Exhibit in Hodges Library—“Lighting the Way: 225 Years of Volunteers”
by Martha Rudolph
August 26, 2019  •  3 minute read

An exhibit in the John C. Hodges Library brings to life the university’s history and traditions through artifacts preserved in UT’s University Archives. Lighting the Way: 225 Years of Volunteers is part of the campus-wide celebration of the university’s 225th anniversary.

Lighting the Way: 225 Years of Volunteers | University of Tennessee, 1794–2019

The exhibit revolves around several themes:

TRADITIONS. The Torchbearer—foremost among campus traditions—holds center stage. Other historical objects pulled from the archives to symbolize our institutional heritage and most time-honored traditions include the 1928 sheet music for the Alma Mater, a copy of the first yearbook (1897), and one of the earliest examples of UT’s Smokey mascot costume.

ACADEMICS. Visitors can see early images and a brief synopsis on the founding of each college within the university. Also highlighted is a sampling of historical UT Press books.

CAMPUS LIFE is represented by vintage copies of yearbooks and student publications, from the first issues of the Orange & White and the Beacon to the Mugwump (college humor from the 1920s and ’30s) to The Phoenix, the present-day journal of student art and literary work.

STUDENT VOICES highlights some of the university’s “firsts,” such as the first year (1893) that women were regularly admitted to the university on an equal footing with men and the first African American to be voted Student Government Association president (Jimmie Baxter, 1969).

ATHLETICS. In addition to historical photos and individual sports programs, this case includes a vintage letterman sweater and pennants, alongside handwritten plays of two legendary UT coaches, General Robert Neyland and coach Pat Summitt.

The exhibit, located in the Elaine Altman Evans Exhibit Area, was curated by university archivist Alesha Shumar and university archives assistant Becky Briggs-Becker of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, a unit of the University of Tennessee Libraries.

The exhibit area is located in the first-floor galleria of the John C. Hodges Library. Lighting the Way: 225 Years of Volunteers will last through the fall semester and is accessible all hours the library is open.

For more information about UT’s special collections and university archives, visit lib.utk.edu/special.

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illustrations of many prominent Knoxville structures, was printed in 1886 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin