The UT Institute of Agriculture raised more than $206 million in ten years during the Together We Grow philanthropic campaign.
The campaign, which began in 2012, recently closed having greatly exceeded its goal of raising $175 million in ten years to support the Institute’s Real. Life. Solutions. It marks the most ambitious and successful campaign in the Institute’s history and represents 16,000 individuals supporting the organization and its four units.
“It’s heartwarming to see how people believe in the land-grant mission of UTIA,” says Carrie L. Castille, senior vice chancellor and senior vice president. “Their contributions will directly impact the lives of Tennesseans through the Real. Life. Solutions. formulated at UTIA—through innovations pioneered by AgResearch, community outreach conducted by UT Extension, advances in human and animal health delivered by the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and through the next generation of professionals educated at the Herbert College of Agriculture and UTCVM.”
During the campaign, 184 new endowments were created from private donations, including seventy-three new scholarships and more than fifty endowments or quasi endowments to support UT Extension outreach. The size of the UTIA endowment increased by more than $70 million, nearly 145 percent, over the course of the campaign.
Highlights include the naming of the Herbert College of Agriculture in honor of longtime philanthropists James and Judi Herbert. Also established during this timeframe, the Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture has extended UTIA’s reach worldwide through the philanthropic efforts of Donnie and Terry Smith. The UT Gardens, designated the State Botanical Garden of Tennessee, expanded to a fourth location in response to contributions from Alan Solomon. Lone Oaks Farm was acquired during the campaign and philanthropic gifts of all sizes have been garnered to support its youth-focused programs and facilities.
The UT College of Veterinary Medicine broke ground in October 2021 for the Teaching and Learning Center expansion thanks in part to gifts from John and Ann Tickle. Broad philanthropic support also brought about the creation of the UT Beef Genomics Center to cement the Institute’s role as a leading authority in agricultural advancement in Tennessee.
“The impacts of private donations made to UTIA will not be measured in the next ten years,” says Kerry Witcher, UT Foundation president. “The accomplishments made during this ten-year stretch will be felt for generations to come. It is difficult to truly measure the impact of scholarships, outreach opportunities, and research that are created through individual support because it is exponential.”
UTIA’s four units—AgResearch, Extension, the Herbert College of Agriculture, and the College of Veterinary Medicine—all exist under the broad definition of agriculture, and all are poised to address some of the biggest challenges on the horizon. This private donor support enables growth and ensures programs integral to the Institute’s mission continue unhindered.
Together We Grow represents a broad commitment to the land-grant mission of the University of Tennessee, and the funds raised will be invested in the community at large through the fulfillment of that mission.
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