University Development

Development News

Shockey-Blanchford Returning Student Scholarship established for currently enrolled Tennessee Tech students with financial need

Donna and David Shockey and Art and Tonya Blanchford

David and Donna Shockey, along with their daughter Tonya Blanchford and her husband Art, came to Tennessee Tech for different reasons and to pursue different career paths. The four members of the Shockey and Blanchford families say the high-quality, practical and affordable education they received from Tech resulted in enriching careers. They established the Shockey-Blanchford Returning Student Scholarship to help students with an intense desire for an education but who cannot afford college without financial aid.

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Tennessee Tech baseball alumnus makes gift to hack shack indoor training facility 

Jim WilhoiteJim Wilhoite (`79 industrial technology) knows what quality baseball facilities can do for players, coaches and a program. Wilhoite, who played baseball for the Golden Eagles under Coach David Mays, recently made a significant commitment to Tennessee Tech’s indoor hitting facility or “hack shack.”

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All-OVC and All-America Golden Eagle football alum Wayne Anderson gives back to Tennessee Tech Football

Wayne Anderson

Wayne Anderson (`83 health education) says his experience playing football at Tennessee Tech will always be a part of him, and he hopes to always be a part of Tech football. That’s why Anderson chose to give back to the program that provided so many fond memories, experiences and opportunities. And it all started when Anderson first visited Tech’s campus.

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Tennessee Tech’s vision for Golden Eagle Football inspires gift to Football Operations Center

Jim and Robin BodakTennessee Tech alumnus Jim Bodak says he was inspired to give to the university’s Football Operations Center because of a shared vision among President Phil Oldham, Athletic Director Mark Wilson and Head Football Coach Bobby Wilder to take Tech’s football program to the next level.

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Tennessee Tech graduate’s love for history and music appreciation courses inspires gift 

Don BarryDr. Don Barry says his four years at Tennessee Tech were full of meaningful experiences, and some of the most beneficial and treasured of those experiences were his history courses. The knowledge he acquired from enthusiastic history professors prepared him to earn master’s and Ph.D. degrees and embark on a 44-year career teaching and writing about history.

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Ford Lincoln of Cookeville commits $50,000 to new Tech football stadium 

Ford Lincoln of Cookeville Service Director Ryan Mollinet (left) and General Manager Geoff Root (right) holding Ford of Cookeville's seventh consecutive Ford President's Award.A local car dealer recently committed $50,000 towards the construction of Tennessee Tech University’s rebuilt football stadium.

Geoff Root, general manager and managing partner at Ford Lincoln of Cookeville, says the company strongly believes in investing in the community’s growth and development.


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100-year-old Tennessee Tech alumnus, 1949 electrical engineering graduate reflects on education that led to successful career 

Jim Boehms

Jim Boehms’ nephew Bill Norton says the secret to turning 100 is that his uncle has done a lot of things right in his life: a Tennessee Tech electrical engineering degree which led to a successful career as an engineer with Tennessee Valley Authority, a loving family and a fulfilling retirement. Jim says many of his life’s successes might not have happened if it weren’t for Tech.

Read more about Mr. Boehms as we celebrate his 100th birthday!

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Rollins Transfer Scholarship encourages community college graduates to continue education at Tennessee Tech

Linda and John Rollins

Linda Rollins enjoyed a successful career in teaching and advising at Tennessee Tech University and Motlow State Community College and credits her Tech education for making it possible. She is now focused on giving back and has established a scholarship for students who wish to transfer from Motlow State to Tennessee Tech.

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Painting by late Tennessee Tech faculty member finds new home at Appalachian Center for Craft

Bob Jager

Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft has new artwork to greet visitors when they enter the lobby: a painting titled Reminiscences by the late Sally Crain-Jager.

 “It’s Sally’s story in a painting,” said Bob Jager, Sally's husband.

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Tennessee Tech’s Appalachian Center for Craft receives bronze sculpture titled Reverence

Kim Winkle and Bill and Sandy Miller with ReverencePrior to retiring to Cookeville in 2011, Bill and Sandy Miller had no ties to Tennessee Tech. Since moving to the area, however, they have taken classes on Tech's campus and at the Appalachian Center for Craft and have adopted Tech as their own.

The Millers are so impressed with the value and education the Craft Center provides to Tech students and the Upper Cumberland, they have gifted the facility their beloved bronze sculpture, Reverence.

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Tennessee Tech professor Ann Davis named first recipient of David K. Morgan Faculty Fellowship 

Ann DavisDr. Ann Davis has been named the first recipient of Tennessee Tech University’s David K. Morgan Faculty Fellowship which recognizes outstanding research, meaningful service and innovative teaching.

Morgan says the MAcc program is important for students who wish to pursue becoming a CPA, and he was delighted to learn that Davis oversees Tech’s program

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Tennessee Tech music students say donor-funded travel opportunities are life-changing

Students at Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Tennessee Tech’s School of Music is offering additional student travel opportunities to festivals, symphonies, auditions and symposiums, thanks to a generous gift from a Tech alumna.

Kathy Whitaker (`80 civil engineering) and her husband, Everett, recently made a gift to Tech’s School of Music to fund value-added experiences for students.

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Judy Wicinski Memorial Scholarship supports next generation of nurses 

Bruce and Judy WicinskiWhen Bruce Wicinski needed financial assistance to attend college, his wife, Judy, dropped out of college and worked to support her husband while he pursued an accounting degree. Now, Bruce wishes to honor his late wife with the Judy Wicinski Memorial Scholarship for Tennessee Tech students.

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Tennessee Tech alumnus honors mother’s commitment to education with Sonja Robinson Scholarship 

Sonja RobinsonShane Dixon established the Sonja Robinson Scholarship Endowment at Tennessee Tech in honor of the most wonderful person who has ever lived: his mom.

Dixon wished to honor his mother for working to support him and his brother and for instilling a work ethic and moral compass in them both. She was adamant that, no matter what, Dixon and his brother would get an education, and he always knew that if he ever was in a position to give back to Tech, he was going to name it after his mom.

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Frank Harrell Basketball Endowment honors Tennessee Tech basketball coach and administrator’s 42-year career

Mark Wilson, Frank Harrell, and Phil OldhamWhen longtime Tennessee Tech Athletics coach and administrator Frank Harrell retired after 42 years with the university, Director of Athletics Mark Wilson and a few of Harrell’s friends knew they wanted to do something to honor Harrell’s legacy. At Harrell’s retirement brunch, Wilson surprised him with the Frank Harrell Basketball Endowment.

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Latisha Dean Denton Memorial Scholarship honors beloved Clay County teacher

Latisha Dean Denton

Latisha Dean Denton is remembered as a passionate educator who dedicated her career to ensuring students reached their fullest learning potential. Latisha was just three days away from starting her 31st year of teaching in the Clay County School system when she was killed in an automobile accident. To honor Latisha’s memory and continue her desire to see students succeed, Latisha’s family and friends have chosen to establish the Latisha Dean Denton Memorial Scholarship at Tennessee Tech.  

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Adedeji and Isiwatu Badiru International Student Scholarship recognizes Tennessee Tech as caring and supportive campus community for international students

Deji and Iswat Badiru at Tech Village in 1977 and at a modern gatheringDr. Adedeji “Deji” Badiru, `79 industrial engineering, `81 M.S. and `82 M.S., and Isiwatu “Iswat” Badiru, `83 human ecology, say they are forever grateful for the opportunity to study as international students at Tennessee Tech. Now, they hope to provide opportunities for future international students through the Adedeji and Isiwatu Badiru International Student Scholarship Endowment.

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Judge Clarence E. Shattuck, Jr. Scholarship honors Tennessee Tech education that prepared Hamilton County judge for 59-year career 

Clarence Shattuck with his son and grandson in front of Derryberry HallAs the longest-serving judge in one court in the history of Hamilton County, Tennessee, Judge Clarence E. Shattuck, Jr., '57 accounting, credits Tennessee Tech for preparing him for his career. He and his wife, Ruth, recently established the Judge Clarence E. Shattuck, Jr. Scholarship Endowment to help others from his hometown earn a college degree.  

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Tommy Moffitt Strength and Conditioning Scholarship honors coach who inspires others 

Jeff Piersall, Judy Piersall, Hunter Barnhart, Tommy Moffitt, Wes Piersall and John Smith

Jeff Piersall credits Coach Tommy Moffitt for believing in his son, Wes, and igniting his passion for his career as a strength and conditioning coach. In honor of Coach Moffitt's impact on Wes, Jeff and his wife Judy, along with their Think Happy Thoughts Foundation, established the Tommy Moffitt Scholarship at Tech.

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Retired U.S. Army Colonel, MBA grad establishes scholarship for transfer and readmitted students 

On his last day as an Army Senior Executive, Rickey Smith and his wife Margaret participated in a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.Retired U.S. Army Colonel Rickey Smith dedicated his career to serving his country. Now, he wants to give back and has established a scholarship to help students who have a gap in enrollment finish their degree.

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Brooks family establishes music education residency scholarship to ease financial burden for seniors

the Brooks family wearing Tennessee Tech shirtsInspired by their daughter’s experience at Tennessee Tech, Barbara and Jessie Brooks, along with daughter Shelby, have established the Brooks Family Music Education Residency Scholarship to ease the financial burden for music education students beginning their residency requirement. 

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Tennessee Tech College of Education alum establishes technology fund to prepare future teachers 

Robert and Mary Anne PyleMary Ann Pyle says the education she received from Tennessee Tech – specifically, technology in teaching – gave her a competitive edge in her career. Now, she and her husband Robert want to provide the same opportunity for future educators through the Pyle Technology in Education Fund, which will support technology efforts in Tech’s College of Education.

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Couple’s estate gift for Tennessee Tech highlights plans for astronomy program and observatory 

Amber Green, Gene Palmer, Jo Palmer, Tiff Rector, and Kevin BraswellAn interest in astronomy inspired Tennessee Tech alumni Gene and Jo Palmer to give back to a university that gave so much to them. Their recent planned gift will help Tech expand the astronomy program and build an observatory they believe will have long-lasting impact on the Upper Cumberland.

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Mildred Lynch Ellison and Dixie Sharp Pugh Memorial Scholarship honors love for grandmothers 

Greta Day and Robert PughWhen alumni Greta Day and Robert Pugh decided to establish a scholarship at Tennessee Tech, they knew just who they wanted to name it in memory of - their grandmothers. The Mildred Lynch Ellison and Dixie Sharp Pugh Memorial Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen in any major who have financial need.

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James J. Cowan Scholarship provides opportunities for nontraditional veteran students at Tennessee Tech

James J. CowanJames "Jimmy " Cowan took a nontraditional path to earning his college degree after serving in the Navy.  It took him 30 years to complete his college education, but one of his proudest moments was graduating Cum Laude from Tennessee Tech with a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies. When Jimmy Cowan passed away in 2020, his wife, Dylcia, and son, Hayden, decided to carry on his legacy and establish the James J. Cowan Scholarship for Nontraditional Veteran Students so that others who have followed a similar path to Jimmy's have the financial support they need to complete their college education.

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100-year-old Tennessee Tech alumna gives Steinway piano to School of Music 

Ms. Spicer sits at her Steinway piano to play one last time before donating it to Tennessee TechBeginning piano lessons at the age of 4 and celebrating her 100th birthday on July 20 - Billye Spicer has been playing the piano longer than most people have been alive. 

Spicer read an article about Tennessee Tech's strides towards obtaining an All-Steinway School designation and was inspired to give her beloved Steinway piano to her alma mater, Tennessee Tech.

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Woodsmoor Student Exhibition Awards recognize excellence in craft at Tennessee Tech

Steve Westfield and Mark Magnuson stand with award recipient Grant Stewart

Steve Westfield and Mark Magnuson established the Woodsmoor Annual Student Exhibition Awards Endowment to recognize and reward student artists at Tennessee Tech. 

Westfield and Magnuson have watched the development of the Appalachian Center for Craft. Their dedication to the arts, in particular fine craft, inspired them to support Tech’s annual student awards program. By establishing an endowment to fund awards, they hope to help the Appalachian Center for Craft remain a major learning center and home for craft in Tennessee.

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Tracy M. Luna Memorial Scholarship honors band director’s love for Tennessee Tech

Tracy Luna standing in front of a marching band.

It took only one semester at Tennessee Tech to change Tracy M. Luna’s life. When Tracy passed away in December 2021, after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, his wife Laura wanted to honor his life with a memorial scholarship. And she knew she wanted the scholarship to be for Tennessee Tech students.

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Tennessee Tech College of Business alumnus establishes scholarship for finance majors 

Sam Allen

Samuel E. Allen says there was never any doubt where he would attend college. “Tennessee Tech was in my DNA from the very beginning,” he said. Thanks to a rewarding career in the financial industry, Allen wanted to give back to the university that gave him the building blocks for success. He has established the Samuel E. Allen Finance Scholarship to provide meaningful financial assistance to future students. “I want to give someone an opportunity for a rewarding career like I’ve experienced,” he said. “Your career path is a lifetime of learning."

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Tennessee Tech accounting alumnus establishes award for accounting faculty

A portrait of David MorganDavid K. Morgan credits his Tennessee Tech education for a successful career as a certified public accountant. As a thank you to the department that prepared him to be a CPA and to the faculty who teach future accountants, Morgan established the David K. Morgan Endowed Accounting Faculty Award.


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Harriet D. Westmoreland Nursing Scholarship honors woman who devoted career to healthcare 

Jim and Harriet WestmorelandHarriet Westmoreland dedicated her career to the nursing profession, served as a member of the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing Development Council for almost 30 years and received WHSON's Florence Nightingale Award and Distinguished Service Award. To honor her service and care for others, her husband Jim established a scholarship in her name. The Harriet D. Westmoreland Nursing Scholarship will be awarded to students majoring in nursing at Tennessee Tech.

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Tennessee Tech announces Harper Scholars Program for female engineering students

An engineering student observes a graduated cylinder full of liquid

A new scholarship will allow Tennessee Tech to recruit the best and brightest female engineering students.  

Recipients of the the Trudy A. Harper Engineering Scholarship will be known as “Harper Scholars” and will have the opportunity each semester to meet with the Tech alumna who established the scholarship.

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Geoprofessional community establishes scholarship in memory of Tennessee Tech alumnus Ed Wilson 

A photo of Ed Wilson at a podium at a conferenceFor more than 40 years, Ed Wilson, P.E. was a colleague, mentor, leader and friend to many within the geoprofessional community. As a thank you to Wilson and to encourage the next generation of young earth sciences and civil engineering geoprofessionals, the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA), with support from Wilson’s family, friends and colleagues, established the L. Edward Wilson Endowed Scholarship at Tennessee Tech. 

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Larry and Emma Ferguson Scholarship encourages students to pay it forward    

Larry and Emma Ferguson smile at the camera.Larry and Emma Thaxton Ferguson’s love story began at Tennessee Tech, and for the next 60 years, the two remained grateful to the university that played a significant role in their lives. The Larry and Emma Ferguson Scholarship is a testament to a love story that began at Tech, an appreciation for the education Tech provided and a desire to pay it forward so that others might have similar opportunities.

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Advisory Council for Engineering names student space in Ashraf Islam Engineering Building 

An architectural rendering of the Ashraf Islam Engineering Building with insets of Barry Beck and Bob Alvey.When Tennessee Tech’s Advisory Council for Engineering (ACE) had the idea to name a room in the new Ashraf Islam Engineering Building, council members jumped at an opportunity to help future engineering students.

Barry Beck (left inset), chair of ACE, said the idea to name a space came about when he and ACE co-chair Bob Alvey (right inset) reviewed the named spaces that will be inside the Ashraf Islam Engineering Building and had an idea for ACE to name a space as a group.

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First Horizon Foundation supports Tennessee Tech College of Business’s Financial Literacy Program 

A group of Tech staff accept a check from Rick Ward.The First Horizon Foundation recently presented Tennessee Tech with a $6,000 gift to support the College of Business’s financial literacy program.

First Horizon’s support will allow Tech to deliver a one-credit-hour course in spring 2022 titled Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurs. The course will emphasize practical financial skills for entrepreneurs, offering a high-level examination of financial statements, ratio analysis, time value of money and the essentials of starting a business in Tennessee. It will conclude with a panel discussion, consisting of entrepreneurs and individuals involved in debt and equity financing, which will be open to local community members. The class will also provide faculty and graduate assistants with the opportunity to engage in research to improve student outcomes related to financial literacy concepts.

Tech is grateful for the First Horizon Foundation’s investment in the financial literacy of its students, faculty and local community.

Pictured from left:  Chery Montgomery, director of program development and engagement; Bobby Taylor, director of development; Thomas Payne, dean of the College of Business; Rick Ward, senior vice president and market leader at First Horizon Bank; Alma Hales, associate professor of economics, finance and marketing; and Ann Davis, associate professor of accounting

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.


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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