KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee President’s Council will hold its fifth annual showcase and awards dinner on Friday, Feb. 1, in Franklin.
As part of the showcase and awards event, President’s Council members will have the opportunity to tour the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center and the Williamson County Enrichment Center.
At the research and education center, members will hear an overview about the UT Institute of Agriculture and its outreach in Middle Tennessee and across the state, including presentations by AgResearch and 4-H. Council members also will tour the facility to learn about the programs and centers located on the property. President’s Council members will then travel to the Williamson County Enrichment Center. Herb Byrd, vice president of the UT Institute for Public Service, will speak about how the institute impacts the state and give members an opportunity to learn about the institute’s six agencies.
After the day’s activities, members will attend the President’s Council Awards Dinner at 7 p.m. at The Factory in Franklin. The UT Martin Steel Band will provide the evening’s entertainment and WTVF Talk of the Town Co-Host Lelan Statom will serve as the master of ceremonies.
The dinner will honor five volunteer UT leaders for their service to the University.
“It is a pleasure to award these five deserving recipients for their commitment to this University. Through the generous giving of their time, talents and resources, our campuses across the state are now national-leaders in a multitude of areas. The future of our students and institutions would not succeed without these individuals,” Interim President Randy Boyd said.
Jim and Natalie Haslam, both 1952 UT Knoxville graduates, will be presented with the first-ever Andy Holt Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prestigious awards given by the University. It honors those individuals who have been transformative in the success of UT and have greatly impacted the future of its students. The Haslam’s generosity has provided state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to better serve faculty, students and staff in both the James A. Haslam II College of Business and the UT Knoxville School of Music.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is a former UT president, will receive the Jim and Natalie Haslam Presidential Medal. Alexander served as the UT president from 1988 to 1991 and was instrumental in the creation of the Chairs of Excellence endowed professorships program, which still exists at all UT campuses.
Gary Rollins, vice chairman and CEO of Rollins, Inc., and his wife, Kathleen, will be honored with the Philanthropist of the Year Award. Their historic gift of $40 million to the UT Chattanooga College of Business was the largest philanthropic gift in the campus’ history. Gary Rollins is a 1967 UT Chattanooga graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business.
Tom Griscom, a 1971 UT Chattanooga alumnus, will receive the President’s Council Service Award. Griscom has served as an advisor for the UT system, UT Chattanooga and UT Martin, providing valuable feedback and insight to the University in a number of areas.
Betsy Brasher Melby, a 1998 and 2003 graduate of UT Martin, will be inducted into the UT Alumni Association Past Presidents Council. Melby led the alumni association as president from 2017 to 2018. She also served on the Women’s Council, Finance and Marketing Services committees and the UT Martin Alumni Council and School of Business Advisory Board.
The dinner will conclude with a celebration of UT President Emeritus Joe DiPietro. As the 25th president of UT, DiPietro is regarded as one of the University’s great leaders. Record low tuition increases, the naming of four colleges and an increase in funding for the University are just a few of the achievements DiPietro accomplished during his tenure.
About the Awards
Named after the beloved sixteenth president of the University of Tennessee, the Andy Holt Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding leadership to UT, have been transformational to the University and created a lasting impact for generations of UT students. This is the first year for this award to be presented.
The Jim and Natalie Haslam Presidential Medal was first awarded in 2007 to Sen. Howard H. Baker, Jr. In addition to exemplary giving, leadership and service, honorees demonstrate a willingness and ability to motivate others to support the University, show a lifelong commitment to UT and higher education and have personal history of integrity and excellence in all aspects of life. Other previous recipients include Jim and Sandy Powell (2017), Dr. Bob Kaplan (2016), John and Ann Tickle (2015), the late Hank Lauricella (2014), R. Clayton McWhorter (2013), Andrea Loughry (2012), former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (2011), Scott L. Probasco Jr. (2010), the late Pat Summitt (209) and Peyton Manning (2008).
Initiated in 2007, the Philanthropist of the Year Award goes to a donor who has made a significant gift(s) to the University of Tennessee. It recognizes the profound impact a single gift can make to the University. Previous winners include Bill Latimer (2017), Jim and Judi Herbert (2016), Jim and Sandy Powell (2015), Donnie and Terry Smith (2014), Dr. Bob Kaplan (2013), Brenda Lawson (2012), Charles and Moll Anderson (2011), John and Ann Tickle (2010), Tom and Kathleen Elam (2009), Barbara and Ralph Hamilton (2008) and Jane O. and David T. Bailey (2007).
The President’s Council Service Award acknowledges exceptional service in the advancement of the University toward the achievement of excellence. Previous recipients include Waymon Hickman (2017), Phillip Fulmer (2016), Jim Duke (2015), Dr. Phil Wenk (2014), Michael T. Strickland (2013), Bill Blankenship (2012), Jim Powell (2011), Waymon Hickman (2010), Charles and the late Julie Wharton (2009), John Sorey (2008) and Charlie W. Brinkley, Jr. (2007).
Since its inception in 1965, the UT Alumni Association Past Presidents Council has served as an advisory council to the alumni association and as a resource for current alumni programs.
Awards, Betsy Brasher Melby, Featured, Gary Rollins, Jim and Natalie Haslam, Joe DiPietro, Lamar Alexander, President's Council, Randy Boyd, Tom Griscom, UT Institute of Agriculture