An anonymous donor stepped in to pay for Friday's inauguration of UT
President Wade Gilley after questions were raised about the cost of the
ceremony, said Sammie Lynn Puett, chairwoman of the University of Tennessee
Inaugural Steering Committee.
The donor was one of four to make the offer after "uninformed individuals"
raised questions about the cost, Puett said.
Questions were raised Wednesday about the need for an inauguration in the
middle of a budget crunch and hiring freeze. Puett defended the ceremony,
which will be held Friday at 1 p.m. in Thompson-Boling Assembly
"The inaugural, or installation of a president is, in reality, an academic
celebration, which not only sends signals to other major universities
across the nation but also is a tremendous educational experience for the
entire campus," Puett said.
Local media reported Wednesday the inauguration would cost $35,000, but
Puett said that amount was much less because the Board of Trustees would
not be charged for use of UT facilities and services.
Puett pointed out three distinguished academics were visiting campus at no
cost to UT to participate in "major education exercises and the actual
installation ceremony itself," when most academics only visit after being
paid substantial fees.
The honorees include James Buchanan, Tennessee's only native son Nobel
laureate; Frank Matthews, CEO of Cox Matthews Publishers, Inc. and Carolyn
Karr, professor of history at Marshall University.
Buchanan will address the university on Friday morning in the University
Center and take part in convocation speeches at the ceremony. It is the
first time he will visit Knoxville since winning a Nobel Prize in 1986.
Matthews will meet with African-American students, faculty and staff and
will be part of the convocation on Friday. Karr will present a seminar for
faculty and others today on her Internet course of World History and will
speak at the academic convocation on Friday.
"An inauguration is a major event in the life of a university," Puett said.
"It will provide an extraordinary academic experience for UT students,
faculty and the community."
Donor pays for inauguration
Published: Thu Nov 04, 1999 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 02:02 p.m.