Ashton Braddock and Randy Boyd

Boyd Announces UT Promise Mentor Recruitment

In his second State of the University address, President Randy Boyd (Knoxville ’79) announced UT Promise scholarship students will be paired with mentors who help guide students through the transition to university life and beyond. Boyd was the first to sign up as a UT Promise mentor.

“I am excited to serve as a UT Promise mentor because I believe this is one of the greatest aspects of the UT Promise scholarship. Having the experience to interact with professors, chancellors, community leaders,alumni and more is invaluable to our students in preparing them for their lives during their college years and beyond,” Boyd says.

Mentors will be paired with two to five students, will spend one hour a month with their mentees and are asked to serve the same students for a two-year period. UT faculty and staff will be paired with freshmen and sophomores while UT alumni and friends will be paired with juniors and seniors. If you’re interested in learning more about the UT Promise mentorship, please visit

Volkswagen, UT, ORNL Announce Collaboration, Innovation Hub

Volkswagen employees dub a Volkswagen Atlas as a “Volswagen,” reflecting the partnership of UT and the car manufacturing company, which resulted in a lighter liftgate for the Atlas.

Volkswagen Group of America, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee announced a collaboration to create Volkswagen’s first innovation hub in North America at the UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm.

The collaboration involves research opportunities for doctoral students and space in the Innovation North building at the UT Research Park. Initial work will focus on developing lighter vehicle components made from composite materials and the electrification of vehicles.

“By identifying difficult challenges and pursuing creative solutions with immediate industrial application, we can accelerate fields such as materials science, energy storage and advance manufacturing while making vehicles better, safer and more fuel efficient,” ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia says.

Board Appoints Boyd as 26th President

By unanimous vote Friday afternoon, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees selected Randy Boyd to serve as UT’s 26th president for the next five years.

“As I’ve said, naming the president of the University of Tennessee System is one of our most important decisions that we undertake as trustees,” Board Chair John Compton says. “We wanted to make sure we were comprehensive and considerate to all key stakeholders in reaching our decision. Randy Boyd is absolutely the right person to lead the university at this time.”

Trustees approved Boyd serving in the position up to June 30, 2025. Boyd, a UT Knoxville alumnus and Knoxville businessman, has served as interim president of the UT System since Joe DiPietro retired in November 2018.

“I am thankful to all who have shown confidence and support for me to continue as the 26th president of the University of Tennessee,” Boyd says. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve my alma mater and our great state with this great team. Together, we will make this the greatest decade in the history of the University of Tennessee.”