Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is big on tradition and proud of its humble beginnings as the first public university chartered west of the Appalachian Divide. UT Knoxville is Tennessee’s flagship university and a premier public research institution that serves the state by educating its citizens, enhancing its culture, and making a difference in people's lives through research and service.
1794 Founded in Knoxville as Blount College
1807 Became East Tennessee College; Closed in 1809; Reopened in 1820
1826 East Tennessee College moved to the Hill
1840 Renamed East Tennessee University
1862-65 University activity suspended during Civil War
1879 Renamed the University of Tennessee
1902 UT football team first called Volunteers
1921 Ayres Hall completed
1968 UT System Created
A few quick facts:
• Students: over 29,000; 23k undergraduate and 6,100 graduate/professional
• Colleges: 11; over 900 programs of study
• Sports: 20; 23 team national championships and 197 total SEC championship team titles
• Nickname: The Volunteers
• Mascot: Smokey, a bluetick coonhound
Here to see a UT football game or another athletic event? Head to our Game Day page.
Looking for more information about the buildings on campus? Check out this self-guided UT Campus Tour, and hunt for Smokey statues along the way – be sure to make time for on-campus gems such as the McClung Museum and the Clarence Brown Theatre.
Get to know UT’s campus, the Cumberland strip, and the surrounding neighborhood here.