Student organizations, Impact, and the Student Alumni Associates wanted to create a week that showcased the volunteer and philanthropic spirit of the student body. I Heart UT Week launched on April 20 with Campus Clean-Up Day. More than ninety students picked up over 1,000 pounds of trash and recyclables in and around campus.
Monday kicked off with a Big Orange Breakfast with free doughnuts. Later, the Chick-fil-A mascot handed out iced tea to students for “I Heart UTea.” Other events included a Stress Relief Party, an ice cream social, and Thank UT Day, during which students filled out postcards to be sent to alumni who have helped make their education possible. Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek joined in the festivities by serving more than 700 students a free pancake dinner in Hodges Library late Wednesday night.
I Heart UT Week continued with Carnicus, a campus tradition in which student organizations compete in a series of skits in hopes of winning the ACE Cup. Alpha Delta Pi and Alpha Omicron Pi were this year’s overall winners. I Heart UT Week finished strong with inflatables and giveaways at a FestiVOL preshow event followed by the eleventh annual Volapalooza, featuring rap artist Tyga, which drew more than 2,100 people to Thompson-Boling Arena.
Throughout the week, the UT food bank received more than 750 cans to start a pantry dedicated to students, faculty, and staff in need. A photo contest had students taking campus pictures that depicted why they “heart UT.”
The week also included special recognition and congratulations for seniors as they received exclusive “Vol for Life” car decals and their long-awaited class rings.
The first I Heart UT week was a huge success, and plans are already underway for 2014.
“I Heart UT Week is all about showing your love for Rocky Top. I see it becoming a tradition of celebration and appreciation for years to come,” said Grant Minchew, senior and SAA vice president emeritus.