Reception Planned on UTIA Campus, Public Welcome to Attend​

Picture of Donnie and Terry Smith
The generous gift of Donnie and Terry Smith, pictured above, will be celebrated at the official launch of the Smith International Center this Friday. The event is free and open to the public. Image courtesy UTIA. Download image
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ­– The official launch of the Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture will take place on Friday, November 16, on the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture campus in Knoxville. Established through a gift of UT alumni Donald and Terry Smith, the Smith Center brings science-based, sustainable agricultural solutions to meet the challenge of nourishing the world’s population while restoring the planet on which we depend.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. and conclude at 3 p.m., with a brief program at 1:30 featuring Erica Barks-Ruggles, former U.S. ambassador to Rwanda. Tim Cross, chancellor of UTIA; Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee System; Jai Templeton, commissioner for Tennessee Department of Agriculture; and Jane Jolley, senior field director for Senator Bob Corker, will also give remarks.

“We are celebrating Donnie and Terry, and their generosity to their alma mater. We want to say thank you and celebrate their vision and transformational giving, which is already helping UTIA and global partners meet the challenge of feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050,” says Tom Gill, Smith Center Endowed Chair for International Sustainable Agriculture.

The Smith Center facilitates UTIA faculty and staff in developing partnerships with local organizations and institutions all around the world. The Smith Center focuses on developing programs with partners in six regions of the world – Central America and the Caribbean, East Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, China and Brazil. The Smith Center has secured funding for ongoing projects from private foundations and a range of federal agencies, including USAID and USDA.

UT faculty, staff, students and the general public are invited to attend at no cost. The event will be held in Brehm Animal Science Arena off River Drive on the UTIA campus. The event will feature live music, refreshments, and a showcase of ongoing activities across the six focus regions of the Smith Center.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service.​.



Tom Gill, Smith Chair in International Sustainable Agriculture, 865-974-5797,