Chancellor’s Corner

History never really says goodbye. History says, “See you later.” – Eduardo Galeano

I enjoy the study of history. I’m particularly interested in Tennessee history. And since moving back to West Tennessee in 2017, I’ve invested much time into my family’s history.

I’ve learned more about my grandparents’ country store in Frog Jump, and I’ve studied about my great-grandmother’s farm in Dyer. Studying my history helps me know more about the rituals and traditions of our current family.

I also think a great deal about UT Martin’s history. Founded in 1900 as Hall-Moody Institute, we’ve been educating students in West Tennessee for 120 years. I’m thankful that the local community, the leadership at the University of Tennessee and our local legislative delegation decided to work together to bring a public university to northwest Tennessee when Hall-Moody considered closing in the 1920s. We had a humble beginning, but my, how we’ve grown!

Do you think our founders could have ever imagined that UT Martin would eventually be the top-ranked public Tennessee institution on the U.S. News & World Report lists for:

  • Regional universities in the South
  • Best universities for veterans in the South
  • Best-value universities in the South
  • Regional universities for social mobility in the South?

Did they ever think we could place among The Princeton Review’s best southeastern colleges for 17 consecutive years?

Or could the leadership in 1927 ever dream that our graduates would contribute a record-breaking $28.8 million in university gifts and bequests to support our students, faculty and programs in 2018-19?

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

What will the next 120 years yield for UT Martin? If the past is any indication, we’ll look forward to another period of incredible growth and support. Let’s celebrate our history and look to the future – together.

Be UTM proud!

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