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Chancellor’s Update

I hope everyone had a great spring break.  We have less than five weeks of classes remaining and commencement is just around the corner, with Graduate School ceremonies taking place Friday, May 6, and four undergraduate ceremonies on Saturday, May 7.  I look forward to an excellent finish to the spring semester.

I cannot say enough good things about the Mocs men’s basketball team.  They brought excitement, fun and great publicity to UTC on and off the basketball court this season.  Thank you for taking us on this incredible journey—a 27-8 overall record, the Southern Conference regular-season and tournament champions, the SoCon Player of the Year in Malachi Smith and the Coach of the Year in Lamont Paris.  It was a season for the record books!  The excitement of the NCAA Tournament Game in Pittsburgh was over the top.  We are all proud of what you accomplished and how you did it!

We will honor the men’s basketball players and coaching staff Friday, March 25th with a noon celebration at Chamberlain Pavilion.  Please come out to meet the team and thank them for a tremendous season.

Congratulations to four Mocs wrestlers who spent their spring break participating in the NCAA Championships in Detroit.  Senior Fabian Gutierrez (125 pounds) and junior Matthew Waddell (197) won their respective weight classes during the Southern Conference championships.  Sophomore Brayden Palmer (133) and junior Drew Nicholson (165) earned NCAA automatic bids with runner-up finishes.  Go Mocs!

UTC’s solar decathlon team has attained worldwide Top 10 status!  UTC advanced to the final stage in the “New Housing” division of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a collegiate competition that challenges college students worldwide to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings that mitigate climate change and improve our quality of life through greater affordability, resilience and energy efficiency.  The finals take place in Colorado in April.

A well-deserved round of applause to a trio of Honors College students awarded competitive national scholarships.  Brock Scholar Lola Oke will spend her summer at Princeton University after earning a Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellowship.  Innovations in Honors students Emma Sprayberry and Christine Rukeyser were accepted into the Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink program to participate in advanced research projects.  What tremendous opportunities for Lola, Christine and Emma!

Kudos to Honors College Dean Linda Frost and everyone involved in the official dedication of the Guerry Center’s Debbie and Michael Bell Library, paying homage to a special couple who provided a combined 85 years of service to the University.  Debbie spent 44 years working for UTC, the last 23 in the honors program, before retiring in June 2020.  Michael was a member of the UTC Library staff for 41 years before retiring in April 2021.  The Bells worked with countless students during their time at UTC and have left a lasting impression.

I always enjoy highlighting the accomplishments of UTC graduates.  Nate Harlan, the genius behind the Chamberlain Field “Power C” and the large silver “Power C” statue, and Keenan McLean were the co-founders of Brother 2 Brother during their time on campus.  The organization is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and Nate and Keenan—both alumni of the Gary W. Rollins College of Business—are working on a documentary about its creation while enjoying their own professional success.

UTC has been selected as a Military Friendly school for 2022-2023.  According to Military Friendly, this designation creates better outcomes for veterans by measuring “an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community.”  Congratulations to Sylvana Matthews and the Veteran Student Services staff for supporting active-duty service-members, veterans, reservists and their family members.

A big Mocs welcome to Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing Cassie Mathes, who begins at UTC on April 1.  Please join me in extending warm wishes to Cassie in her new role as a member of the Mocs family.

I am very excited about tomorrow’s groundbreaking ceremonies for the Wolford Family Athletics Complex.  The facility honors the memory of the late James “Bucky” Wolford, a member of the final University of Chattanooga graduating class who dedicated many years of service to the UC Foundation Board, the UTC Athletics Board and the UT Board of Trustees.  The Wolford Family Athletics Complex will be a wonderful tribute to the love Bucky had for his alma mater.



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