Lowry Kline

UT Knoxville, ’62, ’65

Part of the Tennessee Alumnus’ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.

Retired Coca-Cola Enterprises executive Lowry Kline was born and raised in Loudon, Tennessee, and recalls how coming to “the big city” to attend UT was a bit overwhelming.

“But we found the professors and staff to be very nurturing,” says Kline, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and English in 1962 and a law degree in 1965. “They wanted us to succeed. I especially remember Dr. Andy Holt made a personal effort, in his warm and courtly manner, to encourage us and make us feel comfortable.”

Jane and Lowry Kline
Jane and Lowry Kline

After completing his law degree, Lowry joined the Miller and Martin law firm and became a partner five years later. While there, he served a term as chair of the Tennessee Bar Foundation and was president of the Tennessee Board of
Law Examiners.

He began his association with the Coca-Cola company as general counsel for Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Group. When the Johnston Group merged with Coca-Cola Enterprises, Kline became senior vice president and general counsel. He was named CEO in 2001 and retired as executive chair in 2008.

While Lowry was at the helm, Coca-Cola Enterprises consolidated major bottling franchises in North America and Western Europe, introduced several new products, expanded its reach around the world and achieved $20 billion in annual revenue.

Kline has been a significant supporter of many causes, including Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center, the Trust for Public Land and Loudon High School.

He has served as vice president and president of the UT Knoxville Alumni Board of Directors. In 2013, he was honored with the Department of Political Science’s first Distinguished Alumnus Award.

In 2008, Kline and his wife, Jane—who earned bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in music at UT—funded eight undergraduate scholarships for UT’s School of Music.