Rhodes Scholar William Everett Derryberry
An alumnus with a perfect academic record who also played on the football and tennis teams and served as director of the University Glee Club, William Everett Derryberry became the university’s fourth Rhodes Scholar in 1928. During the 1930s, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature at the University of Oxford and captained a tennis team. After teaching at Burritt College, Derryberry became a department head and football coach at UT Junior College at Martin, and then he was appointed to a similar position at Murray State University. Derryberry eventually rose to serve as president of Tennessee Polytechnic Institute (later Tennessee Tech) from 1940 to 1974, overseeing its largest period of growth to that time.