Continuing a pattern of transformative philanthropy to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Natalie and James A. Haslam, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, and Crissy and Bill Haslam have made a $40 million gift to the Haslam College of Business aimed at the continued elevation of its national reputation and mission of developing future leaders.
The gift will directly support the hiring of preeminent faculty, enhanced faculty research excellence through additional named professorships and summer support, programmatic initiatives to increase diversity in the college’s student body, the expansion of undergraduate honors programming, and an increase in graduate student fellowships. The Haslam family’s gift also allows the college to pursue additional donations through matching, by which other philanthropists can see their donations doubled in impact.
“The University of Tennessee is a tremendous, world-class institution that continues to grow and advance to better serve its students and the community,” the Haslam family said in a statement. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue our commitment to the university through the Haslam College of Business and hope this gift will enrich the lives of students for generations to come. By investing in these students, we are building the future leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists of our community, state and country.
“We believe in the power of education to change the course of individual lives and the future of our communities through innovation, business endeavors and job creation, and most importantly, leadership development. This is a legacy our family is honored to help build. We hope our gift will encourage others to support UT and our youth, who will help shape the future successes of Knoxville and beyond.”
This investment follows a landmark gift in 2014 that established the business school as UT’s first named college and increases the Haslam family’s total giving to business to more than $100 million. In announcing the gift, the university acknowledged the extraordinary lifetime giving of the Haslam family to UT’s flagship Knoxville campus.
“The Haslam College of Business is 100 years strong, and this transformative gift will continue to positively impact every aspect of its highly regarded business programs,” said UT Chancellor Donde Plowman. “This gift will accelerate the positive trajectory of the college, whose nationally and internationally ranked business continue to attract the best and the brightest to study, teach, and lead at UT. Students and faculty in the Haslam College of Business are shaping the future of business and changing the world for the better.”
Stephen L. Mangum, dean of the college, said that with this gift, as with their previous investments, the Haslam family supports each of the three primary pillars of a successful educational institution.
“They promote our ability to attract highly qualified students from a diversity of backgrounds, attract and retain faculty from among the best that the world has to offer, and place these students and faculty together in world-class academic programs and learning environments,” Mangum said. “With these three pillars in place, the results truly open a vibrant world of possibilities for all.”
Natalie and Jim Haslam continue to serve the university in numerous capacities and have a deep sense of gratitude toward UT. Natalie is an active philanthropist with an immense appreciation for the arts. A longtime supporter of the UT’s School of Music, she is the eponym of its Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. Jim is a former vice chair of the UT Board of Trustees, a UT Distinguished Alumnus, and a former Vol football captain. As a first-generation college student, he credits his first-class education as key to successfully founding Pilot Company and is passionate about creating opportunities for others to pursue higher education.
Dee Haslam, CEO of Haslam Sports, and Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Company, own the Cleveland Browns and are investors and operators of the MLS Columbus Crew. Dee serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Haslam College of Business and is actively engaged with social justice initiatives and creating impactful solution-based programs to promote attendance, school choice, and youth sports. Dee and Jimmy are deeply committed to reforming education in underserved communities to provide quality learning opportunities for all children.
Crissy and Bill Haslam are active supporters of education and literacy. During his eight years as governor of Tennessee, Bill implemented education reform programs that offer tuition-free access to higher education, including the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs.
The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, founded in 1914, consists of approximately 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Its seven departments, five centers and institutes, four forums, and graduate and executive education programs reach across the for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental sectors of business, with a heavy emphasis on applied research. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was founded in 1794 and was designated a land-grant institution in 1879.Back to In the Press
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