Students and administrators from UTC joined others from The University of Tennessee system in celebrating major milestones at its sixth UT Day on the Hill. As the university celebrates its 125th anniversary, UTC has solidified its role and importance in Chattanooga and the surrounding area.
UTC’s role in the Chattanooga community was recognized when it was named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. Chattanooga’s computational engineering and simulation center, the SimCenter, is considered to be one of the nation’s finest. With record enrollment of more than 10,000, UTC has set a goal to be ranked among the top five master’s level peer institutions in the South.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the UT Health Science Center, the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Institute for Public Service, and the 50th anniversary of the integration of African-Americans into the student body.
Faculty, staff, and some 40 students joined UT President Joe DiPietro at Legislative Plaza to discuss the University’s statewide impact with legislators.
“Support from the Tennessee General Assembly is critical to the University – both in terms of policy and state appropriations,” DiPietro said, “and UT Day on the Hill is an important opportunity for us to remind legislators about all the University does that is critical to the state.”
The combined impact of the entities marking anniversaries, along with other UT impact statewide, was topic of conversation by University chancellors and other officials who staffed information booths from campuses in Chattanooga, Martin, Knoxville and Memphis, the institutes for public service and agriculture, Office of Equity and Diversity, UT Alumni Association and UT Knoxville athletics.
UT students from every campus met with legislators from their campus and hometown districts.
The UT Health Science Center is a Memphis-based professional school with statewide teaching and training facilities. Forty percent of physicians, 75 percent of dentists and 40 percent of pharmacists who practice in Tennessee are graduates of the UT Health Science Center. UTHSC and its affiliated teaching hospitals provide more than one million days of inpatient services and more than two million outpatient visits a year.
Fifty years ago, racial integration began at UT with the admission of African-American undergraduate students. In 1961, African-American students were admitted as undergraduates at UT Knoxville and UT Martin, and the first African-American medical student was admitted into the UT Health Science Center College of Medicine. In 1963, African-American graduate students were first admitted and followed in 1965 by African-American undergraduates at UTC’s forerunner, the University of Chattanooga.
The Institute for Public Service was created by the UT Board of Trustees in 1971 as an umbrella organization for several agencies dedicated to helping government, law enforcement, industry and business become more successful. IPS consists of the Center for Industrial Services, County Technical Assistance Service, Law Enforcement Innovation Center, Municipal Technical Assistance Service and the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership. In FY10, IPS answered 28,424 requests for assistance or expertise and trained more than 18,000 people.
The University of Tennessee, the state’s research comprehensive land-grant institution consists of campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin; the Health Science Center based in Memphis; the statewide Institutes of Agriculture and Public Service; and the Space Institute in Tullahoma, which is managed by UT Knoxville. UT has a presence in all 95 counties in the state and more than 300,000 alumni living around the world. For more information about UT, go to http://www.tennessee.edu/.