“Would it be feasible to promote some sort of a spring flower jubilee?” It was that simple question, posed 60 years ago, that birthed an event that now attracts people from all over the country and the world to the Great Smoky Mountains every year for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, being held this year April 21 through 25.
Sixty years ago it was just a seed of an idea inside Bart Leiper’s head — a celebration of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Leiper, general manager of Gatlinburg’s Chamber of Commerce, wrote Samuel Meyer, then head of the botany department at UT Knoxville, requesting the department to arrange a so-called spring flower jubilee. Seeing the opportunity to turn the park into a giant outdoor classroom for students, botanists and nature-lovers alike, Meyer recruited professors Fred Norris and Royal Shanks to organize the first ever Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smokies.
UT Knoxville will offer vaccinations for the H1N1 flu from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at TRECS. This clinic will be open to all UT Knoxville-area students, faculty, staff and their immediate family members including children age 14 and older. Vaccines will be given free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis.
When Apollo astronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago, they brought back souvenirs in the form of moon rocks to be used for scientific analysis, and one of the chief questions was whether there was water to be found in the lunar rocks and soils. The problem they faced was complicated by the fact that most of the rock boxes containing the lunar samples had leaked. This led the scientists to assume that the trace amounts of water they found came from Earth air that had entered the containers. Forty years later, a team of scientists including UT Knoxville’s Larry Taylor has found evidence that the old assumption may be wrong.
Baldwin Lee has seen his share of poverty. In his forthcoming book, to be titled “On Photographing in the South,” Lee, a photography professor in the School of Art at UT Knoxville, will provide a visual tour of the Southeast, including some of the poorer areas of the region. Lee is sharing these same photos with his students this year to help them understand poverty — and to help them learn to look beyond poverty to see people.
Flu shots will be available to UT Knoxville students, faculty and staff from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the University Center Ballroom. Shots will cost $20 — $5 less than last year — and all proceeds will go to the Knoxville News Sentinel Empty Stocking Fund, which provides food and toys to needy families during the winter holidays. Sponsors include the UT Student Health Service, the UT School of Nursing, the Knoxville News Sentinel Charities and Dr. Charlie Barnett. “This year our campus community will be facing both H1N1 and the seasonal flu,” said Student Health Services administrator Jim Boyle. “Therefore, it is especially important to get vaccinated for both.”
American film director, producer, writer and actor Shelton Jackson, aka Spike Lee, will visit the UT Knoxville campus next week as part of the university’s Legends Lecture Series. Lee will give his lecture, “America Through My Lens,” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, in the Cox Auditorium of the Alumni Memorial Building. The event is free and open to the public, and parking will be available in Staff Lot 9, along Phillip Fulmer Way.
UT Knoxville welcomes fans to campus this Saturday for the first home football game of the 2009 season. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:21 p.m. for the Volunteers’ game against Western Kentucky University. Gates open at 10:15 a.m. ESPN-SEC Sports will televise the game. The university would like to remind visitors to campus about stadium policies and inform them of a few changes to some game day traditions.
UT’s Clarence Brown Theatre will open its 35th season with Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring Dale Dickey, on Friday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage.
Life on the UT Knoxville campus will be bustling once again as students return to campus this weekend for the 2009-2010 academic year.