The George Conner Society presents “Three Chancellors” featuring UTC Chancellor Roger Brown and Chancellors emeritus Fred Obear and Bill Stacy on March 22 at 7 p.m. in the UTC University Center Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.
UTC’s last three chancellors will gather on one stage to look at the past and future of UTC. Tom Griscom, UTC Distinguished Alumnus in 2007, will lead the conversation.
Since 1981, when Fred Obear took over as chancellor at UTC, the campus has been in a growth stage, reaching record enrollments, undertaking massive construction projects, enhancing research, increasing outside financial support, and strengthening relationships with the Chattanooga and surrounding community.
Chancellor Emeritus Frederick W. Obear served as Chancellor of UTC from 1981 until 1997 and again in 2004-2005. Under his leadership at UTC, the campus added several critical undergraduate and graduate programs, including bachelor’s degrees in physical therapy and legal assistant studies and graduate degrees in nursing, accounting, public administration, and environmental sciences. Obear also recognized the importance of strengthening the relationship between campus and the community and introduced UTC’s metropolitan mission. Through his vision, UTC initiated teaching and research partnerships with TVA, the Tennessee Aquarium, Komatsu, and other businesses. Since his retirement, Obear has remained active in development and community relations for the campus.
Upon Obear’s retirement—the first time—Bill Stacy took the reins in 1997 and served as UTC chancellor until 2004. During his tenure, the campus experienced an unprecedented construction boom, adding: the South Campus housing, a major expansion of the University Center, and the Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science Building. His vision of progress through partnerships went beyond brick and mortar, and with the support of the $25 million Lupton Renaissance Fund, Stacy led the transformation of the campus by fulfilling a 30-year dream of adding doctoral programs in physical therapy and computational engineering. The SimCenter: National Center for Computational Engineering brought to UTC its first internationally recognized dedicated research facility.
A proven academic leader and Tennessee native, Brown assumed the chancellorship at UTC in 2005. Under Brown’s leadership, the campus has continued to experience record enrollment growth at all levels, including the enrollment milestone of surpassing 10,000 students in fall 2009. He has promoted UTC’s metropolitan mission with special emphasis in the fields of science, mathematics, and technology. He has also pledged the campus’ commitment to teacher preparation, healthcare professions, business and commerce, and cultural appreciation. Under his leadership, UTC recently completed a strategic planning initiative that focuses efforts on the power of partnerships, especially relationships within the learning laboratory of Chattanooga. In 2008, UTC earned the Community Engagement designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in recognition of its many successful partnerships in the community.
The Three Chancellors event is part of the university’s 125th celebration. As the campus looks forward to a bright future, plans are underway to honor its rich past with an 18-month 125th anniversary celebration. From January 2011 through May 2012, UTC will commemorate its quasquicentennial with events for students, faculty and staff, alumni, and the community.
The Connor Society was formed in 2003 to celebrate George Connor, the late Guerry Professor of English at UTC, by presenting programs in the areas of interest to which he dedicated his life. A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, he was keenly interested in bettering the community and took an active role in civic affairs.
For more information about the Three Chancellors event, please call 423-425-4627.