How to See (all of) UT

A man and woman cross a river bridge in an open-top convertible on a sunny day

By Elizabeth A. Davis
Cover Photographs by Jack Parker
Photography by Synthia Clark, Lisa Buser, Nathan Morgan, Jaimie Davis and Adam Brimer
Video by Erica Jenkins

Think of the University of Tennessee System the way David Martin does. “It’s like a big family,” says the two-time UT graduate from Chattanooga. “Every member of the family is different.”

There’s the funny uncle, the caring aunt, the cousin you don’t see very often, the father who asks you where you’ve been and the grandmother who keeps piling food on your plate. Now imagine them spread hundreds of miles apart across a long and narrow state with three distinct divisions. This is the UT System, consisting of undergraduate campuses in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Martin; the Health Science Center based in Memphis; the Space Institute in Tullahoma; and the statewide Institute of Agriculture and Institute for Public Service.

If you’re like most UT alumni, you’ve probably visited only one or two campuses or institutes, including the campus from which you graduated. But check your diploma. It says only University of Tennessee, right? No matter which campus you call your alma mater, you are a part of the UT System and all its campuses and institutes.

Elizabeth Davis, Erica Jenkins and Synthia Clark.
The road trip team was (from left) Elizabeth Davis, Erica Jenkins and Synthia Clark.

The Tennessee Alumnus recently spent one week traveling to all the campuses and institutes, meeting faculty, staff, students and alumni like Martin along the way. Each place is different, and the people welcomed us like family. “Come see me,” each beckons to visitors.

Points of Interest

355,000 living alumni worldwide ● 7,792 alumni with degrees from two campuses ● 23 alumni with degrees from three campuses ● 3,247 employees with UT degrees ● 39,790 total undergraduate students ● 11,237 total graduate students ● 4,056 total faculty ● 10,922 total staff ● 11,590 degrees awarded in 2013 ● 1,099 total active buildings used by UT statewide that are owned, leased or shared ● 885 total active buildings owned by UT statewide

The Scenic Route

The term road trip implies a sense of adventure and discovery. Exploring and learning about each UT campus and institute so we could share it with alumni was the purpose of the Tennessee Alumnus road trip. We started with a side trip to Oak Ridge to visit the Law Enforcement Innovation Center on April 24, and then began our trek across the state on April 27. We returned on May 2 with thousands of photos, numerous hours of video, way too many calories and great memories.

We also blogged from the road after each stop on the trip. You can read all of our posts here. Use the thumbnails below and at the bottom of each story to follow along with our journey, and watch video from each stop we made.

Day 1: UT IPS Day 2: UTHSC Day 3: UT Martin Day 4: Space Institute Day 5: UTC Day 6: UT Knoxville Day 7: UTIA Local Favorites with Alumni

We would like to thank our colleagues at each campus and institute who helped plan and guide us on our tour: Susan Robertson at IPS, Keith Chandler at UTHSC, Bud Grimes at UT Martin, Scott VanZandbergen at UTSI, Cindy Carroll at UTC, Karen Simsen at UT Knoxville and Patty McDaniels and Lisa Stearns at UTIA.