New UT Classroom Opens at Knoxville Center (470)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Don’t look for the University of Tennessee’s newest classroom in the usual place — it’s not on campus.

Courtesy of Knoxville Center and its management company, Simon-DeBartolo, the new classroom is in the mall just off Interstate 640, exit 8.

UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder, in whose name the classroom was dedicated Tuesday, came to the event unaware he was to be honored.

“I am grateful,” Snyder said. “Knoxville Center has been very generous to UT-Knoxville — first by giving us a presence in the UTK Court, and now renovating this space for a classroom.”

One of Snyder’s initiatives as chancellor has been the establishment of strategic partnerships with area businesses and industries.

Snyder and representatives of Simon-DeBartolo signed a partnership agreement last year, which was followed by the creation of an area in Knoxville Center called UTK Court.

Features of UTK Court include a large floor map of the campus, displays, a kiosk, and television monitors that continuously play a UT-Knoxville video.

Mark Bell, general manager of Knoxville Center, said the center’s partnership with UT-Knoxville is unique to the shopping center industry.

“We are the first to celebrate a university’s academic and athletic achievements in such a way in a shopping center,” Bell said. “We are excited to implement a new tradition and honor UT-Knoxville as an exemplary institution.”

Snyder said the court area and classroom provides a showcase for many UT-Knoxville programs and activities.

“I personally think the court and the new classroom give us wonderful exposure,” Snyder said.

The 1,500-square-foot classroom, with state-of-the-art instructional equipment provided by UT-Knoxville, seats 50 persons.

After the dedication, Knoxville Center provided refreshments while honors students from UT-Knoxville conducted classroom tours and a jazz ensemble from the campus’ music department entertained.

The classroom, recognizable by an orange awning and a “UT” sign at the outside entrance, is located at the front of Knoxville Center between Ruby Tuesday’s and Dillard’s.

An inside entrance is marked by an illuminated sign near Center Court on the lower level. The sign was designed by students in the Design Center of the UT-Knoxville Department of Art.

Visitors can view exhibits about UT throughout the mall between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., June 27, when Knoxville Center hosts “UT Day.”

Dr. Lynn Champion, director of community outreach and public service for the College of Arts and Sciences, said a variety of classes will be offered in the new facility.

First priority is held for credit classes. Non-credit programs, including personal and enrichment classes, are second in line, followed by public service functions, Champion said.

To find out about credit classes offered at Knoxville Center call the UT Evening School, 974-5361. For non-credit programs at the center, call 974-0150 to reach UT Community Programs. Other information is available from the Office of Academic Outreach, 974-4676.