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University Development News

Reece family’s ties to Upper Cumberland, belief in farming inspire gift of home to Tennessee Tech 

A man sits in a red and black side-by-side work vehicle. When Joyce Glasscock Reece and her son, Edward, decided to sell their Cookeville home and use the proceeds to help others, Tennessee Tech was the first place that came to mind. Because of their family’s background and strong belief in farming, they chose to designate their gift to Tech’s College of Agriculture and Human Ecology.

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Terracon Foundation awards grant to Tennessee Tech for STEAM scholarships for diverse student populations

A group of students listen to a colleague discuss a lab apparatus.The Terracon Foundation recently announced a $5,000 grant for Tennessee Tech to support students pursuing a degree in one of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) fields. This grant will be used to establish the Terracon Foundation Annual STEAM Scholarship for Diversity and Inclusion and will be awarded to students representing diverse student populations.

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SAIC supports Tennessee Tech’s Computer Science Red Shirt program and senior capstone design sequence

A group of students sit around a table on the plaza with laptops.Thanks to a generous gift from Science Applications International Corporation to establish the SAIC Annual Scholarship for the Red Shirt Program, Tennessee Tech’s Department of Computer Science will have funds to provide enhanced tutoring and other curricular support, peer and faculty mentoring and resources to build communities.

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Golden Eagle father thanks Coach Polk Brown with gift to Tennessee Tech golf program

Darren Bassel on a golf course with son, AlexanderThanks to the university’s reputation and Head Golf Coach Polk Brown, Darren Bassel recently made a generous gift to support Tech’s golf program. 

“When you’re a dad and your son is going to play college golf, you want to make sure the coach is a mentor, not only with athletics but also with academics,” said Bassel.  “Coach Brown is that mentor. And Tennessee Tech is a great academic school.”  

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Buzz Heidtke’s strong belief in education paves the way for future business students 

A photo of Buzz Heidtke in front of the monitors in the Heidtke Trading Room

The name “Heidtke” is well-known in Tennessee Tech’s College of Business and in Johnson Hall.

L.O. "Buzz" Heidtke has supported Tech for nearly 20 years and created the Heidtke Fund, a student-managed investment fund, and established the Heidtke Trading Room, one of the most unique facilities on campus - a learning lab that simulates the activities of a real investment firm.

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Tech graduate’s love for libraries and theatre leads to estate gift for Volpe Library and Backdoor Playhouse

A collage of the facade of Volpe Library and the Backdoor PlayhouseScott Muir always knew he wanted to be a librarian and fell in love with libraries long before he enrolled at Tennessee Tech.  

Muir said he was inspired by Henry “Hank” Rowan, an American engineer and philanthropist who, in the early 90s, made a $100 million gift to Glassboro State University, a tiny, almost bankrupt school in South Jersey. Rowan’s act of extraordinary generosity launched one of the greatest explosions in educational philanthropy.

“Henry Rowan said, ‘I want to give to a place that makes a difference,’” said Muir. “I asked myself, ‘Where can I have an impact?’ And I thought of Tech. Tech is not a wealthy school. It’s a state school. But it’s a good choice for a lot of people. I knew I could give money to Tech and it would make a real difference to the students there.”

Muir chose to divide his planned gift evenly between the Volpe Library and Theatre Program.

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Tech celebrates grand openings of largest buildings on campus

A view of a crowd and tent in the law of the Lab Science Commons

It was a big day for Tennessee Tech as students, faculty, staff, alumni and special dignitaries helped dedicate and celebrate the grand openings of the two biggest buildings on campus — the Laboratory Science Commons and the Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation and Fitness Center.

“The buildings we celebrate today are functional, beautiful and inspirational,” said Tennessee Tech president Phil Oldham. “These buildings enhance our campus and enhance the college experience for our students.”

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New residence hall to be named in honor of J.J. Oakley

An architectural rendering of the proposed building.When it comes to Tennessee Tech, the name “Oakley” is synonymous for giving. Millard Oakley and his wife, Joyce Annette, affectionately known as “J.J.,” have contributed millions of dollars to the university over the years. As a way of giving back to the Oakleys, a new residence hall will be named the J.J. Oakley Innovation Center and Resident Hall. This residence hall will combine an innovation space along with more than 300 residential spaces. 

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Couple’s love for Baxter leads to estate gift for Upperman High students

A group of students posing in the library. The students are wearing face masks.Cleo and B.J. Dennis - who loved the Baxter area and Tennessee Tech - chose to include the university in their estate plans. Their scholarship will help generations of Upperman High School students pursue a college education.

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Estate gift to College of Education honors wife’s love for education

A group of students sit at a table smiling at each other

When Patricia A. Malone passed away in 2016, her husband Hugh L. “Pat” Malone chose to make an estate gift in her memory to Tennessee Tech’s College of Education. Click below to learn more about the impact this gift has had in the lives of Tech students.

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Tech's new lab science commons building now open

The facade of the lab science commons buildingTech's new lab science commons building is officially open! The 160,000-square-foot facility is the largest academic building at Tech and its first LEED certified building. It houses the chemistry department, a portion of the biology department and has lab space for earth sciences, physics and environmental sciences. Design features focus on collaborative space, active learning and "Science on Display." 

visit the building's website to learn more

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