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The University of Tennessee at Martin is a campus in the University of Tennesseemarker system. Other campuses include the flagship campus in Knoxvillemarker, the Chattanoogamarker campus, the Center for the Health Sciences in Memphismarker, and the Space Institute in Tullahomamarker. UTM is the only public four-year university in West Tennessee outside Memphis.


UT Martin began in 1900 as Hall-Moody Institute in Martin, Tennesseemarker, a Baptist junior college. In 1927 the school was in danger of closing, and area civic and political leaders asked the state of Tennesseemarker to step in and operate the school under the auspices of the University of Tennessee, which it did, renaming the institution the University of Tennessee Junior College. It operated under this name until 1951, when, with the addition of four-year fields of study leading to a bachelor's degree, it was redesignated the University of Tennessee Martin Branch. In 1967 it was designated as a primary campus of the UT system and given its current name.The school grew greatly from the post-World War II era, largely under the influence of the G. I. Bill of Rights, through the 1960s under the leadership of dean (later chancellor) Paul Meek. It was noted that the school had almost as many entering freshmen in 1969 as it had overall students in 1961. Current enrollment is approximately 7,000.In 1961, it was the first campus in the University of Tennessee system to practice racial desegregation. A large experimental farm is operated, and there are several satellite campuses in West Tennessee (and one in Middle Tennessee).


Given its rural location, much of the focus of the school has been on undergraduate studies in education and agriculture, although many other courses of study are offered, particularly in the liberal arts, and in recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on business and engineering. There is an active ROTC program, and a school of nursing. The school is among the top providers of candidates to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. There is a small graduate school, with most graduate degrees being conferred in education.

Colleges & Departments

  • College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
  • College of Business and Public Affairs
  • College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • College of Engineering and Natural Sciences
  • College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Hall-Moody Administration Building


The campus is noted for being particularly scenic and well-landscaped. Students who live on campus are within walking distance of all academic buildings, the library, food services, the Boling University Center, and all recreational and sports facilities. Recent years have seen the demolition of old double-occupancy dormitory halls in favor of construction of apartment-style housing.

Greek Life

Honorary Societies

Interfraternity Council (Fraternities)

Panhellenic Council (Sororities)

National Pan-Hellenic Council (Fraternities and Sororities)

Other Fraternities


Athletic teams participate in the Ohio Valley Conference.

The university mascot was changed from "Pacers" to "Skyhawks" in 1995. The reasoning behind the "Skyhawks" moniker was described thus:

  • The first educational institution on the site of UT Martin was Hall-Moody Bible Institute. The school's athletic teams were called "sky pilots", a frontier term for preachers in that day, but perhaps the students were thinking of the glamorous flying aces of World War I.
  • During World War II, UT Junior College contracted with the Naval War Training Service to help train pilots, who completed their flight training at an airport located on the current site of Westview High School.
  • Red-tail hawks are indigenous to the West Tennessee region.

Prior to being known as "Pacers" the university's teams were called "Volunteers." The name was changed in 1971, largely due to fact that, on account of the former junior college status of the school, the teams were often referred to as the "Baby Vols."


Founded in 1928, The Pacer is the name of the student newspaper. The Office of Student Publications publishes The Pacer every Tuesday morning throughout the semester except for holidays and exam periods. As of 2006, the newspaper has a circulation of 3,000 copies. In the spring of 2006, the publication was won the distinction of being named "Best in the South" at the Southeastern Journalism Conference, beating out such schools as Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. Throughout its history, the newspaper has also been named The Checkerboard and The Volette.

Notable alumni

  • Pat Head Summitt (’74) Tennessee Lady Vols head basketball coach, all-time leader for games won among NCAA Division I basketball coaches (men's or women's). The court in the basketball arena and a street on campus are named for Summitt.
  • Major General John "Glad" Castellaw ('72) USMC, Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command
  • Leonard Hamilton (’71) Florida State Seminoles head basketball coach
  • William C. Rhodes (’87) president and CEO of AutoZone, Inc.marker
  • Van Jones ('90) attorney and internationally-recognized civil and human rights advocate
  • Fred Thomas (’96) New Orleans Saints cornerback.
  • Jerry Reese ('85) general manager of the 2007 World Champion New York Giants
  • Dr. Shirley C. Raines ('67) President of the University of Memphismarker
  • Charlie Neese ('92) NewsChannel5 (WTVFmarker-Nashville) meteorologist
  • Wm. Lance Culley, D.D.S. ('92) Founder of the Institute for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.
  • Dr. John Richard Barker ('89) Executive Director of the Department of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment, Memphis City Schools

Points of interest



  1. Robert L. Carroll. The University of Tennessee at Martin: The First One Hundred Years. Hillsboro Press, 2000, p. 47, p. 103.
  2. UTM Mascot

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