Pandemic to Possibility

Category: Column

I was once referred to as melioristic. No, it’s not a bad word, but instead a mindset that embraces a constant determination to make things better through the goodness of mankind. Melioristic comes from the Latin word “melior,” which means “better.”

Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year of great adversity. Some may be running low on energy or drive, or overwhelmed with problems, as COVID-19 has severely disrupted the way we work, live and play. The novel coronavirus has forced us to reimagine how we conduct our daily lives, and I would argue has provided a great opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone to advance the greater good.

I’ve said numerous times that the University of Tennessee exists to serve the state of Tennessee. It’s not a slogan, but instead a cultural mindset and a blueprint for how we educate our students and work with our communities each day. From Mountain City to Memphis, from fertile fields to new fields of study, UT is making a difference.

As a result of our current COVID climate, UT is seeking to solve our state’s most complex problems, in part through the launch of our “Pandemic to Possibility” webinar series, a partnership between the UT System, the Tennessee Chamber and the Alliance for Better Nonprofits of East Tennessee.

Whether your biggest challenge right now is protecting at-risk workers, selecting the best platform for virtual fundraisers or mitigating supply chain disruptions—we want to help. These free customized webinars, 60-90 minutes in length, will be available to Tennessee businesses and organizations, UT alumni and nonprofits across our great state.

So, what’s your problem? We need your input to create webinars that are effective in helping navigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Please take a few minutes to complete the following survey, sharing your opinions on topics and presentation formats that would be the most impactful:

Take the Survey

I look forward to hearing from you, and am looking forward to tackling our most pressing challenges together.


Randy Boyd
President, The University of Tennessee System


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