On Monday, September 25, the Graduate School hosted a reception at the East Club in Neyland Stadium to recognize the 2017–2018 recipients of fellowships sponsored by the Graduate School. This included the Tennessee Fellows for Graduate Excellence, the Graduate School’s NSF and Endowed Fellowships, and the Tennessee Doctoral Scholars. These exceptional graduate students represent both new and returning students from a wide range of programs across the University of Tennessee.
Attendees were welcomed with congratulations and words of encouragement from Chancellor Beverly Davenport, Interim Provost John Zomchick, and Dixie Thompson, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. Beyond reiterating the outstanding qualities that led these students to achieving the endorsement of faculty and reviewers, the speakers sought to convey the importance of graduate students to the university as not just learners, but teachers and researchers. All three speakers brought to the fore the origins of the word ‘fellow’ as a ‘colleague or partner in a joint enterprise.’
From the beginning of the evening, as soon as they arrived, these students met each other and engaged in conversation as colleagues. Amid beautiful views of the Tennessee River, the Knoxville skyline, and the field of Neyland Stadium, partnerships were developed across many fields of endeavor. As the event drew to a close, these colleagues headed off to make their contribution to the joint enterprise of graduate education at UT.