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Chancellor’s Update

Commencement is always the highlight of every semester, a celebration for the graduates and their families, faculty, staff, alumni, and the extended UTC community.  Thank you to everyone involved in making this weekend’s ceremonies memorable.  The renovation of McKenzie Arena requires us to limit each graduate to 14 tickets for family and friends—thanks to everyone for your understanding.  Congratulations to our new alums! 

This is a time of year to step back and appreciate all the wonderful things we have accomplished as a campus community.  UTC is an incredible team of people working together, putting forth our best effort to help our students realize their goals and be a positive part of our community.  You truly make a difference.  

A big round of applause to our Chancellor’s Ambassadors for their outstanding work in dressing up Founders Hall for the holidays.  What a great way to bring the holiday spirit to our building!   

Earlier this month, I was honored to travel to Washington, D.C., as part of the Chattanooga delegation participating in the Quantum World Congress.  EPB and Qubitekk announced the launch of America’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network—representing an opportunity for academic researchers and workforce development—and we are proud to be allowed to locate one of the EPB Quantum Network nodes on our campus.  UTC will serve as a gateway for building partnerships with other universities and industry partners nationwide. 

I am excited to announce a new partnership between Hamilton County Schools and UTC.  University High will bring 50 high school juniors to the UTC campus to complete their final two years of high school; HCS teachers will teach their high school classes and UTC faculty will teach dual enrollment courses.  UTC and HCS have partnered to cover all the costs for the students.  This was truly a team effort, but I want to especially thank Provost Jerold Hale, Vice Provost Shewanee Howard-Baptiste and Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Justin Robertson for their work in creating this unique program. 

Kudos to the UTC PodLab, led by Will Davis, on last week’s “One Small Step” listening party at Songbirds Guitar & Pop Culture Museum.  The UTC PodLab was selected as one of just six sites in the country to host “One Small Step” by StoryCorps, the National Public Radio-affiliated nonprofit that records, preserves and shares stories from everyday Americans.  The listening party included excerpts of conversations for a serial podcast, including a dialog between City of Chattanooga Chief of Staff Joda Thongnopnua—a UTC alum—and former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker. 

A big “Go Mocs” to Jake Stephens, a graduate transfer on the Mocs men’s basketball team, on being selected as the Southern Conference Player of the Week for each of the last three weeks and for the fourth time in the first five weeks of the season.  Jake, who ranks among the Division I leaders in points per game (21.4), is the first player to win three consecutive SoCon Player of the Week awards since NBA superstar Stephen Curry during the 2008-09 season.  What a great start to his Mocs career! 

If you are going to be in Chattanooga on New Year’s Day, UTC is hosting the Southern Scuffle—one of the nation’s top collegiate wrestling tournaments—on January 1-2 at McKenzie Arena.  Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa State and Purdue are some of the teams joining the Mocs in this year’s field.  Tickets for the two-day event are on sale at GoMocs.com. 

Both basketball squads have several games on their schedules between now and the start of the spring semester.  The men’s team plays home contests this Sunday (December 18) vs. Belmont and January 7 vs. VMI.  The women’s team will host Jacksonville State on Thursday, December 29. 

As we look toward 2023, here are some important dates to remember: 

  • UTC will kick off the winter break with an additional administrative closing on Friday, December 23. 
  • The University is closed for Winter Holiday December 26-30, and the New Year’s Day holiday will be observed on Monday, January 2. 
  • Spring semester classes begin Monday, January 9. 
  • Spring commencement dates are Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6.

This is the final C-Note of 2022.  My family and I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and a joyous New Year!  See you in 2023! 


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