Waymon Hickman recognized for six decades of dedication to alma mater

Waymnon Hickman receives Case III award

Waymon Hickman (right), alumnus of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, receives the CASE District III Volunteer of the Year Award at the association's recent meeting in Orlando, Fla. UTIA Chancellor Larry Arrington (left) and UT President Joe DiPietro (center) were on hand to present the award. Photo courtesy CASE. Download image

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture alumnus Waymon L. Hickman of Columbia, Tenn., has been honored with the Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year Award from CASE III. The award was presented Feb. 16, 2014, at the opening ceremonies of the association’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

CASE, which stands for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, presents the award to a volunteer who provides exceptional leadership and support that advances a college or university. The award also recognizes the long-term effect of the recipient’s overall volunteer contributions on the institution and education. CASE III’s membership spans educational and professional institutions in nine southeastern states. Hickman is the first UT alumnus to receive the honor and is believed to be the only recipient with a focus on agricultural education.

A UT alumnus who earned a B.S. in agricultural education from the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 1956, Hickman has had a tremendous impact at the University of Tennessee for close to six decades, a span of time that university leaders call incredible. Scholarships he has funded, including a $1 million-plus endowment he established in 2006, have assisted more than 650 students in three UT colleges achieve their dreams of a college education. Hickman’s contributions to UT 4-H Youth Development have provided training in citizenship and citizen engagement to thousands of schoolchildren who are members of 4-H in communities throughout Tennessee. He has also created employee awards and supported programming at the UT AgResearch and Education Center in Spring Hill, a field laboratory of UT AgResearch.

But his impacts don’t stop there.

Hickman has also been generous in helping to advance the statewide UT System. For six years, he served as a member of both the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and UT Alumni Legislative Council. He is former chair of the Board of the UT Research Foundation and has served the Institute of Agriculture in several top-level advisory roles.

“The CASE III Bill Franklin Volunteer of the Year is one of our most prestigious special recognition awards,” said Anita Walton, chair, CASE III, and director of Alumni Programs at North Carolina Central University. “The award recognizes those individuals who play an incredibly important role in advancing the mission of an institution.”

Walton called Hickman an outstanding candidate for the award and said CASE was thrilled to present it to him. “He represents the kind of volunteer that every institution needs and desires. He is passionate, dedicated, and he’ll do everything in his power to support the University of Tennessee. On behalf the CASE III Board of Directors, I congratulate Mr. Hickman on his many accomplishments and thank him for his contribution to the advancement of one of the premier institutions of higher education in the district.”

On hand to help present the award and celebrate Hickman’s recognition were University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, UT Institute of Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington, Institute Vice Chancellor for Advancement Keith Barber, and UT National Alumni Association Executive Director Lofton Stuart. Each has witnessed Hickman’s impacts on the University of Tennessee System, its students, constituents and employees.

President DiPietro said, "Waymon's recognition by CASE III is a testament to his decades of service to the University of Tennessee. This award showcases Waymon and the university and is a tribute to both. We are exceptionally proud of him for his ongoing efforts, appreciate his steadfast support, and he truly is a great champion for all of us."

Chancellor Arrington said it is exceptional for a university to have a supporter whose service spans close to 60 years. “Waymon is certainly one of a kind. UT has benefitted in incredible ways from his steadfast commitment and leadership. He has touched and bettered countless lives connected to the university and the Institute of Agriculture.”

Hickman said it is an honor to be recognized by CASE III. “I have been fortunate to give back to my alma mater for decades because my alma mater gave to me. I would do it all again.”

The Bill Franklin Award is the latest in a string of honors to celebrate Hickman impacts at UT. In 2013, the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association presented him with its Outstanding Philanthropist Award. Last fall, the Institute of Agriculture honored him with the first UTIA Meritorious Service Award, presented at Ag Day, its annual celebration of alumni and friends.

“Without question, Waymon Hickman’s dedicated service and philanthropy have had, and continue to have, major impacts at the University of Tennessee,” said Vice Chancellor Barber. “We congratulate him on the receipt of these well-deserved honors and are grateful for all that he continues to do for his alma mater.”

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is an international association of educational institutions. Headquartered in New York, CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. The organization helps institutions build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.



Dr. Keith Barber, UTIA Advancement,
865-974-5779, kbarber@utfi.org