"It's a goose bumps day on Rocky Top," UT Athletic Director Dave Hart announced to the crowd gathered on the corner of Lake Loudon Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way.
Friday, Lady Vol fans across generations came to celebrate the career of legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt at the unveiling of the Pat Summitt Plaza.
As members of UT's marching band played 'Rocky Top,' Summitt lead a procession, escorted by her son, Tyler.
Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, former Lady Vol Tamika Catchings and Dave Hart were followed by Holly Warlick, the current Lady Vols basketball team and generations of the team's alumni.
In honor of his father and in memory of his mother, Scott Hilary and his wife Debbie donated the lead gift for the plaza. Chris and Quinita LaPorte funded Pat Summitt's commemorative statue.
Opening the ceremony, Hart recalled Summit's initial reaction to hearing the university's plans to construct the plaza and the statue. In response, Summitt told a close friend, "Can you believe they're doing this for me? I'm just a basketball coach."
Emphasizing the span of her legacy, Hart pointed to the line of current and former Lady Vols.
"These women here today, represent only a sampling of those you've touched," Hart said. "The women you've impacted in such a significant way. You were their coach, and so through that experience, they grew, and they grew immensely. But more than that, you were their mentor. And through mentoring them, you literally shaped their lives."
The winningest coach in NCAA basketball history with 1098 career wins, Summitt won 84 percent of the games she coached, solidifying her place in numerous halls of fame.
In addition, every Lady Vol that played for Summitt completed their degree.
"There's nobody else in the coaching field that will have 100 percent graduation," Marty Acuff, a Lady Vols season ticket holder, said. "That is really something to be proud of."
Cheek took the podium to share stories about Summitt with the crowd.
"Pat Summitt is a Tennessean by birth and a Tennessee Volunteer by choice," Cheek said.
Catchings, a current WNBA star, said she relished the chance to share how she, and her fellow players, were impacted by Summitt's presence.
"For all of us, we learned what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to be a great woman, what it takes to be a great lady, what it takes to have character, what it takes to have poise, how not to buckle under our adversity," Catchings said. "Thank you, Pat. Thank you for everything."
The final guest speaker,Tyler Summitt, took the podium, starting with a phrase often repeated by his mother.
"Every moment is a teaching moment," the younger Summitt said. "She's a teacher, and I think I would get the stare today if I didn't use today as a teaching moment."
Following her son, Pat Summitt took the podium to a standing ovation from the audience.
"I want everybody to know, that for me, today, it's not about me," Pat Summitt said. "It's about everyone out here that loves the University of Tennessee. I want everybody to know how much I appreciate what's happened here today. And I don't think I'll ever forget it."
To applause and cheers, Pat Summitt's statue was revealed.
Sculpted by David Adickes, the monument weighs 500 lbs. and stands 8 feet, 7 inches tall. Rather than depict the look of concentration Summitt typically wore while coaching, the sculpture sports a smile.
Larry and Marty Acuff, season ticket holders for 15 years, came to honor the woman Acuff called "the one and only."
"Everybody just adores Pat and worships her," Marty Acuff said. "We cry when we're happy, we cry when we're sad. Today is a mixed day. You have happy tears, but you know what she's facing."