The State of the University of Tennessee Address
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Joe DiPietro marked his sixth anniversary as president of the University of Tennessee on January 1. In those five years, the statewide UT system has produced 55,000 new college graduates, performed $2.2 billion in research (in addition to $7 billion in research performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT-Battelle) and conducted outreach with 5 million participants.
As UT president, DiPietro is chief executive officer of the UT system, which has a $2.1 billion annual budget, 12,000 employees, 50,000 students, and more than 370,000 alumni worldwide. DiPietro is a member of the UT Board of Trustees, and he and the president of Battelle Memorial Institute rotate two-year terms as chairman of the Board of Governors of UT-Battelle. That organization has managed Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy since 2000.
Anne Holt Blackburn (Emcee)
Emmy Award-winning journalist Anne Holt Blackburn graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting. She retired in January as lead news anchor for WKRN-TV in Nashville, where she worked for almost 40 years. She remains with the station doing on-air and community projects.
In addition to eight Emmy Awards, Blackburn has won a George Foster Peabody Award for the investigative documentary Under the Influence, and the 2007 Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement—the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ highest honor. The Nashville Conference on Community and Justice awarded her the Jerry Thompson Communicator’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. The first woman, the first African American, and the first news anchor to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, Blackburn was inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013. She also makes periodic appearances as a news anchor on the popular TV series Nashville.
Steve Butler, Jason Roberts, Christine Smith, and Guy Reed have been recognized as 2017 President’s Award honorees.
Dr. Joe DiPietro established the President’s Awards in 2015 as a system-wide recognition and the University of Tennessee’s top honor for an employee. Given annually, these awards recognize individuals whose contributions advanced the ideals and goals of the University’s mission to educate, discover, and connect.
Honorees are selected each year from a system-wide pool of candidates nominated by campus and institute leaders. For more information, visit president.tennessee.edu/awards/.