Highlights of UT Fundraising History

Highlights of UT Fundraising History


UT Vice President Andy Holt organized the UT Development Council. Total gifts to the university averaged $1 million annually until 1960.


UT launched the first campaign in its history. William B. Stokely Jr. led the successful Partnership for Achievement Campaign for the UT College of Business, raising $3 million by 1972. The university established its first endowed chair, the William B. Stokely Jr. Chair in Management.


The $35-million Tennessee Tomorrow Campaign kicked off, concluding in 1980 with $57 million in commitments. This effort was the second-largest campaign in the history of American public higher education.


UT campuses and units conducted targeted campaigns:

  • Centennial Campaign (UT Chattanooga)—$23 million
  • Engineering campaign (UT Knoxville)—$14.5 million
  • Institute of Agriculture campaign—$12 million
  • Library campaign (UT Knoxville)—$8.5 million
  • National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grant campaign for liberal arts (UT Knoxville)—$4 million
  • Accounting campaign (UT Knoxville)—$2 million
  • Law campaign (UT Knoxville)—$1.5 million


UT celebrated its bicentennial and launched the 21st Century Campaign with a goal of $250 million. UT annual giving passed the $10 million mark.


The 21st Century Campaign concluded with $433 million in commitments. Total private support reached $68.8 million in 1997–98.


A feasibility study for the Campaign for Tennessee was conducted. A draft of the Campaign for Tennessee case summary was approved by Interim President Joe Johnson and incoming President John Petersen.


Initial campus priorities and working goals were established. Jim and Natalie Haslam and family gave $32.5 million—the largest gift received from individuals at that time. Shortly thereafter, an anonymous donor gave $50 million, the largest personal gift in UT’s history.


The campaign plan was finalized and presented to campaign volunteers, the Development Council, and the Board of Trustees. Campus and unit working goals were adjusted and approved.UT’s endowment reached $1 billion, and UT joined only 62 other private and public universities with endowed support of that level.


UT publicly announced the Campaign for Tennessee, which will continue through 2011.