Featured photo: Bill Latimer addresses the crowd gathered to celebrate the dedication of UT Martin’s new Latimer-Smith Engineering and Science Building on Oct. 27.
Bill and Carol Latimer believe in the power of education to change lives. The couple’s commitment to education inspired the Union City couple’s $6.5 million gift that made possible UT Martin’s new Latimer-Smith Engineering and Science Building.
The $65 million, 120,000-square-foot, three-story building was dedicated Oct. 27 and coincided with the UT Board of Trustees fall meeting Oct. 27-28 in the Boling University Center. Earlier that afternoon, board members approved a request by Bill Latimer to add Bob Smith’s name to the building to honor the former UT Martin chancellor’s service during a critical period in the university’s history.
The Latimer gift provided the 10 percent match required by the state for construction of the state-of-the-art facility. The building will open for classes in spring 2023. The Latimer Building will house the departments of chemistry and physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics and statistics, and the pre-professional health sciences program. The building features classrooms, laboratories, offices and a small observatory.
Professor Earns 10th Degree
Daniel Pigg, professor of English, walked across the stage to receive his master’s degree in higher education leadership during spring commencement. This degree marked his seventh master’s degree and his 10th degree overall. With another degree in hand, Pigg began his 33rd year at his newest alma mater doing what he enjoys most—teaching English and literature and religious studies to UT Martin students.
Since he was a child, the Columbia, Tennessee, native was interested in being an educator. Between his grandmother being a third-grade teacher and his childhood nickname, teaching was always the path he wanted to take. “I knew I wanted to teach from the time I was 8 years old. I had a relative who, in fact, dubbed me ‘The Professor’ at age 8, so this has been in the blood for some time,” Pigg said.
Pigg began his educational journey at Lipscomb University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. He then began his master’s and then doctorate in English at UT Knoxville, which he placed on hold in 1986 to complete a master’s degree in medieval studies at the University of York in England on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Boyd Named WestStar Graduate
UT President Randy Boyd considers UT Martin’s 2022 WestStar Leadership Program participants as his classmates— and for good reason. He’s officially one of them. The UT president was announced as the fourth honorary graduate in the leadership program’s history during WestStar’s annual graduation event June 21 at The Venue at Twin Oaks in Humboldt. Boyd also served as the event’s keynote speaker as WestStar recognized 30 graduates from 17 counties in the program’s 32nd class.