The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has named comedienne Leanne Morgan to its list of Accomplished Alumni of 2012. Morgan, a 1992 graduate of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, made a name for herself in the comedy world after appearing on ABC's The View and as a finalist on Nick at Nite's Funniest Mom.
Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek presented Morgan with the award on Wednesday, July 25, at the welcome reception for the university's annual Alumni Summer College. In its thirtieth year, the Alumni Sumer College is an opportunity for Volunteer alumni to return to campus for lectures, entertainment, and fellowship. Morgan was the keynote speaker for Wednesday's reception.
"As Leanne has grown in her career, she has done so with grace and class and represented the University of Tennessee well," said Cheek. "We are proud to have her as an active alumna and member of our UT family."
Morgan is known for her southern charm and storytelling about her own life as a stay-at-home mom. Dr. Phil and Paula Deen are among her celebrity fans. While performing in San Antonio, Texas, she was asked to appear at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. Shortly thereafter, she appeared on ABC's The View in a segment about housewives. After appearing as a finalist on Nick at Nite's Funniest Mom, she toured with the Southern Fried Chicks comedy troop for three years.
She has appeared in comedy clubs, performing arts centers and theaters all over the United States. She is collaborating with writer/producer Matt Williams, of Roseanne and Home Improvement fame, and FremantleMedia on a half-hour sitcom.
The Accomplished Alumni Program is designed to attract notable alumni to campus to share their success stories. Alumni who are honored through this program spend time on campus teaching students, sharing dialogue with faculty and engaging with other alumni and friends of the university. Alumni featured in this program including CEOs of major corporations, Olympians, authors, artists, musicians, U.S. ambassadors, and civic leaders.
Other 2012 honorees include Chamique Holdsclaw, forward with the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars; Jorge Sotolongo, manager of the Engineering Research and Development Lab at Gulfstream Aerospace; and Sean Seymore, professor of law and associate professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University.