President George H. W. Bush Visit
Third Women’s Basketball National Championship
1992 – 1999
William Snyder Chancellorship
Acting Chancellor William Snyder, who was also the acting vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, became UT’s fifth chancellor in 1992. Snyder had joined the faculty at the UT Space Institute in 1964, and he came to Knoxville in 1970 as head of engineering science and mechanics. He was named dean of engineering in 1983. After he stepped down from the chancellor’s office, Snyder spent almost a year serving as UT’s acting senior vice president. He is equally well known in Knoxville for his 39-year volunteer gig playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ at the Tennessee Theatre.
1992 – 1994
Smokey VII in Service
Although Smokey VII began service in 1992 under head football coach Johnny Majors, he proved too temperamental for a game-day mascot. Smokey VII nipped at the heels of a Pride of the Southland Band tuba player during consecutive runs through the T in 1994. That resulted in Smokey’s retirement under head coach Phillip Fulmer. For the remainder of the season, a dog named Woody, owned by former UT Athletics Director Bob Woodruff, carried out mascot duties.
Pulitzer Prize Winner Ron Kirksey
Lambda Student Union Founded
Rhodes Scholar Jennifer Santoro Stanley
Jennifer Santoro Stanley became UT’s sixth Rhodes Scholar in 1995. She had previously earned a master’s degree in 1994 from the London School of Economics and Political Science during a UT study abroad program. After she returned to England, Stanley studied for a PhD in politics at the University of Oxford and later spent several years on the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee. Stanley spoke to students during a 2011 UT commencement ceremony and served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences.
1995 – 2003
Smokey VIII in Service
Smokey VIII was able to preside over the 1998 national championship win for the Vols despite an obstruction in his colon. After traveling to Tempe, Arizona, for the first-ever national championship in college football’s Bowl Championship Series, Smokey VIII seemed out of sorts. A trip to a local vet revealed that he had eaten a hotel washcloth. Smokey VIII led the Vols onto the field like nothing was wrong, secured the 23-16 win over Florida State University, and had the washcloth removed after his return to Knoxville. While he served from 1995 to 2003 under head football coach Phillip Fulmer, the Vols also won two Southeastern Conference championships. Smokey VIII retired after the 2004 Peach Bowl and died in 2006 from complications of high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Peyton Manning Played Senior Season at UT
Although he was expected to be the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick in 1997, Peyton Manning announced on national television that he would play his senior season as the Vols quarterback. The Vols won the Southeastern Conference Championship that year and earned the No. 3 ranking in the country, but lost to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Manning, the runner up for the Heisman Trophy, was also a consensus first-team All-American and winner of the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Johnny Unitas Award, and the Best College Player ESPY Award. He was also a three-time academic All-American at UT and distinguished alumnus from the College of Communication and Information. During his NFL career, Manning won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts and another as quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Each year a group of students is named Manning Scholars, the winners of competitive scholarships Manning endowed beginning in 1998.
Sixth Football National Championship
In 1998, head football coach Phillip Fulmer and quarterback Tee Martin led the Vols to their sixth national championship—the first in college football’s Bowl Championship Series. The 23-16 win over Florida State was the last game called on the radio by broadcaster John Ward, known for decades as the Voice of the Vols, before he retired.
Chamique Holdsclaw Three-Time National Champion and Sixth Women’s Basketball National Championship
Star forward Chamique Holdsclaw led the Lady Vols basketball team to a third-straight national championship in 1998 under head coach Pat Summitt. It was an undefeated season for the Lady Vols at 39-0. They defeated Louisiana Tech 93-75 to win the title. Holdsclaw and her teammates Semeka Randall and Tamika Catchings were nicknamed the “Three Meeks.” Holdsclaw was selected as the Naismith Player of the Century for the 1990s while she played at UT, as well as a four-time All-American. She finished her UT career with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds, making her at that time the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Tennessee men’s or women’s history, the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Southeastern Conference women’s history, and the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in NCAA tournament women’s history. Holdsclaw played for four teams in the WNBA, led the league in scoring one season, and retired after the 2009 season. She has become a mental health advocate who encourages others by speaking and writing about living with bipolar disorder.
2000 – 2003
UT Administrative Positions Reorganized
In 2000, the UT System eliminated several administrative positions including UT Knoxville chancellor and senior vice president as part of a restructuring effort aimed at directing millions more dollars into academics. John Peters, who was serving as provost and academic vice chancellor of UT, became vice president, provost, and chief operating officer. In 2003, UT re-established the chancellor position with the appointment of Loren Crabtree.
2003 – 2012
Smokey IX in Service
Smokey IX defended his home stadium by nipping at and, according to Alabama head coach Mike Shula, drawing blood from an Alabama player in pregame warmups before the Tennessee-Alabama game in 2006. Beginning in 2003, he served as mascot under head football coaches Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, and Derek Dooley. In 2009, the American Kennel Club recognized the bluetick coonhound as its 162nd registered breed during Smokey IX’s tenure. After surgery for a torn ligament in January 2012, Smokey IX retired at the end of the season.
First Black Vice Chancellor Clifton Woods
Clifton Woods III was appointed by Chancellor Loren Crabtree as vice chancellor for research in January 2004. Woods joined the faculty as a chemistry professor in 1974 and later served as associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, interim provost, and vice provost. He was inducted into the Educators Hall of Honor in 2019.
Governor’s Chair Program Established
The Governor’s Chair Program, established in 2006 by UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, brings exceptionally accomplished researchers from around the world to Tennessee. Internationally renowned experts are hired for institutes operated jointly by UT and ORNL in the areas of advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, biological sciences, energy sciences, nuclear security, and urban design. The first appointment was Jeremy Smith, governor’s chair for molecular biophysics, who came from the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing at the University of Heidelberg.
Commission for LGBT People Founded
The Commission for LGBT People was established by Chancellor Loren Crabtree in November 2006 and held its first meeting on December 12, 2006. It comprises lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty, staff, and students, as well as LGBT allies, and is appointed by the chancellor. The commission is charged to recommend changes in policy or procedure relative to concerns of LGBT people; make recommendations concerning new and existing academic, professional development, and extracurricular programs; recommend and encourage research to assess the status of LGBT people at UT and compare their status with that of LGBT people at other institutions and agencies; advise and consult with all university officials on the needs and status of LGBT people; and provide information to the campus and community on commission and university programs and activities related to LGBT people. The commission reports to the chancellor.
Pulitzer Prize Winner Cormac McCarthy
After beginning his writing career at UT, novelist Cormac McCarthy won the National Book Award in 1992 for All the Pretty Horses and the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road. In 2010, the New York Times ranked The Road first on its list of the 100 best fiction and non-fiction books of the past 10 years. While attending UT from 1957 to 1960, McCarthy began receiving recognition for his short stories “Wake for Susan,” published in The Phoenix literary magazine in 1959, followed by “A Drowning Incident” in 1960. Although the Ingram-Merrill Foundation awarded McCarthy $125 to encourage his writing at UT, he left in 1960 to pursue his writing full time.
Baker Center Building Opened
In 2008, the center named for Howard H. Baker Jr., the alumnus and politician nicknamed the “Great Conciliator,” opened its permanent building. Established in 2003, the Baker Center teaches the importance of research in developing public policies and divides its focus areas into energy and the environment, global security, and leadership and governance. Baker, an attorney who graduated from UT in 1949, was a Republican US senator from Tennessee who served as vice chair of the Senate’s committee on Watergate. He was also a chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan and a US ambassador to Japan under President George W. Bush. Baker worked with the center until his death in 2014, and he lay in repose in the center rotunda before his funeral.
2008 – 2009
Jan Simek Interim Chancellorship
Candace Parker Two-Time National Champion and Eighth Women’s Basketball National Championship
The only one of her kind in Lady Vol history, Candace Parker—a star player at forward, center, and guard—led the Lady Vols basketball team to the second of their back-to-back national championships in 2008. In the last championship under head coach Pat Summitt and Parker’s second straight championship, the Lady Vols defeated the Stanford Cardinal 64-48. Parker was named the Final Four most outstanding player in both of her championships and was a two-time consensus national player of the year as well. She was the first female player to dunk in an NCAA Tournament game and also dunk twice in a single college contest. UT retired Parker’s No. 3 jersey in 2014. After she won a WNBA national championship with the Los Angeles Sparks following Summitt’s death in 2016, Parker said, “This is for Pat.”
2009 – 2017
Jimmy Cheek Chancellorship
Jimmy G. Cheek was selected to be UT’s seventh chancellor in 2009 while he was senior vice president at the University of Florida. During his time as chancellor, the university invested more than $1 billion in new facilities, increased enrollment and retention, opened several research centers, named our colleges of business and engineering, and was designated a Carnegie Engaged University. Cheek stepped down as chancellor in 2017 and began to serve on the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
Honorary Degree for Dolly Parton
UT awarded entertainment legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton an honorary doctorate during spring commencement in 2009. The university’s video of Parton singing “Rocky Top” for the graduates is one of our all-time most viewed clips on YouTube. Parton’s philanthropic work has centered on the importance of reading and education in the lives of children. She founded the Imagination Library in her native Sevier County, Tennessee, and it now serves children worldwide. Parton is a Grammy and Country Music Association award winner and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry.
Civil War Site found at Sorority Village
In 2009, archaeological investigations of the future Sorority Village site unearthed a Confederate battle site with cannon emplacements and trenches facing the Fort Sanders area. The Civil War site is the first archaeologically substantiated Confederate battery position used in the Battle of Fort Sanders on November 29, 1863. Modified plans for the placement of the sorority houses allowed preservation of approximately 60 feet of the south end of the trench, which is marked with a plaque.
Pride Center Opened
The Pride Center opened on February 25, 2010 to provide academic and social support for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2017, UT hired Bonnie Johnson (‘13) as the center’s first full-time coordinator. The next year, Chad Goldman (‘93) launched a fundraising campaign called Vol Means All with a $3 million goal to permanently endow the Pride Center.
Athletic Departments Merged