A message from the president

Joe DiPietro

None of us gets through life without overcoming challenges.

And life’s not always fair. Some of us face more challenges than others, and some challenges are much greater than others.

On the subject of overcoming—the theme of this issue of Tennessee Alumnus—I’m proud that, across the statewide University of Tennessee system, we overcome at the individual and institutional levels every day. First-generation college students. Economically disadvantaged students. Disabled students. Nontraditional students. All of these and more earn UT degrees every year, pushing past obstacles to achieve an education that will equip them to overcome future obstacles.

And fulfilling the university’s mission to educate, discover and connect means overcoming on a large scale.

A UT degree fuels potential. UT research propels economic vitality. UT outreach elevates community strengths. UT solutions help people, businesses, cities. At the most basic level, when we’re fulfilling our discovery mission, we’re solving somebody’s problems, from plant life to human life.

I’m proud that, as Tennessee Alumnus begins its second century of publication in 2018, the magazine is bringing you stories of exceptional challenges overcome by your fellow UT alumni. They are inspiring. As is the fact the university has some connection to their achievements. And, through the UT alumni family, all of us have a connection to them.

All the best,

Joe DiPietro
Dr. Joe DiPietro has served as UT president since January 2011.