Profile photo of Mary Fortune
Mary Fortune
Assistant Vice President Communications
BA English Literature (UTC)

Mary Fortune spent the first 13 years of her career as a newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor, including 11 years at the Chattanooga Times and Times Free Press.

In 2008, she left journalism to work in Corporate Communications at Unum, where she’s an assistant vice president focused primarily on internal communications. However, she still writes a monthly column for the newspaper and blog at

She also taught an introductory media writing class in UTC's Communication department for several years.

Mary's Thoughts on the UTC English Department

I had stellar teachers in the English department who challenged me to think critically about the meaning and messages behind every work of literature we explored, and to communicate my viewpoint effectively. That training in critical thinking, reading, and writing was invaluable to my career and serves me daily in the challenge of crafting communications for a large and far-flung employee audience.

We also had a terrific time. A room full of college students parsing works of great literature with the guidance of a spirited expert is a fantastic place to be. The English Department is where I discovered a real joy in learning that has stayed with me through my career.

Mary's Advice to Students

A degree in English is a wonderful thing, but internships are critical to getting through the door in any communications-based career. Do internships early, do them often, do as many as you can, and then do more.