On March 27, 2015, Tennessee Tech University celebrated the Centennial anniversary of its charter.
The first event of the 16-month celebration was the charter ceremony, which began at 10:30 a.m. in Derryberry Auditorium. Former Tech presidents Robert Bell, Angelo Volpe and Arliss Roaden; members of the Tennessee Board of Regents; Governor Bill Haslam; and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen were in attendance of the event.
“We don’t get enough chances to celebrate significant milestones in our state, and this is one of them. Tech is literally the story of education in Tennessee,” said Haslam. “Sometimes, the political process doesn’t end up with the right answer, it ends up with the political answer. Other times, it ends up with just the right answer, and Tech is that story to me.”
Before and after the ceremony, student volunteers helped facilitate the traffic flow for the program. Volunteers were stationed throughout campus to direct visitors toward Derryberry Hall or Roaden University Center during the day.
Senior business administration major Anna Mote said she volunteered to learn more about Tech’s history.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to serve the University and be part of such an important event,” said Mote.
Approximately 30 students volunteered to assist visitors by doing things like opening doors and leading guests to the UC for gifts.
“I volunteered with the student engineering ambassadors, and we volunteer for a lot of things around campus but mainly just to help with different events that promote the future success of Tennessee Tech,” said Haley White, senior chemical engineering major.
During the event, actors portrayed a reenactment of the charter being drafted and signed as well as prominent Tech graduates who made significant contributions to Tech.
“It was really good,” said senior computer engineering major Paige Porter. “It was actually interesting, it wasn’t just a bunch of boring people talking,”
After the ceremony, free cupcakes and 450 T-shirts were distributed in the UC to all students.
Porter said she was drawn to the event because of the complimentary cupcakes and T-shirts. She said she plans on attending more events in the future that have free giveaways.
“(I will attend future events) as long as there are free things like T-shirts and cupcakes, but I would also accept ice cream,” Porter said.
In his address at the ceremony, Haslam said the students coming from Tech are bringing more rapport to the state of Tennessee as a whole.
“Tech has always reflected the fact that Tennessee is a state that’s growing, both in its education and its belief in itself,” said Haslam. “Today, I think Tennessee Tech stands as a school that, for us, plays a critical role as we look to try to be the state that can attract jobs from anywhere. We do that with the kind of students that are produced here.”