Congratulations to the Class of 2021! We had nine incredible commencement ceremonies April 21-25. Thank you to the staff, faculty and volunteers who worked so hard to make each ceremony a special event for our graduates. Degrees will be officially conferred this coming weekend, with 1,838 undergraduate and graduate students receiving their diplomas.
This is the final C-Note of the spring, and I want to note some upcoming events and items of interest:
- Stacy Lightfoot joining the UTC Executive Leadership Team as Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement on July 1, 2021.
- Continued refining and fine-tuning of our 2025 Strategic Plan.
- The introduction of Cohort 2025, which will expand programs that bring together groups of incoming students in cohort experiences.
- Ongoing Hunter Hall renovations and the demolition of Frist Hall.
- Moving forward in preparations for reaffirmation of our accreditation, as the SACSCOC on-site peer review is scheduled for early 2023. The QEP is a required component, and faculty and staff are urged to complete a short survey to help identify the topic and chart our path. If you have any questions, please reach out to Dean Theresa Liedtka, the SACSCOC reaffirmation coordinator.
- Over 70 percent of classes for fall 2021 are planned to take place face-to-face, with normal dining operations and a resumption of in-person student engagement opportunities.
A big round of applause goes out to our entire health team in keeping this campus safe and healthy. Under the leadership of Chris Smith, Yasmine Key and Dawn Ford, nearly 12,000 routine COVID tests have been given since January 14, and more than 2,000 vaccinations have been administered since March 19. What a phenomenal job!
What a season for the UTC beach volleyball team! In their first season as an NCAA Division I sport, the Mocs finished in 2nd place in the Ohio Valley Conference beach volleyball standings—going 7-3 in league play. The team of Baylee Young and Jordan Krege were named to the All-OVC first team, and head coach Darin Van Horn and assistant coach Juliana Yensho were selected as the conference’s co-Coaching Staff of the Year. Go Mocs!
Kudos to the inaugural cohort of the GOLD Leadership Academy, a group of young UTC alumni of the last decade, on their terrific work over the past year. Despite the challenges of starting a new program during COVID-19, these future leaders did a tremendous job of participating and engaging in the process—with capstone projects on first-generation student programming, Scrappy’s Cupboard and diversity in the Honors College. This group set the bar high for future cohorts.
The theme of the spring 2021 edition of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga magazine is innovation, and you can read the online issue here. As you read the stories, you will see how UTC continued to innovate and move our campus forward during a pandemic. I am certain you will be as proud of the people of UTC as I am.
What a year this has been! Together UTC students, faculty and staff lived our values and together came through one of the most challenging times in our history. Speaking on behalf of the Executive Leadership Team, we are thrilled at what we have accomplished together under unprecedented circumstances. Thank you for your continued commitment to putting students first through creativity, compassion, flexibility and hard work. Keep taking the necessary COVID precautions to ensure you have a safe and healthy summer. And please take advantage of our campus vaccination clinics to ensure that you and your family are as safe as possible. Immunization is our best defense against COVID-19. See you in August!