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University of Tennessee

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Profiles

  • Johnny Majors (1935 - 2020)
    was an All-American running back at the University of Tennessee, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1956 to Paul Hornung. He became the head coach at Iowa State, leading them to their fir...
  • William Bobo "Bill" Majors (1938 - 1965)
    Memories: 1965 UT Football Team, Coach Bill Majors by John Shearer posted December 5, 2005 Photo by John Shearer Scene of tragic train accident. Click to enlarge. Forty years ago this weekend...
  • Clarence Maddrey Steppe (1913 - 1991)
    Clarence Maddrey Steppe, landscape nurseryman, was born at Dana in eastern Henderson County, the son of Norman Fanning and Annie Laurie Fordham Steppe. Known throughout life as "Kit," he was graduate...
  • William Hawkins Polk, US Congress (1815 - 1862)
    Served in the Mexican-American War S Congressman. Elected to represent Tennessee's 6th District n the United States House of Representatives, he served from 1851 to 1853. He also served as a Member...
  • Rufus W. Cobb, Governor (1829 - 1913)
    Rufus Willis Cobb (February 25, 1829 – November 26, 1913) was an American Democratic politician who was the 25th Governor of Alabama from 1878 to 1882. Biography Rufus Wills Cobb was born in Ashv...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Tennessee

The University of Tennessee (also referred to as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UT Knoxville, UTK, or UT) is a public sun-grant and land-grant university headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee entered the Union as the 16th state, it is the flagship institution of the statewide University of Tennessee system with nine undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges and hosts almost 28,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. In its 2014 ranking of universities, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT 106th among all national universities and 46th among public institutions of higher learning. Seven alumni have been selected as Rhodes Scholars; James M. Buchanan, M.S. '41, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics. UT's ties to nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, established under UT President Andrew Holt and continued under the UT–Battelle partnership, allow for considerable research opportunities for faculty and students.

Also affiliated with the university are the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum, which occupies 250 acres (100 ha) of nearby Oak Ridge and features hundreds of species of plants indigenous to the region. The University is a direct partner of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is one of two Level I trauma centers in East Tennessee. As a teaching hospital, it has aggressive medical research programs.

The University of Tennessee is the only university in the nation to have three presidential papers editing projects and holds collections of the papers of all three U.S. presidents from Tennessee—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson. UT is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the oldest secular institution west of the Eastern Continental Divide.

Founding and early days[edit] On September 10, 1794, two years before Tennessee became a state and at a meeting of the legislature of the Southwest Territory at Knoxville, the University of Tennessee was chartered as Blount College. The new, all-male, non-sectarian institution struggled for 13 years with a small student body and faculty, and in 1807, the school was rechartered as East Tennessee College as a condition of receiving the proceeds from the settlement devised in the Compact of 1806. When Samuel Carrick, its first president and only faculty member, died in 1809, the school was temporarily closed until 1820. When it reopened, it began experiencing growing pains. Thomas Jefferson had previously recommended that the college leave its confining single building in the city and relocate to a place it could spread out. Ironically, in the Summer of 1826 (the year that Thomas Jefferson died), the trustees explored "Barbara Hill" (today known simply as The Hill) as a potential site and relocated there by 1828.[7] In 1840, the college was elevated to East Tennessee University (ETU). The school's status as a religiously non-affiliated institution of higher learning was unusual for the period of time in which it was chartered, and the school is generally recognized as the oldest such establishment of its kind west of the Appalachian Divide.[8]

Civil War and reconstruction[edit] East Tennessee was considered to be a bastion of Union sympathies throughout the American Civil War, although the University and the city of Knoxville were fairly divided for the duration of the conflict. As the threat of armed conflict between Union and Confederate forces loomed over the city of Knoxville, UT was forced to close its doors to students at the onset of the Siege of Knoxville and the campus's main buildings were requisitioned as hospitals and barracks. The school and its grounds suffered severe damage not only from the Battle of Fort Sanders, but also from its unfortunate position between Union artillery based at Fort Sanders, situated immediately to the north of the 40-acre (16 ha) campus, and Fort Dickerson to the south, overlooking the school from a bluff rising above the southern bank of the Tennessee River.[citation needed]

Tennessee was a member of the Confederacy in 1862 when the Morrill Act was passed, providing for endowment funds from the sale of federal land to state agricultural colleges. On February 28, 1867, Congress passed a special Act making the State of Tennessee eligible to participate in the Morrill Act of 1862 program. In January 1869, ETU was designated as Tennessee's recipient of the Land-Grant designation and funds. In accepting the funds, the University would focus upon instructing students in military, agricultural, and mechanical subjects. ETU eventually received $396,000 as its endowment under the program. Trustees soon approved the establishment of a medical program under the auspices of the Nashville School of Medicine and added advanced degree programs. East Tennessee University was renamed the University of Tennessee in 1879 by the state legislature.[9]

World War II[edit] During World War II, UT was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[10]

Civil rights era[edit] The first African Americans were admitted to the graduate and law schools following a suit filed in federal district court in 1952. The first master's degree was awarded to a black student in 1954, the first Law degree (LlB) in 1956, and the first doctoral degree (Ed.D.) in 1959. Black undergraduates were admitted in 1961; the first black faculty member was appointed in 1964. Integration went fairly smoothly; Black students had more difficulty gaining entry to eating establishments and places of entertainment off campus than they did attending class on campus. Overall, Knoxville and UT had fewer racial troubles in the 1950s and 1960s than did other southern universities.[citation needed]

Despite this climate, African-American attorney Rita Sanders Geier filed suit against the state of Tennessee in 1968 alleging that its higher education system remained segregated despite a federal mandate ordering desegregation. She claimed that the opening of a University of Tennessee campus at Nashville, Tennessee would lead to the creation of another predominantly white institution that would strip resources from Tennessee State University, the only state-funded Historically black university. The suit was not settled until 2001, when the Geier Consent Decree resulted in the appropriation of $77 million in state funding to increase diversity among student and faculty populations among all Tennessee institutions of higher learning.