UTS Seniors Leave Lasting Legacy

A black female student wearing graduation robes and cap smiles while waiting for the commencement ceremony to begin.
UT Southern graduates wear special cords celebrating their participation in giving.

On graduation day at the University of Tennessee Southern, 56 seniors donned red and orange cords showing they participated in the Senior Giving Program.

Those graduates gave a total 63 gifts, supporting 31 different funds, which include 20 academic departments, nine athletic teams and two campuswide programs. Senior giving this year more than doubled compared to last year, marking a significant milestone for the university.

The contributions made by these seniors will help fund scholarships, improve facilities and support various initiatives that enrich the educational experience at UT Southern.

Crissy Jordan Honored

Gail Newton, UT Southern Interim Chancellor Linda Martin and Crissy Jordan.
From left, Gail Newton, UT Southern Interim Chancellor Linda Martin and Crissy Jordan.

Crissy Jordan received the Gail M. Newton Distinguished Service Award, which honors exceptional service to the institution and others.

Interim Chancellor Linda Martin and Gail Newton, who was a longtime business faculty member, presented the award to Jordan, who has demonstrated service and leadership during her 20-year career at UT Southern. Jordan began as an administrative assistant in the Center for Church Leadership and has served as events coordinator and assistant to the vice president for institutional advancement. Currently, she is the administrative assistant for student life and founded the popular Fishing Club on campus.

Crye Receives TASFAA Leadership Scholarship

Liz Crye headshot in front of a UT Southern backdrop.
Liz Crye

Liz Crye, assistant director of financial aid, received the Ron Gambill Future Leadership Scholarship, established in 2023 by the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA) Board.

The scholarship supports TASFAA members who wish to become more actively involved in legislative activities related to financial aid. Each year, TASFAA awards this scholarship that covers the costs of registration and travel to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Leadership Conference held in Washington, D.C.

“The conference gave me a chance to gain invaluable knowledge and allowed me to network with some really wonderful people from around the country,” Crye says. “I left feeling very empowered and motivated to become more involved in TASFAA.”

154th Commencement Held

Brian Daniels and Linda Martin wearing graduation robes.
UT System Chief Audit and Compliance Officer Brian Daniels and UT Southern Interim Chancellor Linda Martin.

The 154th Commencement Ceremony of the University of Tennessee Southern took place on May 4 with the conferring of 189 degrees. This ceremony marked the last class of students who enrolled prior to the establishment of UT Southern.

Brian Daniels, UT System chief audit and compliance officer, delivered remarks to the graduating class and more than 1,700 guests gathered on the campus green.

During the graduation ceremony, UT Southern Interim Chancellor Linda Martin commended Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Judy Cheatham for significant contributions and her legacy as Cheatham presided over her last graduation due to retirement. Martin says Cheatham’s leadership and dedication have profoundly shaped the academic landscape of UT Southern.