Jenkins, who represents Tennessee’s First District, was sworn in to his current post on January 7, 1997. In his fifth term in Congress, he serves on House committees on judiciary and agriculture and subcommittees on the Constitution and courts.
Jenkins is a member of the judiciary committee’s subcommittees on the Internet and intellectual property, as well as general farm commodities and risk management. In 2003, he was named chairman of the agriculture subcommittee on specialty crops and foreign agriculture programs.
A graduate of TTU and the University of Tennessee College of Law, Jenkins began his career in political office at age 25, as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, serving as a state representative for his native Hawkins County, as well as Hancock and Grainger counties. In 1969, he served as Speaker of the House.
A former commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Conservation, he served as a policy adviser on energy and legislative issues for former Gov. Lamar Alexander. In 1971, he was appointed by the President to serve as one of three members on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board of directors.
He served on active duty as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps and worked as a family farmer, raising beef cattle and burley tobacco, in his hometown of Rogersville. He also worked as an attorney prior to his appointment in 1990 as Circuit Court Judge for Tennessee’s Third Judicial District.
Married to the former Kathryn Myers, who taught at Cherokee Comprehensive High School in Hawkins County, the couple has four children and 11 grandchildren.
Students graduating this summer hail from 13 different states including Tennessee, 59 Tennessee counties and five foreign countries. They represent 27 undergraduate fields of study and 18 graduate fields.
Following summer commencement, TTU will have granted nearly 57,000 degrees.