9/7/2001

$25 Million Gift to UTC Creates
Lupton Renaissance Fund
Supports Academic and University Quality

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga announces the establishment of the Lupton Renaissance Fund, with an initial gift of $25 million to the university from Chattanooga philanthropist John T. Lupton. "It's impossible to put into words the gratitude we extend to Mr. Lupton for this gift and vote of confidence," said UTC Chancellor Bill Stacy. "His idea that with appropriate resources, the faculty, staff, and students of Chattanooga's University can make even greater contributions in scholarship, research, and service demonstrates remarkable generosity and forethought. Speaking for the entire university, I want to say 'Thank you' to Mr. Lupton and his family. I know that the greatest thanks we can offer is responsible stewardship of his investment."

In recognition of a lifetime of philanthropy by Mr. Lupton, UTC will establish the John T. Lupton Center for Urban Planning. The center will focus on urban planning, economic development, improving public education at all levels, and further UTC's mission as a metropolitan university. "UTC is striving to provide the broader community with 'connected learning'-learning that spans the liberal arts and the professions, integrates theory and practice, and reaches out into the community in order to strengthen public and civic life," says Stacy. "Much of the success that Chattanooga has already experienced in the renaissance of our downtown and riverfront has been a result of the support of Mr. Lupton. Developing a center whose focus is reclaiming and sustaining quality of life in our cities is a fitting tribute."

The Lupton Renaissance Fund, the largest unrestricted cash gift to public higher education in Tennessee, will be given over a three-year period. In the first year, funds will be used to enhance academic quality through equipment, instructional materials, technology improvements, program development, faculty development, improvements in the Lupton Library holdings, and an investment in the arts. Among the new academic programs to be considered are doctorates in engineering and education.

University improvement will also be a focus in the first year, with expenditures for facilities improvements and maintenance. A fund for improving student services and activities will receive a portion of the gift. The gift will also enable UTC officials to address faculty and staff retention in recognition of outstanding contributions to the university's mission.

"I've said that this year has been a tale of two Universities-it is the best of times and it is the worst of times," said Stacy. "This investment in the faculty, staff, and students of Chattanooga's university puts us way beyond simply the best of times and creates a future full of opportunity for UTC, this community, all of Tennessee and the nation. "We now take seriously Mr. Lupton's question, 'Would $25 million allow our university to become significantly better?' The responsibility to use these resources to be and to do significantly better falls squarely on our shoulders. The Board of Trustees, this faculty, staff, student body, and administration gratefully accept the challenge. We will continue our progress toward being among the very best regional universities in the country."

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