Alumni News

Father-Daughter Engineering, Geography Grads Lead Wounded Warrior Diving Program

A father and daughter pair of University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduates have teamed up to help give back to members of the United States military through their program Diving with Heroes.

Joe Brickey, a 1985 electrical engineering grad, and Jill Hottel, who got her bachelor’s in geography in 2004 and her master’s in 2010, started the program as a way to help wounded veterans regain their lost sense of mobility via diving.

Tennessee’s Energy Fuels New TV Commercial


The energy of the university is on full display in the work and accomplishments of former Lady Vol and academic all-American Candace Parker and current Governor’s Chair for Power Electronics Yilu Liu. This energy is brought to light in UT’s new TV commercial. The spot will air during most televised Tennessee sporting events.

Engineering Alum’s Patent Trims Hours Off of Yard Work

Alumnus Mark Arnurius invented Tarp Tow to help cut back on the hours of yard work involved in things such as tree limb removal, seen here.

It has long been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Thanks to the necessity of a College of Engineering graduate, people doing yard work the world over could save hours. Mark Arnurius was frustrated with how long it was taking him to clear refuse from trimmed trees and bushes when inspiration struck.

Check Out the Media Coverage of Spring Commencement

Graduation cap

More than 3,800 students graduated from the university last week. Many of our graduates, speakers, honorees, and programs captured widespread media attention. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Noble Wilford spoke to graduates from the College of Communication and Information, former NPR anchor Ann Taylor spoke to graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, and financial guru Dave Ramsey spoke to graduates from the College of Business Administration. Read on for an overview of last week’s news.

Former NPR Newscaster Ann Taylor Tells Grads ‘Be Smart but Take a Chance’


Longtime NPR newscaster Ann Taylor urged graduates to “be smart, but also take a chance” in her commencement address at UT on Friday. Taylor, who graduated from UT with a degree in English in 1958, anchored NPR’s national newscasts within All Things Considered from 1989 until July of 2011. Taylor spoke at the College of Arts and Sciences commencement and offered graduates a laundry list of advice, which she called “Ann Taylor-isms.”

Eleventh Annual Alex Haley Auction and Golf Tournament to be Held May 4–5

UT supporters will have the chance to play golf with some well-known names while raising money for scholarships benefiting African-American students. The eleventh annual Alex Haley Scholarship Benefit Auction and Celebrity Golf Tournament takes place Sunday and Monday, May 4 and 5. A reception and auction will take place on Sunday at the Marriott Hotel ballroom in downtown Knoxville. Former UT lettermen will team up with golfers at Monday’s golf tournament at Gettysvue Polo, Golf, and Country Club, and the winning team will represent UT at the Acura College Alumni Team Championship at Pinehurst.