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Volunteer Family Highlight: Meet the Brown Family!

What made your family choose UTK?
My son had mostly considered schools in VA where we live. But my student’s grandfather (my dad) attended UT many years ago. Unfortunately, my dad passed away at age 49, but my mom has continued to share her Volunteer spirit with our family. When my son was accepted to UT and offered some scholarship money, my son began to consider this possibility. We were able to visit one time before the pandemic and have a campus tour. He loved it! And even in the pandemic, it hasn’t taken Brandon long to call Knoxville home. It makes me smile, and I know my dad is smiling from above!

What has been the highlight of your Volunteer family experience?
Watching my son experience campus life (although different this year) and share his experiences, his new friendships, and seeing him come to love Big Orange Fridays. He learned quickly that everybody wears orange in Knoxville on Fridays. It’s a pandemic, he is studying engineering and it’s tough, but he has embraced college life, mask and all. And he told me over Christmas that he’s a Vol for life. He said no matter what it takes, he will stay and get his engineering degree. And he has already picked out an apartment for next year with some of his new friends.

What advice would you give to other families and students?
Encourage your student to engage with campus events and opportunities and get to know people and embrace all things orange! My son went to UT being just slightly acquainted with his roommate but not knowing anybody else. He was determined to meet people and begin making friends from the first day of move-in. And even in a pandemic with required masking, my son has met some great friends and has adapted well to college life. Knoxville is a welcoming place with new adventures awaiting!

Family Engagement would love feature you and your Volunteer family! From first-years to graduate students, we want to highlight our families to learn more about their Volunteer experience. Submit your Volunteer Family Story!