Sen. Baker Receives First UT Founders’ Medal

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Sen. Howard Baker received the University of Tennessee’s first Founders’ Day Medal Tuesday on the school’s 202nd anniversary.

The honor was presented to the former U.S. Senate majority leader and White House chief of staff at a Charter Day luncheon. Baker is a 1949 graduate of the College of Law.

Ann Taylor, Knoxville native and journalist for National Public Radio, received the Notable UTK Woman Award for her contributions to broadcasting. Taylor, news anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” earned a degree in English and history from UT-Knoxville in 1958.

Baker, who retired from the Senate in 1984 after serving three terms, said his years at UT helped shape his life and career. He was President Reagan’s chief of staff in 1987-88.

“There is something special about attending a large, public university like this one,” Baker said. “It helps shape young minds and spirits. UT and my experience here were a contributing part of my life. It still is.”

The announcement of two new members of UT-Knoxville’s Alumni Hall of Fame — Lucy Shields Morgan and Frank Knight — was made at the luncheon.

Morgan, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1922 and a master’s in 1932, achieved national recognition as a public health educator. North Carolina Central University named its health education building for her, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was head of the health department, has a scholarship in her name.

Knight was an internationally known economist and professor at the University of Chicago. Knight, who graduated from UT in 1913, was awarded the Francis Walker Medal by the American Economic Association in 1957.

The Walker medal was only given every five years and was discontinued when the Nobel Prize in economics was established.

Morgan and Knight join eight others who were named to the hall of fame during UT’s bicentennial celebration in 1994.

Blount College, predecessor to UT, was chartered Sept. 10, 1794.