The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was named a Purple Heart–designated university at the UT vs. Arkansas State game on September 6.
UT is the first school in the state of Tennessee to receive this designation and one of only six in the nation.
The designation is made by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of Tennessee, and is based on the university’s commitment to veterans and the military.
Robert Hunt, state commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, presented the designation to UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek on the field at the game. Maj. Gen. Max Haston, adjutant general for the state of Tennessee, was also part of the presentation.
The football game was a Military Appreciation Game and included a military-themed halftime show.
The Pride of the Southland Band paid tribute to the military with their performance, which was accompanied by country music icon Lee Greenwood. The performance also paid tribute to several Medal of Honor recipients who were present at the game and were celebrated during the 2014 Medal of Honor Convention, which took place September 10–13 in Knoxville.
At Gate 21, fans had the opportunity to express their appreciation for our country’s men and women in uniform by signing and writing messages of appreciation on an eight by twenty-four foot banner that reads “Thank You Military” and includes the five logos of the branches of the military.