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$200 Million Signs of Growth: Tickle College of Engineering Expands Campaign

UT’s Tickle College of Engineering is extending the goal of its fundraising campaign to $200 million, just 18 months after announcing a now-surpassed initial goal of $150 million.

The effort is part of UT’s Join the Journey campaign, which aims to raise funds for improvements in all areas of the university by the end of 2020.

Dean Wayne Davis said the investments being made in the college have a direct impact on students, faculty, and staff, along with the industries the college serves.

Private dollars have played a key role in the college’s growth in the past decade, including an increase in the number of faculty—from 130 to 171—and students—from 2,400 to more than 4,000.

Davis noted that the success of the campaign will help the college for generations through improvements to infrastructure, support for research, and enhancements to the student experience.

Alumni have played key roles in the college’s success in the effort, with a 40 percent increase in the number of alumni donating.

The support of John D. and Ann Tickle is reflected by the naming of the college itself in October 2016 following a transformational gift. That gift provided funding for a graduate fellowship program to support doctoral students, the development of a team of professional advisors for undergraduate students, and endowed professorships all now bearing the Tickle name.

The Tickles also funded a state-of-the-art building named in their honor, which opened in 2013 and houses the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

The Joseph C. and Judith E. Cook Grand Challenge Honors Program was recently approved to support honors students in the college tackling some of the world’s pressing issues.

A major gift from Ralph and Janet Heath helped launch the Integrated Business and Engineering program, which provides an opportunity for select students in both UT’s Haslam College of Business and the Tickle College of Engineering to collaborate across disciplines, better preparing them for leadership roles in industry.

For faculty, the progress has enabled the number of named endowed faculty funds to grow from 20 to 37 and more than doubled the amount of funding available. Such professorships are seen as key to recruiting and retaining world-class faculty members.

Corporate support has also played an important role in the campaign.

Eastman‘s partnership with the college helped to create a working unit operations laboratory in chemical engineering and to establish a high-end department student lounge and meeting space in 2014.

Both Eastman and UL, formerly Underwriters Laboratory, have also funded new professor of practice positions—three and one, respectively.

With classes first offered in 1838, the college today houses 39 academic programs across seven departments. It has affiliations with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the UT Space Institute, and numerous other research centers and institutes.


David Goddard (865-974-0683,