Caught for Life

Letters to the Editor

Memories of Andy Holt

Those responses to your Andy Holt story some months ago inspired me (Winter 2012 issue). Memories of my days as the associate director of a UT department and of my contact with Dr. Holt, always the role model, bubbled up. During the early ’70s, I had occasion to be heavily involved with groups visiting the university. Usually there was the request for the proverbial kickoff welcome speaker, the luncheon speaker, and/or the keynote banquet speaker to close. Dr. Andy Holt was always their first choice. Dr. Holt believed his most important mission as president was to appear before any visiting group, make sure they were warmly greeted and most important—tell them what a great place his University of Tennessee was. Without fail, he always praised our great state of Tennessee. We requested him often for the visiting groups, and he graciously came.  Everyone has a favorite Andy Holt story drawn from those days. One thing that always struck others and me was the time delay of his message. No matter how laughable and humorous his presentation, a serious theme somehow crept up on you alone in your car on the drive home. Pondering and replaying his message, you suddenly realized that deeply embedded in all that humor was a sermon—a morality tale. Dr. Holt positively influenced my life in many ways, as he did many others.

Ron H. Rader (Knoxville ’60, ’72) is author of a new book on the Smoky Mountains of 1940s and ’50s: The Blue Mountains Sing of rivers, old men, trails, and trout. He may be reached at

Correction: More Alumni at ESPN

In the fall 2013 issue, we included nine UT alumni who work at ESPN. Since then, we’ve found four more. Chris Brakebill (Knoxville ’10) is a web and mobile developer for fantasy games. Bill Geist (Knoxville ’86) is a senior vice president in finance, Cliff Chartrand (Knoxville ’10) is a content associate and Ryan McGee (Knoxville ’93) is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine

Tell us what you think

Send letters to the editor to Tennessee Alumnus, P265 Andy Holt Tower, Knoxville, TN, 37996 or Or fill out our online contact form. Your comments may be printed in the magazine and edited for length.