The University of Tennessee College of Engineering held a series of celebratory events October 3-4 that included dedication of a new building that houses the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and saluting 175 years of engineering instruction at the university.
An elegant dinner on Thursday, October 3, took place on the seventh floor of the Neyland Stadium East Skybox with a magnificent view of the John D. Tickle Building, dramatically lit for the evening by Bandit Lites. The event included a reception and a spectacular fireworks display from the top of the building. John D. Tickle, and his wife, Ann, whose generous gift to the university made the building possible, were the guests of honor. Mr. Tickle, a UT industrial engineering graduate who received his BS degree in 1965, is the chairman of Strongwell Corporation in Bristol, Virginia. Several Tickle family members were in attendance, and guests also included UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Ileen Cheek; Dean of Engineering Dr. Wayne Davis and Sylvia Davis; College of Engineering Board of Advisors Chair Dr. Bill Eversole and Jenny Eversole; advisory board Chair-elect Eric Zeanah with Elaine Zeanah; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Head Dr. Dayakar Penumadu with Marie Penumadu; and Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Head Dr. John Kobza with Katherine Kobza.
A beautiful, sunny fall day on Friday, October 4, was perfect for the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting event, held outdoors at the Tickle building on Neyland Drive. A large crowd of over 500 people attended and heard remarks from Chancellor Cheek, UT President Joe DiPietro, civil and environmental engineering student John Scobey, Dean Davis, and John Tickle. After the ceremony, the Tickles, UT administrators and honored guests cut the ribbon in front of the building and attendees then headed out to a reception on the building’s fourth floor, along with open houses, demonstrations, and receptions in all of the engineering departments.
Guests at the dedication event included three former UT presidents: Ed Boling, Joe Johnson, and Jan Simek as well as Chancellor Emeritus Bill Snyder; Congressman John J. Duncan and Senator Becky Duncan Massey; representatives from professional engineering organizations including Jim Froula, executive director emeritus and Curt Gomulinski, executive director of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, which is housed on the UT campus in the Dougherty Engineering Building; Marc Apter, president, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; Larry Satkowiak, vice president, the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management; and Stacey DelVecchio, president of the Society of Women Engineers. Numerous members of the college’s Board of Advisors were also in attendance.
Also after the dedication ceremony, a group of alumni and guests gathered at The Foundry, where the College of Engineering hosted a luncheon honoring the 40th anniversary of its Engineering Diversity Programs. A crowd of over 120 attendees included Cavanaugh Mims, a nuclear engineering graduate and president of the UT Alumni Board of Directors, and his wife, Telicia; and Dr. Mark Dean, co-inventor of the personal computer, former IBM Vice President and Fellow and the new John Fisher Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and his wife, Denise, along with his parents James and Barbara Dean. Rodney Brooks, a mechanical engineering alumnus and vice president of ABB in Alamo, Tennessee; Michael Sawyers, an engineering science graduate and president/CEO of 7Delta in the Washington, D.C. area; Chancellor Cheek; and Dean Davis were among the speakers.
In the evening, over 550 engineering alumni, faculty, and staff gathered at 6:00 p.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center for the 175 Years of Engineering at the University of Tennessee gala. After an elegant reception, guests were ushered into the ballroom, filled with beautifully decorated tables and highlighted with dramatic lighting, donated once again from Michael Strickland and Bandit Lites. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam stopped by the reception and spoke with guests. UT Board of Trustees member and industrial engineering graduate Spruell Driver was emcee for the gala’s program, which featured remarks from Chancellor Cheek and Dean Davis. Special guest speaker Celeste Baine, a biomedical engineer, director of the Engineering Education Service Center in Oregon, and the award-winning author of over twenty books on engineering careers and education, gave a lively presentation on engineering education. A special video on the history of engineering at the university, introduced by veteran UT faculty member and chemical engineering professor emeritus Dr. John Prados, received an enthusiastic ovation from the crowd. The highlight came at the end of the evening, when John Tickle took the stage and announced that he and donors Chad and Ann Holliday, Joe and Judy Cook, and Eric and Elaine Zeanah have established the Wayne T. Davis Endowed Dean's Chair in Engineering. The chair was named in honor of Wayne Davis, the current dean.
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