UT Road Trip

The Tennessee Alumnus is a magazine for all alumni of the UT System. There three undergraduate campuses (Knoxville, Martin and Chattanooga), the Health Science Center based in Memphis, UT Space Institute in Tullahoma, the Institute of Agriculture with a main campus in Knoxville and the Institute for Public Service. In each issue of the magazine, we try to include something from every campus and institute.

With summer coming soon, we started thinking about what people do in the summer that we could explore in the magazine. People travel in the summer, right? So the Alumnus is hitting the road, too. We are traveling to all the main campuses within the UT System in one week. Road trip!

Our hope is to provide readers with an overview of what the UT System offers through each campus and institute. We’ll tour each campus and hit the highlights in our fast-paced trip. Every campus is different but impressive. Follow us on Twitter (@TNAlumnus and use the hashtag #utroadtrip) and at this blog for what we’re doing every day.

What’s a road trip without food? For some local flavor, we have planned to meet alumni at some of the favorite restaurants and hangouts around campus.

We are starting the tour with a stop at the Institute of Public Service (IPS). Another session of the National Forensic Academy (NFA) closes with a crime scene reconstruction in Knoxville. NFA students will have to use what they’ve learned to solve a fake shooting. NFA is just one part of what IPS does. And we’ll tell you more about that in the next blog.

On Sunday, April 27, we travel I-40 for nearly 400 miles from Knoxville to Memphis. We plan to meet some UTHSC alumni while we’re in town. Early Monday, April 28, we’re off to the UTHSC campus to learn about cancer research, the new physician’s assistant program, the dental simulation lab, the new pharmacy building and student appreciation day. UTHSC trains the majority of doctors and dentists in Tennessee, and its faculty conduct research that is helping improve the lives of Memphians and Tennesseans.

Then we’re off to Martin, about three hours north on TN-3. On Tuesday, April 29, we tour UT Martin. We will see the renovated Fine Arts building, two sets of landmark statues on campus, the Gov. Ned McWherter office and the equestrian team. That afternoon, we leave for Tullahoma.

Our tour of the UT Space Institute, which reports to the UT Knoxville College of Engineering, includes the flight test engineering simulator, a chemical lab and the propulsion research facility. We hear the campus dining hall has a great view and great food, so we’re stopping there for lunch. Then we head south to Chattanooga.

Our tour on Thursday, May 1, at UTC includes the Challenger STEM Learning Center, the new library under construction, the pedestrian mall and Fletcher Hall. Commencement is this week at UT Martin and UT Chattanooga, so we hope to see parents and students on campus. Thursday afternoon we return to Knoxville.

On Friday, our final day of the road trip, we have two tours. We’ll start with UT Knoxville in the morning with stops at the new Sorority Village, Natalie Haslam Music building, Tickle engineering building, University Center/Student Union construction and Hodges Library. In the afternoon, we cross the Joe Johnson bridge and visit the UT Institute of Agriculture campus. There, we plan to learn about UT Extension, UT Gardens, renewable fuel research, forest insects and food.

Our tour group includes Erica Jenkins (Knoxville ’12) and Elizabeth Davis (Knoxville ’96) of the Office of Communications and Marketing and photographer Synthia Clark, who is a communications graduate student at UT Knoxville. Many, many thanks to the staff members at each campus and institute who have helped us plan this big project.

We hope you’ll follow along with our trip. Ask questions and send comments via Twitter @TNAlumnus or email alumnus@tennessee.edu.

Safe travels!