII nipped at the heels of a Pride of the Southland Band tuba player during consecutive runs through the T in 1994. That resulted in Smokey’s retirement under head coach Phillip Fulmer. For the remainder of the season, a dog named Woody, owned by former UT Athletics Director Bob Woodruff, carried out mascot duties.

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UT 200th Anniversary

1994

UT 200th Anniversary

1994

UT 200th Anniversary

UT celebrated its 200th anniversary in 1994 with a gala at Thompson-Boling Arena that included the UT Chorus singing “Rocky Top” in Latin. A brass plaque set in the sidewalk in front of Morgan Hall commemorates the anniversary.

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Pulitzer Prize Winner Ron Kirksey

1994

Pulitzer Prize Winner Ron Kirksey

1994

Pulitzer Prize Winner Ron Kirksey

UT alumnus Ron Kirksey, a 1970 graduate, was the lead writer on a team at the Akron Beacon Journal that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. The Ohio newspaper was recognized for its broad examination of local racial attitudes and its subsequent effort to promote improved communication in the community.

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Lambda Student Union Founded

1994

Lambda Student Union Founded

1994

Lambda Student Union Founded

The Lambda Student Union was founded in 1994 to provide a means of communication between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and straight students. Its roots extend back to at least 1971, when the Gay Liberation Front was founded but denied official student organization status.

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College of Arts and Sciences Named

1994

College of Arts and Sciences Named

Drawing class at UT

1994

College of Arts and Sciences Named

Eighty-nine years after its founding as the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences was renamed in 1974.

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Rhodes Scholar Jennifer Santoro Stanley

1995

Rhodes Scholar Jennifer Santoro Stanley

1995

Rhodes Scholar Jennifer Santoro Stanley

Jennifer Santoro Stanley became UT’s sixth Rhodes Scholar in 1995. She had previously earned a master’s degree in 1994 from the London School of Economics and Political Science during a UT study abroad program. After she returned to England, Stanley studied for a PhD in politics at the University of Oxford and later spent several years on the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee. Stanley spoke to students during a 2011 UT commencement ceremony and served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Smokey VIII in Service

1995 – 2003

Smokey VIII in Service

1995 – 2003

Smokey VIII in Service

Smokey VIII was able to preside over the 1998 national championship win for the Vols despite an obstruction in his colon. After traveling to Tempe, Arizona, for the first-ever national championship in college football’s Bowl Championship Series, Smokey VIII seemed out of sorts. A trip to a local vet revealed that he had eaten a hotel washcloth. Smokey VIII led the Vols onto the field like nothing was wrong, secured the 23-16 win over Florida State University, and had the washcloth removed after his return to Knoxville. While he served from 1995 to 2003 under head football coach Phillip Fulmer, the Vols also won two Southeastern Conference championships. Smokey VIII retired after the 2004 Peach Bowl and died in 2006 from complications of high blood pressure and kidney disease.

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Fourth Women’s Basketball National Championship

1996

Fourth Women’s Basketball National Championship

1996

Fourth Women’s Basketball National Championship

The Lady Vols basketball team won its fourth national championship in 1996 under head coach Pat Summitt, defeating Georgia 83-65. It was the first of three national championships in a row for the Lady Vols.

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Peyton Manning Played Senior Season at UT

1997

Peyton Manning Played Senior Season at UT

1997

Peyton Manning Played Senior Season at UT

Although he was expected to be the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick in 1997, Peyton Manning announced on national television that he would play his senior season as the Vols quarterback. The Vols won the Southeastern Conference Championship that year and earned the No. 3 ranking in the country, but lost to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Manning, the runner up for the Heisman Trophy, was also a consensus first-team All-American and winner of the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Johnny Unitas Award, and the Best College Player ESPY Award. He was also a three-time academic All-American at UT and distinguished alumnus from the College of Communication and Information. During his NFL career, Manning won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts and another as quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Each year a group of students is named Manning Scholars, the winners of competitive scholarships Manning endowed beginning in 1998.

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Fifth Women’s Basketball National Championship

1997

Fifth Women’s Basketball National Championship

1997

Fifth Women’s Basketball National Championship

In 1997, the Lady Vols basketball team defeated Old Dominion 68-59 for its fifth national championship, and first back-to-back championship, under head coach Pat Summitt.

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Sixth Football National Championship

1998

Sixth Football National Championship

1998

Sixth Football National Championship

In 1998, head football coach Phillip Fulmer and quarterback Tee Martin led the Vols to their sixth national championship—the first in college football’s Bowl Championship Series. The 23-16 win over Florida State was the last game called on the radio by broadcaster John Ward, known for decades as the Voice of the Vols, before he retired.

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Chamique Holdsclaw Three-Time National Champion and Sixth Women’s Basketball National Championship

1998

Chamique Holdsclaw Three-Time National Champion and Sixth Women’s Basketball National Championship

1998

Chamique Holdsclaw Three-Time National Champion and Sixth Women’s Basketball National Championship

Star forward Chamique Holdsclaw led the Lady Vols basketball team to a third-straight national championship in 1998 under head coach Pat Summitt. It was an undefeated season for the Lady Vols at 39-0. They defeated Louisiana Tech 93-75 to win the title. Holdsclaw and her teammates Semeka Randall and Tamika Catchings were nicknamed the “Three Meeks.” Holdsclaw was selected as the Naismith Player of the Century for the 1990s while she played at UT, as well as a four-time All-American. She finished her UT career with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds, making her at that time the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Tennessee men’s or women’s history, the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Southeastern Conference women’s history, and the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in NCAA tournament women’s history. Holdsclaw played for four teams in the WNBA, led the league in scoring one season, and retired after the 2009 season. She has become a mental health advocate who encourages others by speaking and writing about living with bipolar disorder.

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UT Administrative Positions Reorganized

2000 – 2003

UT Administrative Positions Reorganized

2000 – 2003

UT Administrative Positions Reorganized

In 2000, the UT System eliminated several administrative positions including UT Knoxville chancellor and senior vice president as part of a restructuring effort aimed at directing millions more dollars into academics. John Peters, who was serving as provost and academic vice chancellor of UT, became vice president, provost, and chief operating officer. In 2003, UT re-established the chancellor position with the appointment of Loren Crabtree.

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Third Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship

2001

Third Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship

2001

Third Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship

The men’s outdoor track and field team won its third national championship in 2001 under head coach Bill Webb.

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Men’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

2002

Men’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

2002

Men’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

The men’s indoor track and field team won a national championship in 2002 under head coach Bill Webb.

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Loren Crabtree Chancellorship

2003 – 2008

Loren Crabtree Chancellorship

2003 – 2008

Loren Crabtree Chancellorship

Loren Crabtree became UT provost and then served as UT’s sixth chancellor for seven years from 2003 until he stepped down in 2008. He is a UT emeritus distinguished professor of history.

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Smokey IX in Service

2003 – 2012

Smokey IX in Service

2003 – 2012

Smokey IX in Service

Smokey IX defended his home stadium by nipping at and, according to Alabama head coach Mike Shula, drawing blood from an Alabama player in pregame warmups before the Tennessee-Alabama game in 2006. Beginning in 2003, he served as mascot under head football coaches Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, and Derek Dooley. In 2009, the American Kennel Club recognized the bluetick coonhound as its 162nd registered breed during Smokey IX’s tenure. After surgery for a torn ligament in January 2012, Smokey IX retired at the end of the season.

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First Black Vice Chancellor Clifton Woods

2004

First Black Vice Chancellor Clifton Woods

Bob Kesling (left) and Clifton Woods (right) pose as Woods is inducted into the Educators Hall of Honor.

2004

First Black Vice Chancellor Clifton Woods

Clifton Woods III was appointed by Chancellor Loren Crabtree as vice chancellor for research in January 2004. Woods joined the faculty as a chemistry professor in 1974 and later served as associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, interim provost, and vice provost. He was inducted into the Educators Hall of Honor in 2019.

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First Female Drum Major

2005

First Female Drum Major

2005

First Female Drum Major

The Pride of the Southland Band welcomed Kelly Bradshaw as its first female drum major in 2005.

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First Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

2005

First Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

2005

First Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

The women’s indoor track and field team won its first national championship in 2005 under head coach JJ Clark. The team won another national championship in 2009.

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Governor’s Chair Program Established

2006

Governor’s Chair Program Established

2006

Governor’s Chair Program Established

The Governor’s Chair Program, established in 2006 by UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, brings exceptionally accomplished researchers from around the world to Tennessee. Internationally renowned experts are hired for institutes operated jointly by UT and ORNL in the areas of advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, biological sciences, energy sciences, nuclear security, and urban design. The first appointment was Jeremy Smith, governor’s chair for molecular biophysics, who came from the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing at the University of Heidelberg.

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Commission for LGBT People Founded

2006

Commission for LGBT People Founded

2006

Commission for LGBT People Founded

The Commission for LGBT People was established by Chancellor Loren Crabtree in November 2006 and held its first meeting on December 12, 2006. It comprises lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty, staff, and students, as well as LGBT allies, and is appointed by the chancellor. The commission is charged to recommend changes in policy or procedure relative to concerns of LGBT people; make recommendations concerning new and existing academic, professional development, and extracurricular programs; recommend and encourage research to assess the status of LGBT people at UT and compare their status with that of LGBT people at other institutions and agencies; advise and consult with all university officials on the needs and status of LGBT people; and provide information to the campus and community on commission and university programs and activities related to LGBT people. The commission reports to the chancellor.

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Pulitzer Prize Winner Cormac McCarthy

2007

Pulitzer Prize Winner Cormac McCarthy

2007

Pulitzer Prize Winner Cormac McCarthy

After beginning his writing career at UT, novelist Cormac McCarthy won the National Book Award in 1992 for All the Pretty Horses and the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road. In 2010, the New York Times ranked The Road first on its list of the 100 best fiction and non-fiction books of the past 10 years. While attending UT from 1957 to 1960, McCarthy began receiving recognition for his short stories “Wake for Susan,” published in The Phoenix literary magazine in 1959, followed by “A Drowning Incident” in 1960. Although the Ingram-Merrill Foundation awarded McCarthy $125 to encourage his writing at UT, he left in 1960 to pursue his writing full time.

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Seventh Women’s Basketball National Championship

2007

Seventh Women’s Basketball National Championship

2007

Seventh Women’s Basketball National Championship

The Lady Vols basketball team won its seventh national championship in 2007 under head coach Pat Summitt, defeating Rutgers 59-46.

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Baker Center Building Opened

2008

Baker Center Building Opened

Howard H. Baker (center)

2008

Baker Center Building Opened

In 2008, the center named for Howard H. Baker Jr., the alumnus and politician nicknamed the “Great Conciliator,” opened its permanent building. Established in 2003, the Baker Center teaches the importance of research in developing public policies and divides its focus areas into energy and the environment, global security, and leadership and governance. Baker, an attorney who graduated from UT in 1949, was a Republican US senator from Tennessee who served as vice chair of the Senate’s committee on Watergate. He was also a chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan and a US ambassador to Japan under President George W. Bush. Baker worked with the center until his death in 2014, and he lay in repose in the center rotunda before his funeral.

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Jan Simek Interim Chancellorship

2008 – 2009

Jan Simek Interim Chancellorship

2008 – 2009

Jan Simek Interim Chancellorship

An expert in prehistoric cave and rock art and a distinguished professor of science in the Department of Anthropology, Jan Simek served as interim chancellor in 2008. Simek, who also served as interim UT president from 2009 to 2010, was later named president emeritus.

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Candace Parker Two-Time National Champion and Eighth Women’s Basketball National Championship

2008

Candace Parker Two-Time National Champion and Eighth Women’s Basketball National Championship

2008

Candace Parker Two-Time National Champion and Eighth Women’s Basketball National Championship

The only one of her kind in Lady Vol history, Candace Parkera star player at forward, center, and guardled the Lady Vols basketball team to the second of their back-to-back national championships in 2008. In the last championship under head coach Pat Summitt and Parker’s second straight championship, the Lady Vols defeated the Stanford Cardinal 64-48. Parker was named the Final Four most outstanding player in both of her championships and was a two-time consensus national player of the year as well. She was the first female player to dunk in an NCAA Tournament game and also dunk twice in a single college contest. UT retired Parker’s No. 3 jersey in 2014. After she won a WNBA national championship with the Los Angeles Sparks following Summitt’s death in 2016, Parker said, “This is for Pat.”

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Jimmy Cheek Chancellorship

2009 – 2017

Jimmy Cheek Chancellorship

2009 – 2017

Jimmy Cheek Chancellorship

Jimmy G. Cheek was selected to be UT’s seventh chancellor in 2009 while he was senior vice president at the University of Florida. During his time as chancellor, the university invested more than $1 billion in new facilities, increased enrollment and retention, opened several research centers, named our colleges of business and engineering, and was designated a Carnegie Engaged University. Cheek stepped down as chancellor in 2017 and began to serve on the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

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Honorary Degree for Dolly Parton

2009

Honorary Degree for Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton (center) with Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (left) and Chancellor Jimmy Cheek (right)

2009

Honorary Degree for Dolly Parton

UT awarded entertainment legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton an honorary doctorate during spring commencement in 2009. The university’s video of Parton singing “Rocky Top” for the graduates is one of our all-time most viewed clips on YouTube. Parton’s philanthropic work has centered on the importance of reading and education in the lives of children. She founded the Imagination Library in her native Sevier County, Tennessee, and it now serves children worldwide. Parton is a Grammy and Country Music Association award winner and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry.

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Civil War Site found at Sorority Village

2009

Civil War Site found at Sorority Village

2009

Civil War Site found at Sorority Village

In 2009, archaeological investigations of the future Sorority Village site unearthed a Confederate battle site with cannon emplacements and trenches facing the Fort Sanders area. The Civil War site is the first archaeologically substantiated Confederate battery position used in the Battle of Fort Sanders on November 29, 1863. Modified plans for the placement of the sorority houses allowed preservation of approximately 60 feet of the south end of the trench, which is marked with a plaque.

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Second Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

2009

Second Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

2009

Second Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship

The women’s indoor track and field team won its second national championship in 2009 under head coach J J Clark.

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Athletic Departments Merged

2011

Athletic Departments Merged

2011

Athletic Departments Merged

After UT hired Dave Hart as its new athletic director in 2011, the men’s and women’s athletic departments merged into one. Women’s Athletic Director Joan Cronan continued her service during the first half of 2012, then became a senior advisor to Hart and Chancellor Jimmy Cheek.

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