(Above) Student ambassador Sarah Strong stands in front of The Rock, which bears daily spray-painted messages.
Day 6: UT Knoxville
Established in 1794 as Blount College
Colleges: Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; Architecture and Design; Arts and Sciences; Business Administration; Communication and Information; Education, Health and Human Sciences; Engineering; Law; Nursing; Social Work; Veterinary Medicine
Alumni living in Tennessee: 128,474
Tradition, reputation—and we’ll just go ahead and say it—football are some reasons students choose UT Knoxville. “My whole family went to UT, so there was no question for me where I wanted to go,” says Rachel Frey (Knoxville ’06), who grew up in in the same city. “Then, as a student, I learned about all the wonderful traditions and history and fell even more in love with the university.” Two of the most noticeable traditions on campus are the Torchbearer statue and its eternal flame and the Rock, where students paint messages of any sort for all to see. And there’s the issue of size. UT Knoxville is big, but it was the variety of degrees, activities and chance to make friends from different cities and majors that Alan Moore (Knoxville ’10, ’06) liked. “There is something for you,” he says.
Turns out, there are lots of choices. If you’re a woman in a sorority, you now have a place to live in the new Sorority Village across from the Visitors Center on Neyland Drive. About 550 women live in 13 residential houses. For musicians, there’s technology-enhanced classrooms in the new state-of-the-art Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, which opened in fall 2013. Associate professor Shelley Binder demonstrated the use of an iPad on a music stand, in which she could tap a pedal to turn the page while playing the flute or write on the screen to add symbols or mark out sections and email the changes to her students.
And, if you’re an engineer, the new John D. Tickle Engineering Building, which also opened last fall, has more bells and whistles to accommodate bigger research projects. There’s a 56-foot-long concrete bridge beam sitting in the high bay structure lab for testing. Two 10-ton overhead cranes lifted the beam from the delivery truck into the lab space. “This sets UT apart in structural engineering,” says John Cabage, who earned his doctorate this spring. “This kind of testing could not have been done in the former building.”
Photos by Adam Brimer