In honor of Black History Month, UTC students created the podcast series Stories from the Big 9, which focuses on M.L. King Boulevard in Chattanooga. Each episode of the nine-part series may be heard at wutc.org/topic/stories-big-9.
From the early 20th century into the 1970s, the street, known then as East Ninth Street, was a hub of Chattanooga’s black community. It was home to many black-owned businesses, including the Martin Hotel, which housed iconic performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Nat “King” Cole.
Stars such as Bessie Smith and others played its nightclubs. Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Count Basie, Muddy Waters and B.B. King visited the street after finishing concerts elsewhere in Chattanooga.
A donation of $15 million, the third-largest in UTC history, was announced in February and will create a fund to support facilities, equipment, research and scholarship.
The money, given by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, establishes an endowment the UTC chancellor can use for equipment and technology needs; renovation, expansion and upgrades to campus facilities; support for scholarly research; scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students; and experiential-learning opportunities for students.
“This extremely generous donation will have transformational impact on the university and our ability to provide an excellent, high-quality educational experience for our nearly 12,000 students,” UTC Chancellor Steven Angle says.
Engineer of the Year
UTC graduate Marjorie Parsons (’98) was named the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year, the organization’s highest honor for an engineer. She is the first woman to receive the award.
“I’m very honored to be chosen as TVA’s Engineer of the Year,” says Parson, who earned a degree in electrical engineering. “I am even more excited about being the first woman to receive this award, and with engineering becoming more diverse, I’m confident that there will be many more women to follow.”
Parsons, who has been at TVA for 31 years, is a senior program manager who helped develop standards for the reliability of the agency’s power grid, which covers 10 million people in seven Southeastern states.
One of the Best
Only three years after its creation, UTC’s Master of Social Work program has been recognized as one of the best in the nation.
The program was ranked by HumanServicesEdu.org, a website that provides information and resources for students and professionals who want to begin or advance a career in human services. Out of 261 accredited MSW programs nationwide, UTC is one of 53 – and the only one in Tennessee – to be chosen by HumanServiceEdu.org for its 2019 rankings.