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UT Alumni Board of Directors Honors Outstanding Alumni


Alumni Awards.

The UT Knoxville alumni board of directors honored some of its most outstanding members in a gala held September 9 at the Marriott in downtown Knoxville. Three of the four people honored as distinguished alumni for their years of service and great personal and professional success are College of Business Administration alumni.

Mintha Roach, president and CEO of the Knoxville Utilities Board, serves as president of the board and emceed the event. Roach is also a graduate of the College of Business Administration.

The Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award recognizes those alumni who have attained extraordinary distinction and success in their chosen fields of endeavor. Through their accomplishments, they have brought credit and acclaim to UT Knoxville and have benefited society at large.


The winners of the Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award were:

John Compton serves as CEO of PepsiCo North America Foods. Shortly after his graduation, Compton began working third shift in a local plant making cookies for Frito Lay, a division of PepsiCo. Through his twenty-seven-year career, he has held senior-level positions with Frito Lay North America and Quaker Tropicana Gatorade. He is an active volunteer for the College of Business Administration as a member of the Advisory Council to the Dean and an executive-in-residence lecturer.

Dave Ramsey is an internationally recognized radio host, author, and motivational speaker on personal finance. His program, Financial Peace University, is taught across the country, and his radio program is broadcast on more than 450 stations in the U.S. and Canada. His work has been featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes and he is a frequent contributor on national news programs. His “Share It” foundation works with other nonprofit organizations to fund housing initiatives, domestic violence shelters, and drug and alcohol recovery centers, among other causes.

A posthumous Distinguished Alumnus Award was given to John Fisher, who retired as chairman of the Ball Corporation in 1986. The company, which specializes in canning products, grew from profits of $7 million when he was hired in 1941 to more than $1 billion at the time he retired. Fisher was UT’s first “Volunteer of the Year,” an award he received as a junior in 1937 and is the basis for today’s Torchbearer award, the highest a UT student can receive. Fisher was an active philanthropist for UT and organizations in his hometown of Muncie, Indiana. Fisher’s son, Jim, accepted the award.

Two of the recipients of the Alumni Professional Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have achieved impressive heights in their careers, are College of Business Administration alumni: Ralph Heath, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, and Sharon Lee, justice of the Tennessee State Supreme Court.

Two recipients of the Alumni Service Award, which recognizes exceptional long-term, continuing service and leadership to UT are business alumni: A. David Martin, retired UT treasurer and founder of Martin & Co., an investment firm now owned by First Tennessee National Corporation, and King Rogers, an attorney with Glankler Brown PLLC in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Alumni Promise Award recognizes alumni 40 years old or younger who have demonstrated distinctive achievement in their careers, civic involvement, or both. One of the winners of the Alumni Promise Award is a business alumnus, David Clark, who is vice president of North American operations for Amazon.com.

Please join Dean Jan Williams and the College of Business Administration in congratulating these deserving alumni award winners!

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