UT celebrates ‘Thank A Giver’ Day to Honor Donors


More than 200 gift tags were hung all over the UT campus to celebrate “Thank A Giver” (TAG) day on April 20. The event celebrated the success of the $1 billion Campaign for Tennessee.

The most ambitious fund-raising effort in the university’s history, the campaign raised $1.3 billion over six years for the statewide system, placing UT in an elite group of less than thirty universities to achieve this goal. More than $860 million is dedicated to programs for the Knoxville campus.

“The generosity of more than 87,000 alumni and friends enhances our educational mission and improves the experience for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and fans,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “Every gift helps move us further along in our journey to become a Top 25 public research institution.”

tag2The magnetic orange and white gift tags—some as large as ten feet tall or wide—were affixed to sixteen new and renovated facilities across the 550-acre campus. The large tags could be seen on the Howard H. Baker Center Jr. for Public Policy, the James A. Haslam II Business Building, Neyland Stadium, Pratt Pavilion, Regal Soccer Stadium, the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building, and Sherri Parker Lee Stadium, to name just a few.

The event included more than 100 students who canvassed campus handing out stickers that said “Thank A Giver,” as well as Moon Pies—that, yes, have been graciously donated.

By wearing the sticker, those on Rocky Top recognized how they have benefited from donations through the use of academic buildings, athletic facilities, professorships, scholarships, and endowments made possible by alumni and friends.

The tags created a visual reminder of donors’ generosity but also tell a story of positive change to the physical landscape of the university, its caliber of education, and the lives of students and faculty, said Scott Rabenold, vice chancellor of development and alumni affairs.

“We have had students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and friends give what they can so that others can have the experiences they’ve had and so that the university can continue to be a great place to learn, work, and play,” Rabenold said.

As part of the campaign, gifts to the Knoxville campus came from 87,266 donors. Gifts ranged from $1 to $50 million, and a total of $60 million came from UT faculty and staff.

To view a list of the buildings with gift tags and an interactive map, visit www.utk.edu/maps, and click the checkbox for Campaign for Tennessee in the right column and the “detailed info” link.

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