Featured photo: UT Martin football great Jerry Reese speaks to the crowd during the RISE celebration event.
The RISE fundraising campaign surpassed its goal of $175 million weeks before its planned June 30 end date. The RISE campaign is UT Martin’s fourth campaign and its greatest fundraising endeavor in the university’s 123-year history.
In 2021, the university completed its “Prepare for Takeoff” five-year strategic plan, which helped to guide the planning of the RISE campaign. The strategic plan was formed through an inclusive process involving more than 600 administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, students and members of surrounding communities.
“The historical outcome of this campaign will shape our university for generations to come,” says Charley Deal, vice chancellor for university advancement. “Without a dedicated staff of professionals and a campus that embraces philanthropy, we would not have been successful in meeting and surpassing our goal.”
Freeman Confirmed as Chancellor
Yancy Freeman was confirmed as UT Martin’s 12th chancellor July 14 by the UT Board of Trustees during a special meeting. Freeman was recommended to the board by UT System President Randy Boyd following a national search. He succeeds Keith Carver, who became senior vice chancellor/senior vice president of the UT Institute of Agriculture earlier this year.
“Dr. Freeman is the right person at the right time to lead UT Martin. His student-centric focus is just what UT Martin needs, and I believe he will be enthusiastically welcomed by all students,” Boyd says.
Freeman served UT Chattanooga for the past 25 years in various admissions, recruitment and enrollment roles. A first-generation college graduate, Freeman holds three degrees from UT Chattanooga. He began the new position Aug. 9.
Giles Presents Documentary
Henri Giles, UT Martin Department of Mass Media and Strategic Communication instructor, presented her documentary Waiting in the Wings: African Americans in Country Music at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville.
Giles’ documentary was originally produced to be seen on Country Music Television in 2004. The documentary, which won a Telly Award and a National Association of Black Journalists award, features Ray Charles, Charley Pride, Hank Williams Jr., Naomi Judd and Marty Stuart.
Waiting in the Wings is a lesson in showing the struggle that began in country music years ago as African Americans tried to make their mark in the genre,” Giles says.