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CCI Gala Kicks off $15M Campaign

Campaign Kickoff GalaThe College of Communication and Information launched the public phase of its $15 million campaign, “Investing in the Journey to the Top 25,” at the CCI Campaign Kickoff and Awards Gala on November 11, 2016.  The gala celebrated CCI’s outstanding students, world-class faculty and cutting-edge facilities.  

“The tremendous impact of our donors is obvious as you look around campus and see the caliber of faculty and students we attract,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “Alumni, friends and corporate partners have made—and will continue to make—a huge difference in the College of Communication and Information. We are grateful for their continuing support.”

So far, $10.6 million has been raised  toward the college’s $15 million goal. Thanks to the investment made by donors as part of the campaign, CCI has been able: to increase tuition and experiential scholarship support for students, to increase recruitment and funding support for its world-class faculty, and to provide students and faculty with cutting-edge teaching and learning facilities/labs and equipment to help students obtain the skills, knowledge and experience required to land jobs in the fast-changing communication and information industries.

“This is an especially exciting time for anyone involved with the rapidly changing world of communication and information,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “Thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, we’ll continue to invest and innovate to help our students obtain the skills, knowledge and experience required to be successful throughout their professional careers. The “Investing in the Journey to the Top 25” campaign is critical to the college’s future, and we thank everyone for their support of our students, faculty and staff as we continue to build one of the world’s top colleges of communication and information.”

David Bohan and Martha “Missy” Wallen are the co-chairs of CCI’s campaign. Larry Patrick is the honorary chair. Campaign committee members include: Bonnie Carroll, John Haas, Ed Ingle, Mark McNeely, Hilda Murray, Ed Patterson, Phenise Poole, Carol Poston and John T. Williams.

The college’s campaign priorities are listed below. Contributions to “CCI’s Investing in the Top 25 Campaign” can be made by clicking on the online link.


College Priorities



To attract and retain outstanding faculty who will proudly represent our campus, embrace our vision, and exemplify our values, funds are needed for

  • Faculty Chairs & Professorships
  • Professional Development & Innovation



The best graduate students choose programs that provide significant monetary support along with access to internationally recognized faculty. To remain competitive, the College of Communication and Information must increase graduate fellowships to attract Masters and PhD students of the highest quality.



The future of the UT College of Communication and Information lies in innovative learning, scholarship, and societal engagement. To achieve these goals, CCI must raise additional scholarship funds to attract, retain and graduate the best and brightest undergraduate students.



Beyond Tennessee Pledge & Promise

The Tennessee Pledge and Promise Scholarships make an education at Tennessee’s flagship land-grant university a reality for many. Qualifying students from low-income families are eligible for Promise scholarships. Admitted students from families with incomes of less than $40,000 are eligible for Pledge scholarships. Many of these scholarship recipients are first-generation college students. Need-based scholarships beyond these state programs are critical for those students who have needs beyond the basics and/or unique circumstances.



  • Dean’s Excellence Fund/College Fund

The Dean’s Excellence Fund helps create internship support and provides tuition assistance and funding for various need-based programs in the college. The flexibility of the funding allows the college to respond to new opportunities and short-term issues.

  • Facilities Upgrades

The facilities in the college have gone through tremendous change in the past decade. More upgrades are needed to improve the quality and number of high quality classrooms along with teaching and research labs, Funding to renovate existing and future acquired spaces and to increase spaces for small groups and teams to gather and collaborate will allow us to continue to bring our 46 year old building into the 21st century.

  • New Programs

Technology and software require constant updating and replacement. It is critical to provide hands-on experience to our students with the most current technology and software. Doing so provides them with the ability to adapt and learn in preparation for productive careers.

  • Diversity and Inclusion/Global Education

The college has been a campus leader with respect to diversity and inclusion and study abroad. Expanding opportunities for our students in these areas requires additional support.