Former Johnson City Mayor Earns MBA, Supports UT Program with Gift

KNOXVILLE — After earning his Executive MBA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2008 at the age of 64, Bill F. Breeding Jr., former mayor of Johnson City, Tenn., said he felt compelled to give back to the program.

Bill Breeding
Bill Breeding
“Going through UT’s Executive MBA program was one of the most rewarding years of my life,” Breeding said. “It is my desire that the college use my gift to enhance the strength of its already impressive Executive MBA program.”

Breeding’s gift is part of the Campaign for Tennessee, UT’s $1 billion fundraising effort.

His gift is being used to support the Executive MBA program and the technology in the new James A. Haslam II Business Building. A team room used by participants in all four of the college’s executive MBA programs is being named in his honor.

“The College of Business Administration provided me with a first-class business education that will allow me to function and compete in our rapidly changing world,” said Breeding. “I shared a year with the most unbelievable group of professionals — students and faculty — with whom I will have a lifetime of relationships. I am living proof that it’s never too late to go back to school!”

Alex Miller, associate dean of executive education, called Breeding “a wonderful example of a leader strongly committed to lifetime learning.”

“As a student, he was an inspiration to all of us associated with the Executive MBA program, and, as an alum, it will be an honor to have his name on one of our team rooms.”

Breeding said his international trip to Vietnam and Hong Kong was “an opportunity of a lifetime.”

“To actually live and study the social, government and business climates of those two countries was an awesome experience,” he said, “not to mention the bonding and friendships that were made.”

Breeding currently is a realtor with Century 21 Pro Service Realtors.

Breeding’s community involvement has been extensive. He is serving on the board of SunTrust Bank of Northeast Tennessee and on the advisory board of East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology, where he also is a member of the college’s Hall of Fame. He is a past member and vice president of the East Tennessee State University Alumni Board, a former member of the Tennessee Health Facilities Commission, a former board member of Johnson City Medical Center Hospital, past president of the Johnson City / Washington County / Jonesborough Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission. He served in the Air Force from 1966-1970.

Breeding earned his bachelor’s degree in history from East Tennessee State University in 1990.

“I would encourage students and friends to contribute to UT’s College of Business Administration if at all possible,” Breeding said. “It’s not only about the money. It’s also about staying connected, cherishing the memories and the quality education you received, and promoting the program in your community.”

The Campaign for Tennessee — the most ambitious effort in the university’s 214-year history — places UT among the ranks of the nation’s largest public and private institutions that have sought this level of private support. As of April 30, 2009, more than $577 million of the $610 million Knoxville campus goal had been received.

The campaign, which launched its silent phase in 2005, will secure private gifts that, in turn, will contribute substantially to the distinct, but linked, campuses in the UT system. Funds raised through the campaign will directly support the objectives of UT’s strategic plan. Among those objectives are improved student access and success, research and economic development, outreach and globalization.

C O N T A C T :

Cindy Raines (865-974-4359, craines1@utk.edu)