UTNE 50th Anniversary
"Celebrating the Past - Empowering the Future"
The University of Tennessee Nuclear Engineering (UTNE) Department, which was founded in 1957, celebrated its 50th anniversary on March 3, 2007 at the new Knoxville Convention Center. Approximately 270 people attended the gala event including both alumni and friends of the department. The evening began with a reception and slide show in the background showing a pictorial history of the department. The reception was followed by a formal banquet, program, and a dance with music provided by the “Atomic Horns,” a nine-piece band (see www.atomichorns.com). Dr. Tony Buhl, a three-time graduate of the department, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. The program included an Overview of the History of the Department by Dr. John Prados, UT Vice President Emeritus, and a Special Tribute to Dr. Pete Pasqua, department founder and UTNE Department Head for 31 years, by Dr. Bill Snyder, UT Chancellor Emeritus. Dr. Snyder also presented a special plaque to the Pasqua family in honor of Dr. Pete Pasqua and a bouquet of roses to Mrs. Pete Pasqua. Dr. Way Kuo, UT Dean of Engineering, presented service recognition plaques to Dr. Tom Kerlin (Department Head, 1988-1996) and Dr. Lee Dodds (Department Head, 1997-present). Dr. Kuo also announced the university’s plan to provide new facilities for the Nuclear Engineering Department, which will be funded by both state appropriations and private donations. A high point of the evening was a telephone conversation with Dr. Ted Mott, UT Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering, who was a popular UTNE instructor in the early days of the department and now resides in South Africa. The phone conversation was connected to the PA system of the Convention Center so that everyone at the celebration could hear. In lieu of a traditional after-dinner speaker, the current UTNE Department Head was “roasted” by three of his “good friends,” which provided light-hearted entertainment and humor for all in attendance. The celebration also attracted several sponsors (see http://www.engr.utk.edu/nuclear/sponsorship.html), and sponsorships are still available. Revenue generated by Celebration Sponsorships will be used for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty development, and general infrastructure support for the department. In summary, the evening was a huge success! For those who could not attend, the program was also video recorded, which can be viewed video of the celebration program. The pictorial history of the department slide show can also be viewed at pictorial history of UTNE. And finally, several digital photos were taken throughout the evening, which can be viewed at celebration photos.