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Tennessee Chapter of American Institute of Architects Honors UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson

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Joe Johnson

KNOXVILLE – Former University of Tennessee President Joseph E. “Joe” Johnson was honored Thursday by the Tennessee chapter of the American Institute of Architects as a lifetime contributor to the profession and practice of architecture.

The Samuel Morgan Lifetime Award for Contribution to Architecture in the Public Realm was presented to Johnson at the state conference of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), meeting in Knoxville.

“During my role in the building program of the statewide University of Tennessee for some 30 years, I had the pleasure of working with architects, engineers and builders who helped develop and grow our campuses,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who currently serves as president emeritus, was UT president from 1990-99. Since his retirement, he has remained active in building and maintaining relationships with alumni and donors, serving on community boards and consulting with University leaders. He serves on the UT Knoxville College of Architecture Board of Advisors and is a member of the Community Design Center in Knoxville.

Memphis architect Barry Yoakum, a UT Knoxville alumnus, nominated Johnson for the award because of Johnson’s influence on the University’s architecture during his long career that included roles in development and within the president’s office.

“Dr. Johnson has contributed directly to promoting original modern architecture that otherwise would not have been created,” Yoakum wrote in his nomination letter. “There was a significant body of work that was only made possible under this direct leadership and influence, and our Tennessee architecture and its built environment is better for it.”

For more information about the Tennessee AIA chapter, visit


Gina Stafford
(865) 974-0741

Category: Employees