News from The Foundation

University of Tennessee Foundation Names Jeanna Curtis-Swafford as Vice Chancellor for Advancement for the University of Tennessee at Martin

Jeanna Curtis-Swafford University of Tennessee at Martin

MARTIN, TN – The University of Tennessee Foundation and the University of Tennessee at Martin are pleased to announce the appointment of Jeanna Curtis-Swafford as the vice chancellor for advancement at UT Martin, an essential position in advancing the university’s mission.

Curtis-Swafford, who lives in Dresden, has served as the interim vice chancellor for advancement since December and brings over 30 years of fundraising experience to this role. Most recently serving as associate vice chancellor of advancement at UT Martin, Curtis-Swafford has been a consistent leader and successful fundraiser for the campus since 1992. During her tenure with UT Martin, she has established a planned giving program, served as the campaign director for the recent $181 million RISE campaign and is a graduate of UT Martin’s WestStar Leadership Program.

“Jeanna’s record of fundraising success speaks for itself, and coupled with her embodiment of the Skyhawk spirit, I have no doubt that she will lead the UT Martin advancement team in continued success and new levels of achievement,” said UT Foundation President Kerry Witcher. “I am thrilled to welcome her into this role.”

Curtis-Swafford will oversee the advancement team at UT Martin, which includes philanthropic initiatives and alumni engagement. In fiscal year 2023, UT Martin had over 5,000 alumni, supporters and friends pledge their support for the university and raised more than $17.4 million in contributions. She succeeds Dr. Charley Deal who left UT Martin to accept the vice chancellor of advancement position in fall 2023 for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

“I’m pleased that Jeanna has accepted the challenge of leading our University Advancement division,” said Dr. Yancy Freeman, UT Martin chancellor. “She brings a track record of success as an effective fundraiser and years of experience knowing and serving UT Martin and our supporters. Jeanna represents stability among our alumni and donor base and will further develop our team to secure the fundraising success needed to support future generations of Skyhawks.”

The role of the vice chancellor for advancement is crucial in achieving the institution’s goals and objectives. Curtis-Swafford will serve on the UT Martin senior leadership team, which includes responsibility for developing, updating and implementing the university’s strategic plan. In this capacity, Curtis-Swafford will continue to strengthen relationships with alumni and donors and help bridge their philanthropic passion with campus initiatives.

“I’m excited to take on the challenges of this role. We have an excellent advancement team and campus and foundation leadership,” said Jeanna. “I look forward to working with these groups to help UT Martin soar even higher.”

About the University of Tennessee Foundation

The University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that serves as the preferred channel for private contributions benefiting students and faculty within the UT System. With a vision of being one of the top-performing advancement organizations in higher education, UTFI is committed to enhancing the educational landscape across the University of Tennessee campuses.

About the University of Tennessee at Martin

UT Martin is a primary regional campus in the University of Tennessee System offering bachelor’s degrees, majors, concentrations and options in more than 150 specialized fields and eight graduate degrees. In addition to the main campus, the university has five regional centers in Jackson, Parsons, Selmer, Ripley and Somerville, as well as a new location at Volunteer State Community College-Springfield in Middle Tennessee. Online programs are offered through UT Martin Online. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university competes in NCAA Division I athletics and is the member of the Ohio Valley Conference. The UT Martin rodeo team is the only collegiate rodeo team in Tennessee and is a member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Learn more at