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Rickey McCurry
Joe DiPietro
Joe Johnson

Event Photos

2017 Covers


What They’re Saying

Centennial Alumni honorees and UT leaders on marking the 100-year anniversary of Tennessee Alumnus with a celebration of the 100 most-accomplished graduates of any UT campus over the last century.

“UT truly is hallowed ground in my heart for it is where I received a first-rate education from professors who inspired me to succeed. UT is where I spent some of the happiest years of my life, made life-long friends and lasting memories. I am both honored and humbled to be chosen as one of the 100 distinguished alumni of the school I love so much.”

Carol Aebersold

“I am humbled and honored by this unexpected recognition. Any accomplishments in my career are due, in large part, to the education and friendships of the happy and rewarding years I spent at UC  (UT Chattanooga).”

Muecke Barker

“The fire of passion I’ve had in my Emergency Medicine and Law careers was lit at UT Martin & UT Med School.  I have VOLUNTEERed my medical skills all over the world in times of need and thanks to UT, I have made a difference.”

Paul Blaylock

“I am humbled and honored to be considered worthy among so many other distinguished alumni. The University of Tennessee not only impacts the lives of its graduates, but directly impacts everyone in the state of Tennessee every day in countless ways.”

Randy Boyd

“As president of the University of Tennessee Alumni Association, I am humbled to represent the Centennial honorees who have made such a significant contribution to society as business leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, athletes and politicians over the last 100 years. We should all be inspired by their stories and proud to call them fellow alumni.”

Betsy Brasher

“It is truly an honor and a blessing to be selected as part of the Top 100 most distinguished alumi in UT’s history. Never would I have dreamed of all that has come through life’s journey, but I’m blessed to have attended, represented and played for an amazing university and coach.”

Tamika Catchings

“The experiences I had and the enduring friendships I made during my time at the University of Tennessee prepared me for real-world challenges and helped me launch my career in business and later in public service. It is an honor to be selected by fellow alumni and university leaders, and I congratulate Tennessee Alumnus on its centennial celebration.”

Bob Corker

“My gratitude for this honor is exceeded only by my gratitude for the commitments to critical thinking and to values that I experienced at the University of Tennessee.”

A. B. Culvahouse

“One of the crowning achievements of my life was my matriculation to the University of Tennessee. It was at UT I was able to gain an education that would be the foundation for future successes in every and all endeavors. Being selected as a top alumnus is gratifying beyond words given the caliber of students the University supports. It is with the spirit of the “Torchbearer” that I continue to achieve and to support others in their journeys.”

Don Frieson

“Attending the University of Tennessee was a defining moment in my character that would shape my professional views.  Experiences both good and bad proved to be invaluable in creating a focus of achievement.  I’m humbled to be included in the Centennial recognition by my peers and applaud my fellow alumni for their vast contributions to not only the University to the world.”

Ron Frieson

“I am so honored to be one of the Centennial Alumni. I will forever be grateful to the University for the education and experiences, and to my family, players, and coaches who were all a huge part of a great time in Tennessee football history.”

Phillip Fulmer

“The mark of achievement comes from the lessons learned by those who influenced my life, connected with the University of Tennessee, and teaching that you always strive to give your best, regardless of who gets the credit and that learning has no end point.”

Tom Griscom

“Coming from the UT Chattanooga campus in the great University of Tennessee system, I am overwhelmed and humbled to be included in this amazing tribute to my fellow alumni! What an honor!”

Dennis Haskins

“While a huge honor – it’s also a tribute to the educational experience of 55 years ago that began an exciting and rewarding career.”

Jim and Judi Herbert

“I appreciate so very much being included in this very distinguished group.  I want to continue giving to the University and its students the opportunities that were given to me.  I am where I am now in my life’s journey because of my very first scholarship ($300.00) to the University of Tennessee.  I am so proud to be a University of Tennessee graduate.”

Waymon Hickman

“With my work spanning many countries, I always go back to the spirit of UT , authenticity and the Volunteer spirit. I say proudly to every one I meet I am a UT graduate.”

Chad Holliday

“My greatest reward from 61 years of involvement with UT is the fantastic alumni from all campuses with whom I have worked, talked, and relaxed. The growth in enrollments, student quality, faculty achievements, and alumni success at UT campuses and institutes is exciting, uplifting, and rewarding.”

Joe Johnson

“As a multi-generational East Tennessean, I was truly honored to be recognized as a University of Tennessee Distinguished Alumni…UT played a major role in preparing me for the business world…my firm, JEGI, was 30 years old in June, 2017…I see the way it has evolved over the past 30 years and the impressive way that UT has evolved in preparing young adults for their careers in their chosen fields…I am blessed to have the experience of watching and, to a small extent, participating in UT’s evolution.”

Wilma Jordan

“UT gave me the most important gift of my life. My legal education and the fond remembrance of teachers who cared enough about me to ensure that I was able to become a UT Law graduate. The road for me was tricky and sometimes difficult, but the warmth and training that I received in Knoxville at UT gave me the impetus to begin my career.”

Joel Katz

“These kinds of accolades come a lot easier to those of us willing to take the credit for all the hard work and good deeds of family, friends and associates. That said, I am immensely proud to be recognized by this wonderful institution to which I owe so much.”

Lowry Kline

“When I entered “University of Chattanooga” as a freshman, it wasn’t part of the Tennessee system. Now, nearly 45 years later, here I am a part of the Alumni Centennial Celebration. It’s amazing. I didn’t know I would ever be considered a legitimate graduate of Tennessee. I went to Chattanooga and now, I’m a I’m a graduate of the University of Tennessee (system).”

Bill Landry

“Considering there are so many outstanding UT graduates, I am humbled to be recognized as 1 of the 100 most distinguished alumni in the last 100 years.  Being a UT graduate has blessed me with many incredible opportunities and an exciting career.”

Sharon Lee

“I’ve been fortunate to have received some honors that I never would have imagined as a small-town boy from Lynchburg and Huntland, Tennessee, and this is among them. This is a tremendous, unexpected honor. I’m sure a lot more people are much more deserving, but I accept it gladly and with deep gratitude.”

Johnny Majors

“It’s been 23 years since I came to Rocky Top as a freshman and Tennessee has been an important part of my life ever since. Being a Volunteer prepared me for my career in the NFL and for my life off the field.  It’s definitely a time in my life I will always cherish.”

Peyton Manning

“What an honor to be among such distinguished alumni. UT provided me the foundation of leadership and courage that sparked my desire to dedicate my life to public service. No matter who I encounter around our great State or outside our boundaries, there is always a Big Orange connection. There has been no greater honor than to pass down to my three children and six grandchildren my pride and passion for the traditions and opportunities at UT.”

Jimmy Naifeh

“I am fortunate to have trained under professors (at UT Knoxville) that I consider the best in the field. This opportunity has allowed me to assist families through identifications of missing persons, help solve criminal investigations, and even learn about the lives of our ancestors through research on human remains that can be hundreds or thousands of years old. I am deeply indebted to the training that I received at UT. If I could do it over again, I would!”

Doug Owsley

“I am so honored to be counted among this group of such distinguished UT men and women. Ever since I set foot on the Knoxville campus for 4-H Congress as a teenager, I have known that UT was the land of opportunity. I have benefited more than I have ever contributed. I owe a debt of gratitude to many friends and mentors in Martin, Knoxville, and throughout the whole system who led the way for me. I am especially humbled and thankful to the alumni who nominated me and the University leaders who selected me. I love The University of Tennessee”

Margaret Perry

“I am deeply honored to receive this award and very proud to be included in this group of outstanding men and women. Thank you, University of Tennessee.”

Jim Powell

“I am beyond honored to be part of the 100 alumni selected from the past 100 years. Wow….our blood runs orange and we are definitely #VFL material. As I travel and speak I am always proud to brag I am a UT graduate, found my wife at UT, sent all three of my kids to UT!”

Dave Ramsey

“I am a proud graduate of UT Martin, where I had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people. I am humbled to be selected among such a distinguished group of honorees, perhaps some of whom have been colleagues at one time or another, all of whom have made important contributions to our world.”

Jerry Reese

“The University of Tennessee-Martin offered me a terrific education where my accounting professors challenged, coached and mentored me along the way. I am honored and humbled to be recognized with such an accomplished group of UT system graduates. And, I am confident the UT system will continue to provide quality educational experiences for the next 100 years and beyond.”

Bill Rhodes

“Out of the mountains of North Carolina, this poor boy chose UT and, after all these years, so glad I did.”

Ron Rice

“The University of Tennessee provided an excellent learning environment for me as a student. I am deeply honored and humbled to be selected as one of the Top 100 Tennessee alums.”

Diane Schmidt

“UT has started thousands of young Tennesseans on the road to success and I am grateful to be among them. I am humbled to have been selected for this honor as the number of distinguished alums far surpasses 100.”

Margaret Scobey

“Terry and I are so grateful for not only the time we spent at UT but the lifelong friends we have made there. Even more importantly, we are excited about the lasting impact the UT Institute of Agriculture will have in creating sustainable food solutions around the world for some of the world’s most at-risk people groups through the Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture.”

Donnie and Terry Smith

“I have always been proud of the fact that I and all three of my brothers are UT graduates and that UT was the choice for my wife and all three of our children. I have always felt that my undergraduate and graduate years at UT played a very important role in the success I have had. This honor is a particularly special one because it comes from a place so close to my heart.”

Gary Wade

“My time at UTC was life-changing. It’s where I learned the importance of being active and engaged in causes bigger than me. It’s where I first started developing confidence and leadership skills. Any success I’ve had in my life, starts with my college experience as its basis. To be recognized and to know that I have made a difference and impact on a University that I love is one of the greatest honors I have received.”

Kim White

“What a blessing to be a Tennessean – Born Here, Raised Here, Educated Here. Without question, the finest place on the planet to be from and call ‘Home’.”

Barry Wilmore

“I am humbled to be selected as a Centennial Alumnus along with so many true University of Tennessee legends.  Many of my fellow honorees are my personal heroes and we are all proud to play a small role in building the legacy of our great University.”

Alan Wilson