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Alumni Profile: General Mike Holmes

General Mike Holmes

General Mike Holmes, named commander of the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command in March, first came to UT as a student when he was only five years old—but not as the youngest freshman ever.

“I went to kindergarten at UT back when they had a school on campus,” said Holmes. “I pretty much grew up [at UT].”

Holmes literally did grow up at UT.

His family moved to Knoxville when his father accepted a job running the UT dairy farm—now the site of the Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus—and they lived on the farm. Many of Holmes’s earliest memories are tied to the university and the farm, the paper route he had along Cumberland, Lake, and Terrace Avenues, watching student protests in the 1960s, playing in the river, and building forts on the farm.

“It was a 20-minute walk to and from UT—my dad worked right there, and my mom worked at a florist on Cumberland,” said Holmes. “It was a great place.”

When it came time to go to college, the choice was easy.

Read more about General Holmes. 

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