What a Year!

Alumni Chapters: 2009 Recap

Hamilton chapterThe University of Tennessee Alumni Chapter and Club Program was very active in 2009. More than 100 chapters and clubs across the country hosted more than 200 events and almost 400 TV viewing parties for alumni in their area. Over 25,000 alumni gathered and were able to take advantage of these great opportunities.

Alumni in Pittsburgh and Central Florida were offered a discounted day at the local zoos, while alumni in Memphis and Knoxville were able to become wine experts with guidance from a wine connoisseur. Central Indiana chose to participate in Oktoberfest beer tastings and learn about various brews.

Engaging current and future students is another big part of our annual chapter and club programming. Last year 10 chapters hosted Student Sendoff Picnics to send new and returning students off to UT in style. More than 350 students attended these parties across country.

“Being able to share in the excitement of eager incoming freshmen and their parents, while also witnessing prideful UT students and alumni from our county sharing their own personal UT experiences with one another, made all the planning and preparation worthwhile,” said Dawn Dietrich, a board member for both the Williamson County UT Alumni Chapter and UT’s Parent Association.

Kansas chapterEight of the UT Alumni Association’s in-state chapters held honors banquets for the top high school juniors in their area. Among these chapters were Hamilton County, Kingsport/Sullivan County, Knox County, Madison County, and Williamson County. For the first time this year, Memphis/Shelby County, Davidson County, Montgomery County, and Lauderdale County also held honors banquets. More than 750 students from these areas attended these events, which recognize outstanding academic achievement and promote higher education in the state of Tennessee. The events feature speakers from various UT campuses including Knoxville.

In August the Henry County chapter decided to hold a “ladies only” event. The women of Henry County got their chance to learn the rules and terminology of football. Coach Joe Gaddis from Henry County High School, and Ricky Wade, a local football official, explained every aspect of the game to these ladies to prepare them for the upcoming football season.

Also in August, the Madison County chapter, and surrounding chapters, enjoyed a night under the stars with a Starlight Symphony, featuring a dinner and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.

Putnam County chapterThe University of Tennessee Singers livened up alumni events across the state of Tennessee during Spring Break 2009.

“The UT Singers are an incredibly talented group of college students, and my, what a director! UT should feel immeasurable pride in knowing that such a wonderful, delightfully entertaining group represents the university,” said Dianne Homra, Lake County UT Alumni Chapter president.

The Big Orange Caravan Tour was a highlight of 2009 with head football coach Lane Kiffin making the trip to all 13 caravan stops including Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Jacksonville, Fla., and many stops throughout the state of Tennessee. He was joined in various cities by head men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl and head women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt. Kiffin also kicked off the football season in Knoxville at the Welcome Back Barbecue and in Nashville at the Davidson County All-Sports Picnic.

It’s no doubt that 2009 was a year to remember for the UTAA Chapter and Club Program. But don’t fret if you missed out: There are many more opportunities for chapters and clubs available for 2010! Get involved in your local chapter or club and take advantage of the many happenings in your area.

PHOTO CAPTIONS:
1. High-achieving high school students were honored at the Hamilton County chapter’s honors banquet.
2. Vols in Kansas City gathered for a TV viewing party.
3. The Big Orange Caravan stopped in Putnam County.

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