The State Board of Regents (now called the Tennessee Board of Regents) authorized the establishment of non-profit general welfare foundations for colleges and universities in 1973. During the 1974-75 academic year, Tennessee Tech officials began reviewing previous fund raising efforts and began planning for a comprehensive program for fund raising. As a result, the Tennessee Technological University Development Council was chartered on November 23, 1976.

The corporate powers of the Council were exercised by a Board of Directors, chaired by the President of Tennessee Tech. Membership on the board included representatives from major university functional areas as well as every chartered college/school/departmental foundation.

The Council was fairly active until 1986. It was essentially dormant until 1995 when a new charter was drafted to change the name of the corporation to the Tennessee Technological University Foundation. In April 2001, under the leadership of President Robert Bell, the Tennessee Tech Foundation began a new era of activity and service to the university community. Since that time, regular meetings have been held biannually. The Board is now composed of distinguished alumni and supporters of Tennessee Tech who have agreed to serve the university with their time, influence, and financial resources. The current board has been instrumental in personally providing support and in obtaining federal and private support for a new School of Nursing facility and other worthwhile projects.

In 2004, the State of Tennessee required all university foundations to use GASB accounting standards. This change resulted in the consolidation of all college/school/departmental foundations except the Agricultural Foundation into the TTU Foundation. After dissolution, the role of the individual former foundations was determined according to the desires of the membership. Various names and roles were assumed as can be seen at Other Campus Boards. These new boards operate in much the same way as before except for accounting purposes. All accounts are now under the umbrella of the TTU Foundation. The advisory boards retained control over the allocation of their funds.