Planned Giving

Buddy Mitchell’s Impact Being Felt More Than a Decade After His Retirement

Buddy Mitchell
Buddy Mitchell

It is often said that we sit in the shade of trees others have planted.

Although he has been retired for nearly a decade, UTIA continues to benefit from Buddy Mitchell’s (UTM,’66, Herbert College of Agriculture, ’68) more than 35 years of service. While he served as Interim Vice President for Agriculture on three separate occasions and also served as Associate Vice President for Federal Relations for the UT System, Buddy’s fondest memories are the nearly 35 years he spent as UTIA’s Vice Chancellor for Development. For Buddy, the opportunity to work with donors to help fund initiatives that promote agriculture, animal health and welfare, youth programs, and programs that promote health and well-being was paramount.

Buddy has often said that UTIA is the jewel in the crown of UT because of its magnificent capacity to contribute to the citizens of the State of Tennessee. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to make UTIA and its programs better … to work with great people to advance a valuable mission. I always felt blessed to be able to promote one of the premiere land grant programs in the country.”

Many programs offered throughout UTIA today are a direct result of Buddy’s work. “I was able to connect donors to the programs they wanted to support,” he shares. Buddy worked with donors who wanted to provide better health care for cats, fund programs for native and warm-season grasses to enhance wildlife, provide scholarships and faculty awards, assist farmers to be more efficient and productive, and so many more.

“Because of a generous donor, young faculty members received IDEA grants that allowed them to initiate research they would not have otherwise been able to do,” he says. “I also worked with a donor who left his entire estate to UTIA. These and other gifts have been transformational for UTIA and the communities we serve.”

Buddy shares this advice: “If you are thinking about a gift, whether large or small or in cash or through your estate, call UTIA’s Advancement office to start that conversation. Then, make a gift and document it. While you may not necessarily see all that is accomplished with your gift during your lifetime, you can be assured that you are providing a lasting impact that will continue for generations to come.”


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Together We Grow is a historic campaign for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. It will take all of us to grow. Together, we can impact tomorrow.