UT Honors Marine Generals (250)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee will honor two alumni who had distinguished careers in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Plaques honoring the late Gen. Clifton Cates and retired Brig. Gen. Austin Shofner will be unveiled at 3 p.m., Sept. 11, in Stokely Athletics Center.

UT President Joe Johnson and Chancellor Bill Snyder will participate.

Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Tiebout, who now lives in Townsend, will speak on the careers of the two honorees.

Cates, born in Tiptonville, Tenn., played football and baseball at UT before receiving the bachelor of law degree from UT in 1916. He entered the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant in 1917. Cates saw duty in both world wars, was wounded several times and earned more than 30 decorations.

He retired in 1954 after serving two years as commandant of the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico, Va. Cates died in 1970 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Shofner, a Chattanooga native who grew up in Shelbyville, earned the bachelor of science in commerce at UT in 1937. Like Cates, Shofner played football at UT and continued as a player and coach with the San Diego Marines in the late 1930s.

He was captured by Japanese forces at Corregidor but led a prison camp escape and returned to the battlefield in the Pacific. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1959.

Shofner, who now lives in Shelbyville, will attend the ceremony. Also attending will be retired Marine Col. Otto Melsa of Memphis, who helped UT officials arrange the ceremony.