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College Philanthropist Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize the exceptional generosity and impact of a philanthropist on the College of Arts and Sciences.

It is designed to publicly acknowledge those individuals—alumni or alumni by choice —whose philanthropy has made a significant difference to the College of Arts and Sciences over an extended period of time.



Sandra White is the widow of David C. White, former professor of microbiology. Since 2008, the American Society for Microbiology has awarded a David C. White Research and Mentoring Award to recognize distinguished accomplishments in interdisciplinary research and training in microbiology. In 2015, Sandy established the David C. White Memorial Travel Award Endowment at UT. The fund covers the cost of registration, travel, lodging and food for select undergraduate or graduate students that want to attend the national meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The fund is designed to help our students further their educations and careers as microbiologists. In 2014, The David and Sandra White Faculty Endowed Professorship in Microbiology was established through a generous philanthropic commitment from Sandy. The head of microbiology will always hold the David and Sandra White professorship and will be required to maintain standards of distinguished performance in relation to their duties as a department head and microbiologist.


Edward J. Boling, awarded posthumously.

Edward J. Boling (’48), (’ received both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. His freshman year was interrupted in April 1943 when he was called to active duty in the Army. Following World War II, he returned to UT and finished his degree thanks to the G.I. Bill. He held several jobs, including teaching statistics at UT, before working in state government. He was recruited back to UT by then-President Andy Holt in 1961 to be vice president for development and administration, and eventually serving as president of the University of Tennessee from 1970-1988. After his retirement, Dr. Boling continued to serve the University as president emeritus and was tasked with maintaining and building relationships among UT supporters. At his side throughout their sixty-five–year marriage, Carolyn Pierce Boling (’52) earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from UT.

Bill Ross (’60) earned a bachelor’s degree in geology. A native of Maryville, Tennessee, Ross attended college with support from the GI Bill. His first exposure to geology was working as a cartographic draftsman in the Army. After college, he joined the U.S. Geological Survey working on the research staff for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. He had an additional career as an inspector and consultant for the Virginia Department of Transportation, from which he retired.


Stuart and Kate Riggsby.  The Riggsbys are both UT retirees. Stuart Riggsby served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate department head and professor in the Department of Microbiology. Katherine Riggsby was a system programmer. The Riggsbys made the first substantive contribution to the institutional challenge matching grant for a National Endowment for the Humanities grant that led to the creation of UT’s Marco Institute. Besides their ongoing support of Marco, they have also contributed to the Tennessee Humanities Center, the School of Music, and the Clarence Brown Theatre, as well as many other academic departments in the college.

Mannie and Fern Steinfeld. The Steinfelds have been generous donors to UT for more than twenty-five years. They were among the first major donors to the Judaic Studies program—now known as the Fern and Manny Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies—by establishing an endowed chair in 1993 and continuing to provide annual gifts that support student travel to the Middle East, campus programming, and faculty development. They have also supported the College of Architecture and Design, the College of Engineering, and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, as well as UT Athletics.

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