Table of Contents

We Are One

Annual Report of the President of the University of Tennessee

The state of the University

The President’s Awards at the state of the university event.

As 2016 began, so did a new tradition. President Joe DiPietro delivered the inaugural “State of the University” address to a capacity crowd of alumni, friends and elected officials in Nashville—with hundreds more watching live online.

DiPietro noted that the University has woven itself into the fabric of everyday life through its efforts to move Tennessee forward.

“But we also exist for a broader and more noble purpose,” he said, “one that has less to do with generating dollars and cents and more to do with contributing to the development of productive and responsible citizens.”

DiPietro cited a long string of successes achieved by UT campuses and institutes throughout the state, and assessed challenges being met.

Julie Hill surrounded by percussion instruments in her classroom
Julie Hill (Martin ’94), director of percussion studies at UT Martin, won the education category award. UT Martin Interim Chancellor Bob Smith nominated her “for reinvigorating UT Martin’s music department and attracting students from across the nation.”
David McBeth at a pottery wheel in his studio
David McBeth, professor of art at UT Martin, won the outreach category award. In his nominating letter, Douglas Cook, UT Martin visual and theater arts department chair, said McBeth uses art “as a force for good.”

The event also featured presentation of the President’s Awards, established by DiPietro in 2015 to recognize employees whose exceptional contributions fulfill one aspect of the university’s three-part mission: education, research and outreach. Each winner receives a commemorative plaque and $3,000 cash award.

In February 2017, the event will again be based in Nashville. Plan now to watch online at

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

C. S. Lewis
Harry “Hap” McSween, UT Knoxville distinguished professor of science, won the research category award. UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek nominated him for “pushing the boundaries of science and innovation into the solar system.”