Margaret Perry

Margaret Perry
Martin,’61, Knoxville, ’63,’65

When Margaret Perry became UT Martin’s sixth chancellor, she also began a string of firsts.

She was first UT Martin alumna to serve as the institution’s chancellor and the first woman to be appointed chancellor or president of any university in Tennessee. Having already served as the first female dean for graduate studies at UT Knoxville and the first female associate vice president for academic affairs at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Perry began her 11 years in UT Martin’s top office poised to make a difference in the university’s future.

UT Martin flourished during her tenure, transformed by major building expansions, unprecedented enrollment growth, new degree programs and accreditation of all campus programs. UT Martin also became the first UT institution to offer campus-wide internet connectivity during this time.

Known for her determination to get things done, Perry won the hearts of students, parents, alumni and the community and earned herself a place in the national higher education scene. She also guided UT Martin through a move to Division I athletics programs, acceptance into the Ohio Valley Conference and the transition from Pacers to Skyhawks as athletics mascots and branding. Another distinction arising from these accomplishments: Perry was inducted into the UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame, one of only three UT Martin chancellors to be included.

Part of the Tennessee Alumnus100 Distinguished Alumni feature.