Tom Griscom of the Chattanooga Times Free Press will address graduates on August 10, 2 p.m., at commencement exercises in McKenzie Arena.
Griscom has developed a distinguished career in the communications field. He was once a staff writer at the Chattanooga Free Press and went on to the nation’s capitol as a respected wordsmith for a U.S. president and a powerful U.S. senator. He was later chosen to lead the Chattanooga Times Free Press, where he is now the publisher and executive editor.
Prior to returning to head the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Griscom held several prestigious positions. Griscom served as communication director in the Reagan White House and he was press secretary for U.S. Senator Howard Baker. He held the position of executive vice president for external relations for R. J. Reynolds. He was named the West Chair of Communication at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
His professional and civic achievements earned Griscom the 2007 UTC Distinguished Alumnus Award. He graduated in 1971 from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, after attending public schools in Chattanooga. As a UTC student, he was named editor of the Moccasin, the university yearbook and of the school newspaper, the University Echo. Griscom was a member of Blue Key Honor Society. He participated in ROTC, and graduated a commissioned officer.
He continues to provide service to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Griscom chaired a long range planning committee for UTC Alumni. He has taught classes at UTC and participated on UTC panels. Griscom and his wife, Marion, have hosted UTC students in their home for a “Dinner with 12 Strangers,” a program sponsored by the UTC Student Alumni Council to bridge the gap between students and alumni so that students can make new friends and valuable connections.
Griscom is the board chairman, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on these boards: Allied Arts; The Community Resource Council; Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprises; the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library; University of Tennessee Development Council, Howard Baker Center for Public Policy, Tennessee Open Government Coalition, president of the Tennessee Press Association and the University of Chattanooga Foundation.