UT Board Names Stadium, Hears Biotech Plans

The University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks’ stadium now bears the name of one of the school-s biggest supporters.

The UT Board of Trustees, meeting on campus Thursday, approved naming the stadium for Hardy Moore Graham, long-time supporter of the campus who in the 1950s pushed for the elevation of UT Junior College to a four-year university.

Graham’s gifts to UT total more than $1 million.

In other business before the board, UT Vice President Bill Rice provided the trustees additional information on Wednesday’s announcement in Memphis of a proposed biotechnology research park. Rice said the UT Health Science Center’s partnership with Baptist Hospital and the Memphis Biotech Foundation will accelerate the movement of medical research from the laboratory to health care practice. It also would help solve the Health Science Center’s critical need for research space.

“This gives us the opportunity to jump forward 20 to 30 years,” Rice said.

The board gave its approval for the Health Science Center to negotiate a no-cost lease with Baptist Hospital for office and parking space. After 30 years, UT would assume ownership of the medical office buildings and parking garages.

The site of the now vacant Baptist Memorial Hospital would be developed by the foundation into the research park.