KNOXVILLE — The president of the University of Tennessee and his wife have established a lectureship at UT to honor Nobel Laureate James Buchanan.
UT President J. Wade Gilley and his wife, Nan, are pledging $50,000 to the university for an annual lecture that will honor the Tennessee native and 1941 UT graduate.
The UT president made the announcement Friday following a lecture by Buchanan that preceded Gilley’s inauguration as 20th president of UT. The pair became friends at George Mason University where Buchanan is Harris Professor of Economics and Gilley was senior vice president in the 1980s.
“Jim Buchanan is a friend and colleague to Nan and me, and he is one of UT’s most distinguished graduates,” Gilley said. “He honored me by speaking at my inauguration.
“We are very pleased to honor him with this lectureship at his alma mater and hope that other, similar opportunities will present themselves in the future.”
The James M. Buchanan Lectureship in Political Economy will fund an annual lecture prepared and delivered by a UT faculty member in either economics or political science. The faculty member will be chosen each year by a university committee and will receive a $4,000 stipend, Gilley said.
“The award is intended to encourage individual faculty in their scholarship endeavors and build a stronger core of university teachers and researchers over the years,” Gilley said.
Buchanan, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1986, earned the bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State, the master’s from UT and the doctorate from the University of Chicago.
He served on the UT-Knoxville faculty from 1948 to 1951 and headed the economics departments at Florida State University and the University of Virginia before going to George Mason.
Buchanan won the Nobel Prize for his work in public choice theory – a field of study he has explored in more than 13 books and numerous articles.