New Science Building to be Named for Ken and Blaire Mossman

Blair and Ken MossmanThe new science and laboratory building to be built on Cumberland Avenue at Thirteenth Street will be called the Ken and Blaire Mossman Building.

The UT Board of Trustees approved naming the building after the Mossmans at its meeting today. The married couple were UT alumni and generous supporters.

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on the building, which will house portions of microbiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, psychology, and nutrition. It also will have a vivarium and shared laboratories and general-purpose classrooms. The building is set to be completed in 2018.

“My late brother and sister-in-law would be overwhelmed with the new science building bearing their names,” Michael Mossman said. “Our families see their legacy coming to life on the campus.”

mossman-rendering-2015-09-600Ken Mossman earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in health physics and radiation biology through the Institute of Radiation Biology, a joint program of UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. An accomplished author and international expert about the effects of radiation exposure, he also served on the faculty of Georgetown University and Arizona State University. At the time of his death in 2014, he was serving on the US Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an appointment made by President Barack Obama in 2013.

Blaire Mossman received a bachelor’s degree in French from UT in 1971. She spent thirty years as a science and technology publications editor. She worked for the National Biomedical Research Foundation before her death in 2011.

“Ken and Blaire truly loved the university,” Michael Mossman added. “The academic opportunities afforded them at UT in their respective fields were the primary reason for their individual successes. I believe they had a vision for their university. Their generous gifts to the school were, in their minds, a small part of contributing to the greater good of UT students. Their dream was to better their university, a place that gave them so much.”

In 2011, the Mossmans established the Mossman Professorship in Biomedicine, which is currently held by Steven Wilhelm. The couple left UT an estate gift to endow a scholarship in Romance languages and to support students involved in Ready for the World initiatives. The estate gift also will fund a distinguished lecture series in their names.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)