I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. The semester is coming to an end and commencement is just a few weeks away.
Commencement is always the highlight of every semester. Commencement is the culmination of our work, a time to celebrate the success of our students, faculty, and staff. This year for the first time, we will have a separate Graduate Student Commencement on Friday, December 16th. There will be a single Undergraduate Student Commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 17th. More information about the ceremonies can be found here.
Leading up to Thanksgiving, our faculty, staff and students were involved in a number of projects focused on helping others. The UTC Percussion Ensemble held its annual “Beat Hunger” concert, which raises funds and food donations for the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. Our Freshman Senate sponsored the Thanksgiving Turkey Train (video), where students lined up on Cardiac Hill and passed turkeys down to a waiting Chattanooga Area Food Bank truck. It was a fun and creative way to help under-privileged families in our community.
Last week we held our annual Service Awards Luncheon to honor employees for their hard work and dedication. We recognized nearly 150 employees who have been part of the UTC family from five to forty years. The complete list is available online. It is the passion, dedication, and hard work of all of the people who are UTC that defines our institution. Please take a moment to thank your colleagues for all they do to help our students succeed.
Just prior to the Thanksgiving break, the State of Tennessee shared an update on its Facilities Management Initiative. UT President Joe DiPietro also sent a message to employees across the system outlining the initiative’s next steps. We are now in a 30-day public comment period, and a feedback form is available online.
Congratulations to the UTC Performing Arts department for a fantastic stage production of Hay Fever. My wife and I attended and thought the show was wonderful. From the great acting to the beautiful sets and lighting, it was truly a credit to our faculty, staff – and most especially our students. We’re already looking forward to Luna Gale and Oklahoma! in the spring.
What a season it was for UTC Women’s Volleyball. They made it all the way to the Southern Conference Championship match, but lost to Samford 3-1, finishing the season second in the conference with a 19-13 record. We are all extremely proud of them. Congratulations to the players and their coaches for a job well done.
Our incredible Mocs Football Team earned an important win over Weber State in the first round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs last Saturday. The team travels to Huntsville, TX to take on Sam Houston State this Saturday at 2pm. Good luck to our players and coaches.
The last month has been difficult for many Tennessee families. I have shared several ways in which you can support the children and families of Woodmore Elementary, as well as those impacted by the wildfires in the Gatlinburg area. The deadly storms that came through our region this week also caused a great deal of damage. If you want to help those impacted by the recent natural disasters, some of whom may be part of our UTC community, you can do so by donating to the Red Cross.