UT System celebrates with President’s Council awards

Jay FitzOur Town Leaders

UT President Randy Boyd honored four alumni leaders during the President’s Council showcase and awards dinner held Nov. 17 in Chattanooga.

Speakers were UTC Chancellor Steve Angle and Kim White, UTC vice chancellor of advancement. Walking tours highlighted UTC’s industry partnerships, mechatronics, student career empowerment and more.

Honorees were:

Jeff and Marla Gerber, Philanthropists of the Year. The Gerbers established the Gerber Architecture Scholarship at the UT Knoxville College of Architecture and Design in August 2022. The gift of $5.5 million supports the Class of 2027 in the School of Architecture and currently benefits 82 students. This scholarship provides last-dollar assistance for tuition and fees for up to five years. It also provides a stipend for students in the cohort to buy a laptop and specialized software. The most recent winners were H.J. Maxedon Jr. (2020) and Bill and Rosann Nunnelly (2019).

Lee Ann Adams

Lee Ann Adams, a 1994 UT Knoxville graduate, was inducted into the UT Alumni Association (UTAA) Past President’s Council. A longtime leader in the alumni association, she was appointed to serve on the UTAA Board of Governors as the representative of the UTAA Women’s Council. She was elected as president-elect in July 2020. Due to Covid-19, her term was extended and Adams officially became president of the alumni association in July 2022.

Allen Carter

Allen Carter, a 1995 UT Knoxville graduate, received the President’s Council Service Award. Carter has been a key advocate for the UT Institute for Public Service’s Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee (SMART). He will serve on the inaugural SMART Advisory Board beginning in 2024. Most recent honorees were Lynne Fain (2020), Michael Strickland (2019) and Thomas Griscom (2018).

Phillip Wenk

Phillip Wenk, who serves on the UT Foundation Board, the UT President’s Council, as well as chair of the University Health Science Center Advisory Council, was presented with the Jim and Natalie Haslam Presidential Medal.

After a 20-year career in dentistry, Wenk became CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee in 2000. Delta Dental is the largest donor to the UT Health Science Center College of Dentistry, having donated more than $19 million to the college since 1997, plus $1.4 million in equipment and several endowed scholarship funds.

The Presidential Medal was first awarded in 2007 to Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. Honorees demonstrate a willingness and ability to motivate others to support the university, show a lifelong commitment to UT and higher education and have personal history of integrity and excellence in all aspects of life. Most recent honorees were Sen. Lamar Alexander (2018), Jim and Sandy Powell (2017).

The University of Tennessee has campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski; the UT Institute of Agriculture has a presence in every Tennessee county. The UT System manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 54,000 students statewide; produces about 13,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 445,000 alumni around the world.

The University of Tennessee System contributed information for this report.


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