Two Residence Halls Renamed for Black Trailblazers

Featured photo: Robinson Hall

UT Knoxville leaders announced that two residence halls will be renamed in honor of Theotis Robinson and Rita Sanders Geier, two African American trailblazers whose fight for equity and social justice transformed the state’s higher education system and the university. The UT Board of Trustees approved the renaming of Orange Hall for Geier and White Hall for Robinson at its winter board meeting. Both residence halls were constructed in 2016.

Geier Hall

Robinson is well known as the first Black undergraduate student admitted to the university and one of three Black students to fully desegregate the university in 1961. Geier, a Memphis native, is best known for the landmark lawsuit that sought to dismantle inequities in the state’s higher education system.

Both Robinson and Geier later worked for the university.

New Partnership Established with CGI

CGI logo
In February, CGI announced the establishment of a new information technology delivery center in Knoxville, where the company plans to create 300 local jobs, engage regional educators, support area workforce development and provide opportunities for the community’s students, graduates and professionals. CGI is partnering closely with UT Knoxville on the launch of the center and will be working with the university to engage students across interdisciplinary programs in its Haslam College of Business and Tickle College of Engineering.

Vol Nursing Students Step Up

A UTK nursing student gets a vaccine from her classmate
In partnership with the Knox County Health Department and multiple campus departments, Vol nursing students began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible populations on campus. Over the past two months, students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs have spent more than 600 hours volunteering to help distribute vaccines. Students gave out roughly 5,000 vaccines by early March. Student nurses continued to help administer vaccines throughout the semester.

Future Vol Surprised with ROTC Scholarship

A young man with red hair in his ROTC uniform
Avery Burnham

Avery Burnham, a senior at South-Doyle High School in Knoxville, received a surprise Zoom call from Lt. Col. Justin Howe, professor of military science and the director of UT Knoxville Army ROTC, with news that he’d been offered a four-year ROTC scholarship. Access and affordability are huge priorities for UT Knoxville’s Army ROTC program; nearly 90 percent of its third- and fourth-year cadets are on scholarship. As Burnham prepares to begin a new journey at UT Knoxville this fall, he’s looking forward to studying civil engineering.