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Friends of English

Thank you for being part of our proud alumni family! We have big plans this year to include you in the life of the department. First, we welcome you to any of our guest speakers this year and hope that you will engage in the conversations through Zoom. If you would like to receive invitations to virtual speakers, get our newsletter, or even our weekly email, please sign up here and tell us your preferences. While we look forward to the day we can be in person again, we want to use this moment to invite our alumni back to classes and lecture halls to participate in our intellectual life.

We’re also starting a new feature this fall called “What I loved/What I do,” which invites alumni to record a short video (laptop or smartphone camera is fine) telling our current students something you loved about being an English major (a class, a poet, an experience) and what you do now that draws on what you learned as an English major. If you would like to participate in this series, email english@utk.edu with questions or simply send in your video clip, preferably under 60 seconds. We will share them on our website and follow up with an invitation to class.

We believe that you are the best mentors our students could have, and we want to start connecting our students to alumni who can help them think about all the creative, fulfilling, and yes, profitable ways they can put their English major to work. If you would like to be part of a new mentorship program for English majors, email us with the header “English Major Mentors” and we will get back to you with next steps. Whether you have only a few minutes for a chat or want to be more substantially involved, we are grateful for any time you have to share.

The Friends of English is our board of visitors, who provide the department with thoughtful counsel about the future of the department. They include

  • Carolyn Thompson
  • Chris Hall
  • Erin Pounders
  • Joe Trahern
  • Judy Slagle
  • Keith Taylor
  • Nancy Henry

The Friends of English board was established by former department head Stan Garner to make sure that the future of our department remains as storied and strong as our past has been. We’re grateful for their service and looking forward to an exciting year.