Centennial Alumni

In 2017, The Tennessee Alumnus magazine celebrates its 100th continuous year of publication by selecting 100 illustrious graduates to feature in three commemorative issues.

100 Distinguished Alumni

Alan Wilson

Business Leader

Allan Houston

Philanthropist and Former NBA Basketball Player

Amy Miles

Business Leader

Barry Wilmore

NASA Astronaut

Bill Landry

Actor, Author and Storyteller

Bill Rhodes

Business Leader

Bob Corker

Former U.S. Senator

Burwell Baxter “B.B.” Bell

U.S. Army General (ret.)

Candace Parker

WNBA Basketball Player

Charles C. Anderson Jr.

Business Leader

Charlie Ergen

Business Leader

Chris Whittle


Clarence Brown


Condredge Holloway

Trail-blazing Athlete

Davan Maharaj


Dave Ramsey

Financial Advisor and Media Personality

Diane Schmidt

Scientist and Inventor

Don & Ron Frieson


Donnie and Terry Smith


Dorothy Hackett Ward

Opera and Theater Pioneer

Douglas Owsley


Ed Boling

UT President Emeritus

Ed Jones

Former U.S. Congressman

Estes Kefauver

Former U.S. Senator and Congressman


UT Graduate

Frank Bowyer

Dental Pioneer and Philanthropist

Gary Wade

Former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice

George Connor


Hank Lauricella

Former Louisiana Legislator

Hershel P. “Pat” Wall

Physician and Administrator

Inquoris “Inky” Johnson

Motivational Speaker

Irvine Grote


James “Bucky” Wolford

Business Leader

Jerry Reese 

General Manager, NFL New York Giants

Jim and Judi Herbert

Business Leaders and Philanthropists

Jim and Natalie Haslam

Business Leaders and Philanthropists

Jim Powell

Business Leader

Jimmy and Dee Haslam

NFL Team Co-Owners and Philanthropists

Jimmy Naifeh

Tennessee Legislator

Joe Johnson

UT President Emeritus

Joel Katz

Entertainment Lawyer

John and Ann Tickle


John Fisher

Business Leader

John S. Wilder

Tennessee's 48th Lieutenant Governor

John Ward 

Former Broadcaster

Johnny Majors

Former UT Knoxville Head Football Coach

Julius Johnson

36th Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture

Kara Lawson

Former WNBA Basketball Player

Kim White

Business Leader

Larry Patrick


Lin Dunn

Basketball Coach

Lindsay Young

Lawyer and Philanthropist

Lindsey Nelson

Sports Broadcaster

Lowry Kline

Attorney and Philanthropist

Margaret Perry

UT Martin Chancellor Emeritus

Margaret Rhea Seddon

NASA Astronaut

Mark E. Dean

Computer Engineer

Max Fuller

Business Leader

Min Kao


Nancy-Ann Min DeParle

Public Policy Expert

Pat Summitt

Former UT Lady Vols Basketball Coach

Paul Blaylock


Peyton Manning

Former Professional Football Player

Phil Garner

Former Major League Baseball Player

Phil Wenk

Dentist and Business Leader

Phillip Fulmer 

College Football Hall of Fame Coach

Randal Weber


Randy Boyd

UT President and Entrepreneur

Ray Jenkins

Defense Attorney

Reggie White

Former Professional Football Player

Ron Nutt

Inventor and Philanthropist

Ron Rice


Ruth Henderson McQueen

4-H Administrator and Philanthropist

Scott Kelly

NASA Astronaut

Sharon Lee

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice

Sharon Price John

Business Leader

Spurgeon Neel Jr.

Aviation Medicine Pioneer

Tamika Catchings

Former WNBA Basketball Player

Terry Douglass


Todd Helton

Former Major League Baseball Player

Tom Griscom

Communication Strategist

Van Jones

Human Rights Activist

Waymon L. Hickman Sr.

Business Leader

William “Muecke” Barker

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice

William B. Stokely III


Willie Gault

Former Professional Football Player

Wilma Jordan

Business Leader

Winfield Dunn

Former Tennessee Governor

Selecting the Centennial Alumni

When your total alumni population is around 370,000, how do you narrow that down to 100 to celebrate along with this magazine’s 100th anniversary? You go to the alumni, of course.

In July 2016, we asked members of the nationwide UT Alumni Association—which includes graduates of all UT campuses—for nominations of alumni whose accomplishments and/or service and support to their alma maters made them worthy of inclusion among the 100 most significant UT alumni ever.

We asked that nominees for professional or volunteer achievement be UT graduates from across the UT system who distinguished themselves and their alma maters through contributions to their communities or professions in one of the following categories:

  • Volunteer service
  • Military service
  • Government or elected office
  • Public or community service
  • Philanthropy
  • Entrepreneurship or business
  • Education
  • Invention or discovery
  • Arts or entertainment
  • UT brand ambassador

Nominations were solicited from our readers via email, social media and on the Alumnus website. We sought nominations from the chief alumni affairs officers, chief communications officers, publications editors and chief development officers for each UT campus and for UT System administration.

When the nomination deadline came in August, 500 UT graduates from the distant to the recent past had been nominated. For the challenge of reducing that pool of 500 nominees to the group of 100 Centennial Alumni, the job went to a special panel of individuals with an exceptional sense of the university’s history.

So, who comprised this panel of knowledgeable alumni that whittled 500 nominees down to the final 100 memorable, accomplished or admired of UT graduates from all campuses and all career paths? They were:

  • Dr. Joe Johnson – President emeritus, UT System
  • Ann Holt Skadberg – UTAA volunteer and daughter of Andy Holt
  • Lofton Stuart – Former executive director of the UTAA
  • Charley Deal – UT Martin
  • Chandra Harris-McCray – UT Foundation
  • Jayne Holder – UT Chattanooga
  • Tim Lanier – UT Health Science Center
  • Tom Looney – UTIA
  • Haylee Marshall – UT Knoxville
  • Rickey McCurry – UT Foundation
  • Susan Robertson – IPS
  • Kerry Witcher – UTAA