Snow flurries may have greeted the runners of the Love Your Libraries 5K on Saturday, but that didn't stop them from keeping up their pace.
For runners like Jamie Hatcher, a senior in child and family studies, the weather also didn't hinder the cause.
"It was cold, but once I got into (the race) I was taking off my gloves and hairband," Hatcher said. "It was nice to go on a run on campus and pass by places you are familiar with and buildings you have classes in. I love Hodges (Library) and, of course, have spent many hours there and am all for benefiting it."
It appeared the weather did not detract from Hatcher's time either, as she took home the third place medal for women overall in the 21st annual race.
Hosted by UT's Graduate Student Senate, the race is open to the entire Knoxville community. It boasts a wide variety of participants, ranging from undergraduate and graduate students to faculty and staff from campus, as well as local high school track teams.
"The way graduate students use library resources in our research pretty much mandates that we live in the library and that seemed like a natural cause for which to have a philanthropic event," Amanda Sanford, GSS president, said.
The event brought together different aspects of the campus and community around the uniting cause of the libraries. While the race was coordinated by GSS, there were Student Government Association (SGA) freshman council members manning tables, members of the Tennessee Crew team marking the course and the Knoxville Track club managing the finish line. Their assistance, paired with donations from the UT Bookstore, Panera Bread, Dunkin' Donuts, Gigi's Cupcakes and Aramark, contributed to the success of the race.
"The race went well," Bennett Adkinson, the race chair and a graduate student in teacher education and the theory of practicing teacher education department, said. "We were so well organized from the get-go that everything went smoothly and everyone seemed happy, and that is really all I could ask for."
He said that volunteering was an easy decision, as the money raised is for a good cause that directly affects his graduation. The proceeds through registration, donations and sponsorships are donated directly to the library; what benefits the library, benefits students. The funds have gone to further educational possibilities through the purchase of licenses for new research materials and software as well as new books.
The proceeds also fund the popular "De-Stress for Success" campaign the library hosts during finals week each semester that provides free activities and services to students.
As a public research institution, Sanford explained that the entire university community revolves around the campus libraries.
"This is something that everyone here benefits from and is a unique way for us to be able to give back and make sure the library is as technologically innovative as possible and as accessible as possible for everyone," Sanford said.