UT Knoxville, ’56
Waymon Hickman knows firsthand how powerful a scholarship can be for a student. The moment he received his first scholarship as a freshman at UT Martin, he made the decision to give back.
“That first scholarship as a freshman at UT Martin inspired me to one day give back,” says Hickman. “I feel passionate about scholarships and helping students achieve their dreams.”
He completed his education at what is now the UT Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville, majoring in agricultural education, and gave his first gift back to the university the same year. He is a member of the agriculture fraternities Alpha Gamma Rho and Alpha Zeta.
Hickman has invested in numerous scholarships at his alma mater, including gifts to create an endowment in 2006 to help college students afford their education. Hickman’s contributions to UT 4-H Youth Development through the years have benefited thousands of schoolchildren.
Hickman continues to serve as senior chairman and honorary director of First Farmers & Merchants Bank in Columbia, Tennessee, after retiring as chairman and CEO. His distinguished career in banking began in 1958 and included a stint as president of Tennessee Bankers Association. He also served on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
The Obion County native’s numerous accolades reflect his passion for philanthropy and service as both a UT alumnus and an invested member of his community. Beyond recognition as the 2007 Distinguished Alumni for the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Hickman received the 2013 Ruby C. McSwain Outstanding Philanthropist award by the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association. He has served on both the UT Board of Trustees and the UT National Alumni Association Board of Governors.
Part of the Tennessee Alumnus‘ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.