Remembering Dr. Boling

A Tribute to Dr. Boling and his Life » Timeline



  • Dr. Boling became the 17th president of the University of Tennessee without fanfare, disdaining a formal inauguration ceremony.
  • The Clarence Brown Theatre was dedicated at UT Knoxville with Brown and actress Jane Wyman in attendance.
  • The UT Nashville building was completed and occupied, and UT Nashville became the University’s fifth primary campus.
  • Two new advisory groups, the Faculty Counselors to the President and the Student Counselors to the President, were organized.
  • The Tennessee Higher Education Commission first used a formula for computing requests from universities for state appropriations. The formula takes into account the types and levels of programs offered by different institutions.
  • The Fine Arts Building was dedicated at UT Martin.


  • At least three firsts highlighted this year. The alumni association took its first foreign tour to Rome; Ann Baker Furrow was appointed the first woman member of the Board of Trustees; and the first night football game was played at a newly-lit Neyland Stadium.
  • The Tennessee Executive Development Program began in the College of Business Administration at UT Knoxville.
  • Legislation established the Board of Regents – Tennessee’s second higher education system – to govern the regional universities and community colleges.
  • The University’s public service agencies were restructured into the Institute for Public Service, a University-wide organization that would serve local governments and small businesses.


  • Madge Harrison became the first woman to head the alumni association.
  • The value of the Clayton Arnold Teacher Training Fund exceeded $1 million. Arnold was a retired rural mail carrier who picked UT as the recipient of his largesse because he thought his money would influence the most people there.
  • The College of Community and Allied Health Professions was formed at UT Memphis.


  • The new administrative tower at Knoxville was dedicated in honor of President Emeritus Andy Holt. Administrative offices, long located in the Austin Peay Building on The Hill, were relocated to the eight-story Andy Holt Tower.
  • President Boling installed “Management by Objectives,” a personnel program that defined each UT employee’s duties and mandated regular evaluations.
  • Energy conservation was a high priority. Unnecessary lights were extinguished in University facilities, and paper recycling was in vogue.
  • UT Chattanooga celebrated “Ten Million Dollar Day,” recognizing the opening of a new library and energy plant as well as the ground breaking for a new classroom building.
  • The County Technical Assistance Service began operations as an arm of the Institute for Public Service specifically intended to work with county government officials in Tennessee.
  • Women’s athletics at UT Knoxville was allotted its first annual budget - $20,000.
  • The capital campaign for the College of Business Administration at UT Knoxville surpassed its goal.


  • Another first – the Board of Trustees installed its first student member. Bill Nolan of UT Knoxville took his seat July 1.
  • UT Chattanooga dedicated a new University Center.
  • A fund drive headed by Sam Cooper (later to become at UT trustee) netted $4.25 million for the UT Memphis Regional Cancer Center and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


  • The Stokely Management Center was dedicated at UT Knoxville.
  • A new classroom building opened at UT Chattanooga and was named for President Emeritus Andy Holt.
  • The College of Veterinary Medicine had its beginnings.
  • Elaine McReynolds, of Nashville, became the first African American appointed to the UT Board of Trustees.
  • The Space Institute received a $9.4 million grant for its magnetohdyro-dynamics research project.


  • The UT Chattanooga men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship.
  • The UT Knoxville College of Nursing moved into a new building.
  • The new College of Veterinary Medicine admitted its first class, with 40 students.


  • The Tennessee Tomorrow campaign, a three-year, $35 million effort to raise money throughout the statewide University, was kicked off.
  • The Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry at UT Memphis converted from three- to four-year programs.
  • Enrollment topped 50,000 at the UT campuses at Chattanooga, Knoxville, Martin, Memphis and Nashville.


  • After a lengthy legal battle, UT Nashville was merged with Tennessee State University by court order.
  • The veterinary teaching hospital at Knoxville opened in September.
  • UT Martin received a three-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare for faculty and student development, institutional research, and management information.


  • The University received its largest research contract, to date - $37.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a coal-fired magnetohydro-dynamics plant at the UT Spaced Institute at Tullahoma.
  • Dr. Richard Beale Davis, alumni distinguished service professor emeritus of American literature, won the National Book Award in history for Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763.
  • UT Memphis opened the E.P. and Kate Coleman College of Medicine Building.


  • Tennessee Tomorrow, the University’s largest-ever fundraising effort, successfully concluded with a total of $57 million raised, $22 million over its goal.
  • College of Medicine students at Memphis earned record-high scores on the National Medical Board Examination.
  • Neyland Stadium was enlarged to seat more than 90,000 fans, making it the second-largest college football arena in the nation.


  • UT Martin signed a $1 million contract with the Japanese government to bring more than 100 Nihon University students to the Martin campus to study English.
  • The Art and Architecture Building opened at UT Knoxville.


  • Dr. Boling was elected chairman of the board of the American College Testing Service.
  • The World’s Fair opened in Knoxville, next door to the UT Knoxville campus.
  • At UT’s Bowld Hospital in Memphis, the South’s first successful liver transplant was performed.
  • Ground was broken at UT Martin for the West Tennessee Agricultural Pavilion.
  • The Roundhouse, UT Chattanooga’s new arena, was dedicated.


  • The Board of Trustees adopted a resolution supporting Tennessee’s Better Schools Program.
  • Dr. Boling began a four-year term as a member of the Southern Regional Education Board.
  • UT Martin’s general education program was ranked third in the nation by the American College Testing Service.


  • The Centers of Excellence and Chairs of Excellence programs began.
  • The Board of Trustees voted to raise curricular admissions standards effective in 1989.
  • UT Medical Center in Knoxville opened its $44 million East Pavilion, and at Memphis the Library-Nursing Building was completed. Also at Memphis, a $1.8 million grant was awarded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to teach students to be healthy role models.
  • Dr. Boling received the honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Richmond.


  • Dr. Bill Bass, head of anthropology at UT Knoxville, was selected as national professor of the year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
  • The Board of Trustees allocated funding for the first Chairs of Excellence. Each $1 million chair was funded by $500,000 from the state and $500,000 from other University resources.
  • UT Martin surpassed its Campaign for Quality fundraising goal, raising more than $2 million.
  • Work began on transitioning from the quarter system to the semester system at the Martin and Knoxville campuses.


  • Fans set the record for the largest attendance ever at a spring football game as more than 70,000 people crowded into Neyland Stadium to see the Orange take on the White.
  • The institute of Agriculture and the Chattanooga campus kicked off major fund raising campaigns.


  • Fourteen years after women’s athletics was first allocated an annual budget, the Lady Vols won the national championship in women’s basketball.
  • The new John C. Hodges Library was dedicated at UT Knoxville.
  • Private gifts to the statewide University reached an all-time high of $30.9 million.
  • The Board of Trustees named a Chair of Excellence at the UT Space Institute in honor of the Bolings. The Edward J. and Carolyn P. Boling Chair of Excellence in Space Propulsion was partially funded by a gift from the Signal Companies, which Dr. Boling served as a director.
  • The assembly center and arena at UTK was opened and named for B. Ray Thompson, a University benefactor, and President Boling.