News from the Hill

UT’s Award Winning Debate Team Attracts Support from Prominent Tennessee Attorneys 

Many readers of Higher Ground may recall reading Undebatable: National Champions a story in the October 2014 issued detailing the hard work that paid off in trophies for UT’s Debate Team.

Three UT Debate Team alumni who are now highly successful Tennessee attorneys read the story and were motivated to lend their support to help the already successful young debate team strengthen their competitive edge. Bill Haltom, Ed Lanquist, and Scott Carpenter, UT alumni who were members of UT’s debate team as undergraduates, will offer a debate clinic for UT’s current debate team on October 30-31, 2015. The debate clinic will be offered at no cost to the current UT Debate Team members and will be facilitated by Haltom, Lanquist, and Carpenter. The two-day clinic will offer seminars, mock debates, and sessions on debate strategy.

A reunion of UT Debate Team alumni is planned in conjunction with the debate clinic. Debate alums are encouraged to attend, participate and reunite with former colleagues during this special two day program. Although the clinic is offered at no cost to the current UT Debate Team members, debate alums are asked to register in advance and contribute one hundred dollars each to defray costs of event amenities. For members traveling from out of town, hotel rooms are blocked at a special rate at the Hilton Garden Inn University through October 5, 2015. For more information on how to register and get involved, contact Holly Jackson-Sullivan at 865-850-0356 or

Alumnus Provides Gift to Support Language Resource Center

LRCThe Language Resource Center in Alumni Memorial Building—a place where students access computers, labs, and studios to help them learn foreign languages—has received a donation that will support its continued operation.

Alumnus Chad Goldman, who graduated in 1993 with a degree in Spanish and a concentration in language and world business, made the donation with his partner, Brian Pendleton.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Theresa Lee, along with Adrian Del Caro, head of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, and Douglas Canfield, coordinator of the Language Resource Center, presided over a brief ceremony where a plaque acknowledging the gift was unveiled.

A brief ceremony was held near the Language Resource Center in Alumni Memorial Building to unveil a plaque acknowledging a gift from alumnus Chad Goldman. Pictured are, left to right, Adrian Del Caro, head of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures; Brian Pendleton; College of Arts and Sciences Dean Theresa Lee; Chad Goldman; and Douglas Canfield, coordinator of the Language Resource Center.

Each semester about 4,500 students enroll in language courses, and virtually all of them use the center, Del Caro said.

“We cannot do state-of-the art language instruction without a state-of-the art language resource center,” he said.

Goldman and Pendleton, who live in Los Angeles, founded and operate OmniForce LLC, a global leader in the active lifestyle industry. Producing large athletic and experiential events, they have raised funds to benefit communities and charitable organizations worldwide.

In addition to their gift supporting the Language Resource Center, Goldman and Pendleton have endowed a scholarship in the Language and World Business program and been generous donors to the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Fund.

During his visit, Goldman—a new member of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board—was recognized with the college’s 2015 Divisional Achievement Award in the Humanities. This award recognizes alumni who have achieved significant levels of accomplishment in the early to middle stages of their careers.

“It’s very special to have an alumnus come back to campus and continue to invest both time and resources in the college,” Lee said. “We are very grateful for Chad Goldman’s generosity and ongoing support.”

Arts and Sciences Presents Inaugural Alumni and Philanthropy Awards


Photo: Standing, left to right, Paul Steinfeld, (accepting on behalf of his parents Fern and Manfred Steinfeld), Chad Goldman, William Michael Dennis; seated, left to right, Kate and Stuart Riggsby, Lowry and Jane Kline.

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, held its inaugural alumni and philanthropy awards ceremony last week in conjunction with the spring meeting of the Dean’s Advisory Board.

Theresa Lee, dean of the college, presented 10 awards:

  • The Dean’s Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award—Lowry and Jane Kline. Lowry Kline, retired CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, received his bachelor’s degree in political science and English in 1962 and his law degree in 1965. Jane Kline, a retired classical musician and a philanthropist and community leader, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music in 1963 and 1965, respectively.
  • Professional Achievement Award—John Chandler. Chandler is senior litigator and partner in King & Spalding’s Atlanta office and has received the Anti-Defamation League’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1966 and later went on to complete law school at Vanderbilt in 1972.
  • Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award (Scholarly)—Gerald Musante. Musante, who received his doctorate in psychology in 1971, has dedicated his career to the treatment of obesity. Since founding Structure House, a residential weight loss center in 1977 in Durham, North Carolina, Musante and his staff have helped more than 30,000 people overcome weight issues.
  • Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award (Creative)—David Keith. A 1985 graduate in speech and theatre, Keith is a filmmaker and actor who has appeared in movies including “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “The Lords of Discipline,” “Firestarter” and “White of the Eye,” and TV shows including “NCIS,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “CSI: Miami,” “High Incident,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “Lone Star.”
  • Volunteer Service Award—W. Michael Dennis. Dennis, who received his doctorate in botany in 1976, has been a very active member of the Dean’s Advisory Board as well as a volunteer in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Botany for nearly 40 years and has personally led 40 consecutive annual Wildflower Pilgrimages.
  • Volunteer Service Award—Wade Guyton, Meredyth Sparks and Joshua Smith. This team of internationally recognized artists created the Artist-in-Residence Limited Box Series of prints, a fundraising project to endow the artist-in-residence position in painting and drawing in the School of Art. Wade Guyton is 1995 College Scholars graduate, Meredyth Sparks is a 1994 art graduate, and Joshua Smith is a 1998 art graduate.
  • Philanthropist Award—Stuart and Kate Riggsby. The Riggsbys are both UT retirees. Stuart Riggsby served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate department head and professor in the Department of Microbiology. Katherine Riggsby was a system programmer. The Riggsbys made the first substantive contribution to the institutional challenge matching grant for a National Endowment for the Humanities grant that led to the creation of UT’s Marco Institute. Besides their ongoing support of Marco, they have also contributed to the Tennessee Humanities Center, the School of Music and the Clarence Brown Theatre as well as many other academic departments in the college.
  • Philanthropist Award—Mannie and Fern Steinfeld. The Steinfelds have been generous donors to UT for more than 25 years. They were among the first major donors to the Judaic Studies program—now known as the Fern and Manny Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies—by establishing an endowed chair in 1993 and continuing to provide annual gifts that support student travel to the Middle East, campus programming and faculty development. They also have supported the College of Architecture and Design, the College of Engineering and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; and UT Athletics.
  • Divisional Achievement Awards (Humanities)—Chad Goldman. Goldman, who received his bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 1993, is chief creative officer for OmniForce LLC, headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in four countries. The company and its subsidiaries, RaceForce LLC and CauseForce LLC, provide strategic marketing, sponsorship acquisition and production support, publicity, planning, logistics, training and charitable components for athletic events.
  • CAS Divisional Achievement Awards (Visual and Performing Arts)—Kristin Lewis. Lewis, who received her master’s degree in music in 2002, is an internationally known operatic soprano. She formed the Kristin Lewis Foundation, which provides scholarship funding for a promising vocal student to study for a week in Vienna, Austria.

Anyone affiliated with the college was eligible to submit nominations for each award. The awards were selected by members of the college award selection committee, which consisted of one faculty representative from each division plus interdisciplinary programs and the senior director of development. The committee submitted its recommendations to the dean for final approval.

These awards will be presented annually in association with the spring meeting of the Dean’s Advisory Board.

Read more about the awards

Andrew Sheehy Named Executive Director of Development

Andrew SheehyThe College of Arts and Sciences Development Office has new leadership!

Andrew Sheehy has been named Executive Director of Development, filling the position previously held by Cathleen Dodge.

Scott Rabenold, Vice Chancellor of Development and Alumni Affairs, announced last week that Andrew Sheehy has accepted an offer to join the College of Arts & Sciences and the UT Foundation as the Executive Director of Development.  In this role, Sheehy will lead the development team in the college, working closely with Dean Lee and Vice Chancellor Rabenold. His first day on the college team will be May 11th.

Andrew brings with him a wealth of professional experience in this field, as he has had the senior level fundraising positions at East Tennessee State University (College of Business & Technology), the University of Iowa (colleges of Business, Law, and Education), and the University of Maryland (College of Education).