KNOXVILLE—Businessman, philanthropist and University of Tennessee graduate John D. Tickle has been appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to serve on the UT Board of Trustees.
Tickle is chairman of Strongwell Corporation and a 1965 graduate of UT Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. In 2013, the 110,000-square-foot Tickle Engineering Building, funded in part by a gift from Tickle and his wife, Ann, was dedicated on the Knoxville campus.
In 2010, the couple were named Philanthropists of the Year by the UT Development Council. The award recognized their support for the $1 billion Campaign for Tennessee through a gift that enabled a 32,000-square-foot expansion, the John and Ann Tickle Small Animal Hospital, within the UT College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. Ann Tickle received a bachelor’s degree in education from UT Knoxville.
“John and Ann are long-time friends and supporters of the University of Tennessee, and as alumni, they both have a great affinity for UT and care deeply about its mission,” UT President Joe DiPietro said. “Because of that, and the proven leadership John will bring to his service on the board of trustees, his appointment is great news and I look very much forward to working with him.”
Tickle, a resident of Bristol, fills the unexpired term of former UT trustee and board vice chairman Brian Ferguson, who resigned in April upon moving out of state. Tickle’s current appointment is through 2017.
Tickle will serve on the UT board’s finance and administration committee; and on the research, outreach and economic development committee.
Tickle was president of Morrison Molded Fiber Glass Company in Bristol before he eventually purchased the company and renamed it Strongwell Corporation in 1997. Today, Strongwell is a worldwide operation, headquartered in Bristol.
In addition to their gifts to the UT Knoxville College of Engineering and College of Veterinary Medicine, the Tickle family has made numerous other gifts to benefit the University.