2023 Annual Report

A printable version is available for download here.

Reflecting on Your Generosity

Fiscal year 2023 was, without a doubt, extraordinary. The University of Tennessee Foundation reached significant milestones that would not have been attainable without the commitment of our alumni and donors and their steadfast belief in the UT System. 

I am thrilled to report that we achieved our second-highest year in fundraising, setting us on a trajectory of growth and impact like never before. We have surpassed the records set in fiscal year 2022, with over 86,000 generous donors pledging their support for UT, and over 275,000 alumni engaging with the university. These achievements showcase the true power of our UT community, and can be seen in the transformational opportunities created throughout our campuses and institutes. 

In addition to our fundraising success, the UT Foundation has been recognized as a Top Workplace in our region. This prestigious honor is not bestowed lightly; it is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by our employee engagement technology partner, Energage LLC. This recognition reflects the outstanding work culture we have cultivated within the Foundation and is a testament to our shared commitment to excellence. 

Your commitment and generosity have made our achievements possible, and I thank you for your continued investment in UT. Together, we are forging a path towards a brighter future. 

Kerry Witcher
President and CEO
University of Tennessee Foundation

Our Mission

To raise financial, public and political support for the University of Tennessee.

Return on Investment: $7.67

For every $1 invested, the Foundation raised $7.67

2022-2023 Foundation Board of Directors

Ronald E. Frieson, Chair
Alan D. Wilson, Vice Chair
Kerry Witcher, President & CEO
Randy Boyd, University President
Hans N. Airee
Steven Angle
Jeannie Beauchamp
Isaac E. Bennett
Christopher B. Bollinger
Karen M. Bowling
Peter F. Buckley
Emily Capadalis Love
Phillip A. Clendenin
Kimberly W. Cross
R. Frederick Decosimo
C. Doug Haney
Judith A. Herbert
Renee B. Iacona
Deborah A. Ingram
Kathy W. Ledbetter
Charles A. Wagner III
Richard F. Warren, Jr.
Philip A. Wenk
Jamie R. Woodson


Total Gifts

$ 342467045

Total Donors



Corporate $38,974,691


Gift Donor Range

Gift Dollar Range



Booked bequest expectancies in FY23



Foundation outstanding insurance policies

$12 Million

University outstanding insurance policies

Real Estate

  • Real Estate Acquisitions during FY23 – six properties with an appraised value of $2,949,200.
  • Total properties owned during FY23 – ten properties with an appraised value of $6,078,200.
  • Total properties sold during FY23 – three with a contract price of $679,000.
  • Total current properties listed for sale – three with appraised value of $389,900.

Advocacy Network

Total Members


New Members


Alumni Engagement

Total Number of Alumni


Total Number of Engaged Alumni








Levels of Engagement

UT Chattanooga

With a focus on re-engaging alumni and donors, the UTC Advancement team experienced a phenomenal year with results reflecting the love and commitment many have for UTC. Created when the University of Chattanooga became a part of the UT System in 1969, the UC Foundation, which funds the personnel and operations of the UTC Advancement team, provides unique benefits for UTC by investing in campus real estate and successfully managing and growing our endowment. 

Our Donor Base Grows 

With 6,100 donors, UTC saw a 9% increase from the previous fiscal year and a 36% increase in young alumni giving. Alumni were the largest group of donors to UTC, representing over $4.4 million in gifts, with faculty and staff donors up 21.6%. 

UTC Athletics had a record-breaking year, raising over $800,000 for Mocs Club, the annual and priority fund for the department, which was a 13% increase from the previous year in addition to raising almost $3.9 million total, which is also a record 

and growth of nearly 18% from the prior year. 

The UTC Library received one of its most significant gifts in recent years from the Estate of Pamela Brock (’74). 

Mocs Give Day 

Held the first Tuesday of October, Mocs Give Day raised $1,209,301 from 1,475 donors in the annual giving day event, which was the most successful of the three giving days to date by almost $1 million. Nearly $860,000 was raised for scholarship support, with over 400 new donors and 105 current students giving on Mocs Give Day. 

Alumni Re-Engaged 

A 16% increase from the previous fiscal year, UTC engaged 44,793 alumni, the highest percentage increase for any campus in the UT System. With a focus on re-imagining existing programs like GOLD – Graduates of the Last Decade and events like alumni-sponsored football tailgates that gathered over 500 attendees, we also heavily marketed alumni benefits, resulting in a 200% increase in downloading UTC’s digital alumni card.

UT Health Science Center

The new $45 million Delta Dental of Tennessee Building was officially opened in April 2023 and will house the College of Dentistry. 

The 68,000-square-foot building increases space for training Tennessee’s dental workforce and expands facilities to treat patients from the Mid-South. The building opens as the UTHSC College of Dentistry is undertaking a $53 million project, as a part of the state’s five-year, $94 million Healthy Smiles Initiative, to increase access to dentists and dental care across Tennessee. 

The name of the new building and complex honors the outstanding support from Delta Dental of Tennessee and its Chief Executive Officer Philip Wenk, DDS (UTK ’73, UTHSC ’77). Dr. Wenk is the immediate past chair of the UT Foundation Board of Directors and the chair of the UTHSC Advisory Board. 

Delta Dental of Tennessee provided $6.3 million for construction costs and $1.4 million for equipment for the building. Generous support from the state and other donations ensured that the modern building is a reality. 

The Delta Dental of Tennessee Building houses a clinic for patients with special needs; an expanded faculty practice for treating patients, including the uninsured and underinsured; and 

dental technique labs for first- and second-year students to hone their skills. The UTHSC College of Dentistry, the third oldest public college of dentistry in the country, trains 75% of Tennessee’s dentists. 

Thanks to the generosity of students, alumni, faculty and staff, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s third-annual Giving Day, which took place on April 25, raised more than $635,000 and exceeded its goal of 1,100 gifts in 24 hours with more than 1,200 donations. The outstanding support helped unlock a $150,000 gift to the university that contributed to the total for the campaign. 

African American graduates of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Medicine gathered in Memphis for their second reunion weekend. The event brought together alumni from across the country to reconnect with classmates and friends, tour campus facilities, engage with College of Medicine leaders, support current and future students and pay tribute to fellow African American physicians. 

After all the weekend events, generous alumni committed more than $38,000 in gifts to aid future medical students.

UT Knoxville

UT Knoxville is a university on the rise and fiscal year 2023 was a record-setting year in many areas, including dollars raised, number of donors, and alumni engagement. Generous donors participated in initiatives such as Senior Impact, Black Philanthropy Month, and a new campaign for goalposts after the historic UTK vs. Alabama game. Alumni all across the country attended more than 460 events, helped raise funds for scholarships, and reached a record of 91% giving amongst volunteer leadership groups. 

A notable donation to support student scholarships came from alumnus Jeff Gerber and his wife, 

School of Architecture’s Class of 2027 with a $5.2 million gift — the largest in the history of the College of Architecture and Design — to cover each student’s last-dollar tuition and fees. 

During Big Orange Give—UT Knoxville’s day of giving, more than 10,500 gifts were made to areas all across campus. Donors from across the country and the world joined in on this historic day of philanthropic support of our university. 

The first Rocky Top Business Awards luncheon was hosted on May 5, 2023 to recognize the fastest growing alumni-owned and alumni led businesses.

UT Institute of Agriculture

The UT Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), which is part of the UT Knoxville campus, provides Real. Life. Solutions. to some of society’s most pressing issues. The institute serves all Tennessee citizens and beyond through the work of world-renowned researchers, teachers and experts. 

The institute’s four units—the Herbert College of Agriculture, the College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, and UT Extension—contribute to 

improving quality of life; educating tomorrow’s leaders; and enhancing the agricultural economics, environment and health of Tennessee and the world. 

UTIA has a dedicated advancement team that works to enrich the lives of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends through alumni engagement, financial stewardship and private gift support. They coordinate activities and opportunities to engage with the entire agricultural community. 

UT Martin

RISE Campaign 

The University of Tennessee at Martin RISE fundraising campaign surpassed its goal of $175 million weeks before its planned June 30 end date. Through the campaign, UT Martin raised $178.2 million through 14,751 donors. 

The RISE campaign is the university’s fourth campaign as well as its greatest fundraising endeavor in the university’s 123-year history. 

“The historical outcome of this campaign will shape our university for generations to come,” said Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Charley Deal. “Without a dedicated staff of professionals and a campus that embraces philanthropy, we would not have been successful in meeting and surpassing our goal.” 

In 2021, UTM completed its “Prepare for Takeoff” five-year strategic plan, which helped to guide the planning of the RISE campaign. The strategic plan was formed through an inclusive process involving more than 600 administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, students and members of surrounding communities. 

UTM Alumni Relations hosted the first Met in Martin event celebrating couples that met on the UT Martin campus. The event, held in February 2023, brought 25 alumni couples to celebrate the place where their relationship started. 

The event had a significant waiting list and will be expanded next year to accommodate more couples. 

An anonymous donor made the largest gift in UT Martin Rodeo Team history. The $3,000,000 bequest will provide a new home for the team as well as much-needed scholarships. The Rodeo Team won the National Championship in 2014 – the only Rodeo team to hold the title east of the Mississippi River. 

UT Foundation President Kerry Witcher addresses the crowd during the Inaugural President’s Gala: “Jeans & Jewels.” During the event, UT Martin honored members of the 1900 Society, which are donors who have made an annual gift of $1,000 or more to the university; Twenty Plus Years of Consecutive Giving, which are donors who have contributed for 20 or more years to the university; the Woodley Farm Legacy Society, a planned giving society which ensures that UT Martin’s tradition of excellence will continue for future generations; and the Lifetime Societies, which include donors who have given a minimum of $25,000 to the university over their lifetimes.

UT Southern

UT Southern held their first I (Heart) UT Southern week and day of giving January 30 through February 4, 2023. Surpassing their goal of 203 donations, over $86,000 was raised thanks to the generosity of 231 donors. 

UT Southern announced a groundbreaking partnership with Orin H. Ingram II to create the Ingram Scholars Program. This initiative aims to develop the leaders and community champions of tomorrow within the Southern Tennessee region. 

The UT Southern Scholars Program, generously funded by Mr. Ingram II, will select 13 outstanding students from each county within UT Southern’s service region. 

This unique program offers immersive learning and community engagement opportunities. Scholars will visit all 13 counties in the region, meeting with local mayors to understand community needs. They will also focus on networking skills, essential for today’s workforce. 

In addition, students will travel to Nashville to engage with state legislators, gaining insights into regional priorities. Each scholar will complete a project in their home county to address a community need, providing tangible benefits. 

The Bank of Frankewing Scholars Program was announced in fiscal year 2023. The initiative demonstrates the commitment to education, community development and nurturing future leaders. 

The Bank of Frankewing will donate to the program over three years to support deserving UT Southern students. The program focuses on providing students with practical skills and real-world experience. Monthly meetings cover financial literacy, resume writing, professional training, interview skills and leadership essentials. 

The program also emphasizes community service, with scholars participating in a bank-led service project earning 10 community service hours. Additionally, students can pursue a for-credit internship with the bank. Outstanding scholars will receive the Meade C. Hopkins Leadership Scholarship for the following year. 

“We’re excited to partner with the Bank of Frankewing for the Scholars Program” said Vice Chancellor of Advancement Evan Beech. “This initiative invests in the future of our students, empowering the next generation of leaders.”

Online Giving

Online Giving Total

$ 7059419








Average Online Gift

$ 125.44








Giving Day

$1.71 Million

Giving Day dollars were up 13.6% in fiscal year 2023

Philanthropic Commerce

  • The sale of a limited edition item in a short window, typically 30 days or less, with a donation included as part of the cost of the item. Ex. $25 t-shirt includes $5 gift.
  • Total sales were up 91% in FY23.
  • Gift dollars brought in via philanthropic commerce more than
    doubled in FY23.

Digital Wallets

  • We expanded the availability of digital wallets, like ApplePay and Google Pay, significantly in FY23.
  • ApplePay usage more than tripled in FY23, accounting
    for more than 7% of all giving transactions.
  • PayPal, ApplePay and Google Pay combined now account for nearly one in four online giving transactions.

Online Giving Growth Over Five Years

Systemwide Online Dollars Raised

*5.8% over FY22

Systemwide Online Transactions

**+14.6% over FY22

Foundation Operations

Total Revenue

$ 43625465

Total Expenses

$ 40035557

Staff Size


Job Family Breakdown