Black Alumni Council

The UT Black Alumni Council serves as a leadership team and partner to the Office of Alumni Relations. The council’s purpose is to foster a closer relationship among alumni, the community, and the university, utilizing these fundamental values: traditions, collaboration, integrity, inclusion, and innovation.

History of the Black Alumni Council
A group of black alumni smile for a photo
A group of black alumni smile for a photo


Champion Black students and alumni in the UT community and serve as a nexus between Black alumni and the university

Create and support opportunities for professional and personal development through mentorship, programs, social and networking events, and service projects

Advise and assist the university with recruitment and retention of Black students

Support fundraising initiatives

Join Our Council

The Black Alumni Council is seeking new members to join our council! Members are selected annually in the spring.

All UT Knoxville alumni are eligible to serve on the Black Alumni Council. The council is comprised of alumni who serve a two-year term. Members are expected to make an annual gift of any size to UT, attend annual meetings, and participate in annual campus programs.

If you have any questions about the council, please contact Phyllis Moore, senior director of alumni relations, at

  • Jade Newton (’06), President
  • William Arnold (’95, ’96)
  • Kara Avent (’96, ’04)
  • Jennifer Brice (’05)
  • Carrie Campbell (’99)
  • Jeff Cochran (’06)
  • Jeff Coleman (’99)
  • Verlinda Darden (’08)
  • Simphany Gillard (’22)
  • Simeon Glover (’20)
  • Kent Hall (’87)
  • Malcolm Harris (’17)
  • Sterling Henton (’92)
  • Christopher Jones (’08)
  • Lauren Jones (’18)
  • NeKeshia Jones (’98)
  • Johnson Luma (’15)
  • Carmen Moreno-Rivera (’03)
  • Damien Pitts (’11, ’15)
  • Tomi Rogers (’02, ’07)
  • Javiette Samuel (’96, ’99, ’02)
  • Justin Short (’11, ’12, ’18)
  • Marguerite Simmons (’76)
  • Tristan Smith (’19)
  • Cordia Starling (’79)
  • Sharonda Stiggers (’20)
  • Elizabeth Waters (’03, ’04)
  • Antionette Williams (’02)
  • Vicki Woods (’98)

Jade Newton (’06) is a graduate of UT’s College of Arts & Sciences and holds a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in French. After completing her studies at UT, she went on to obtain a Masters in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University in her hometown of Chicago.

Currently, Jade works in the artificial intelligence space with a focus on natural language processing and computer vision for the robotics, manufacturing, and agriculture industries. Jade has been a member of UT’s Black Alumni Council since 2018, having served as co-chair and chair of the Philanthropy Committee. Prior to joining the BAC, Jade served six years as president of UT’s Chicago Alumni Chapter. Additionally, Jade is an after-school coach and Board Director for Girls on the Run’s San Diego council — an organization that she has been involved with for 15 years.

Jade’s desire to advocate for black students at UT, while also engaging more with Black alumni, was her motivation to continue her volunteer leadership efforts by joining the Black Alumni Council.

Black Alumni Scholarship Endowment

The Black Alumni Scholarship Endowment Fund provides tuition assistance for Black undergraduate students. The scholarship is a four-year award, with recipients selected annually. Your generosity allows us to advance the next generation of Vol leaders at our beloved alma mater.

Support the Black Alumni Scholarship Endowment