Difficulties arrive in everyone’s life—usually at the most prosaic of times. The accident that brings paralysis. The cancer diagnosis. The loss of hearing and sight. Navigating the world through an autistic lens. Fleeing from war.
As this magazine begins a new century as the family album for the University of Tennessee and its alumni, we share stories of how people rise to meet the challenges laid down in their lives. We also share how the University of Tennessee is helping veterans transition from regimented military life to the less-structured academic environment and how a researcher moved from the Middle East to the United States to help create more resilient crops for a changing climate.
One refrain provided the musical beat to this issue. It’s from “My Shot” in the musical Hamilton:
“When you’re living on your knees, you rise up
“Tell your brother that he’s got to rise up
“Tell your sister that she’s got to rise up”
Whether we are currently facing down rising storm winds or when they visit in the future, let us, too, rise. In rising, let us soar.
On the cover
Alone or aided by a helping hand, we all must overcome difficulties in life. The illustration was created by Annabelle Cook.
Jennifer Sicking is the managing editor of Tennessee Alumnus.