Alum Celebrates Family Legacy with Gift to College of Business Administration

 
Joe Crafton

Joe Crafton

KNOXVILLE — Alumnus Joe Crafton, president of CROSSMARK, a leading provider of services to the consumer goods industry, has provided a gift to the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in recognition of the impact UT has had on his family.

His gift supports technology in the college’s new James A. Haslam II Business Building and shopper marketing efforts in the college’s Department of Marketing and Logistics. To commemorate his generosity, the college has named the Crafton Family Terrace in the Haslam Business Building in his family’s honor.

“It is especially meaningful to have the terrace named after my family,” said Crafton, a 1984 graduate of the College of Business Administration. “From the Crafton Family Terrace, there is a clear view of the alma mater colleges of my wife, Wendy, who graduated in 1984 with a humanities degree; father Joe Sr., who graduated in 1950 as an engineer and lived in the stadium dorm; mother, Patti, who was a Torchbearer, graduating in 1955 in education; my brother Nick, a graduate in engineering, and another brother Hugh, a business graduate. Not to mention the numerous extended family members who graduated from UT. The Crafton Family Terrace also provides an ideal view of where my wife and I first met — Neyland Stadium — and her beloved Smoky Mountains in the distance.”

By giving to the college, Crafton hopes to perpetuate its tradition of excellence in consumer goods sales and marketing education and encourage future students to pursue careers in the industry. His gift is part of UT’s Campaign for Tennessee $1 billion fundraising effort.

This gift was very personal for Crafton on several other levels.

“Before Haslam was built, business classes were held in the Glocker Business Administration Building. It was in Glocker where I developed my passion for marketing and supply chain management that led to my career in consumer goods marketing. Glocker, however, was technologically challenged to provide students with a state-of-the-art learning environment. I wanted to ensure that future generations kept pace with global advancements,” he said.

Crafton also sees shopper marketing as a way to differentiate college graduates in the workplace.

“The consumer goods industry is investing incremental time and dollars in reaching the consumer when he or she is in a shopping mode. As a founding member of UT’s Shopper Marketing Forum, my planned gift will go toward advancing superior student education in areas having greatest demand,” he said.

Richard “Dick” Reizenstein, emeritus associate marketing professor, was instrumental in reconnecting Crafton with the college.

“Dick was an associate dean of the college when I was a student. He re-involved me in the college through his Executive-in-Residence (EIR) program. On one of my EIR visits to meet with students, I saw the plans for Haslam and realized the exceptional leverage the building provided the college. I’m glad to be associated with it,” Crafton said.

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.

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@tennessee.edu)

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