Kelly Headden (1988)

Category: Alumni Service | Awards

2019 Alumni Service Award Winner

A 1988 honors graduate and Chancellor’s Citation recipient of the College of Architecture and Design, Kelly Headden is executive vice president and chief operating officer at BarberMcMurry Architects, Knoxville’s oldest architectural firm. In his more than 30 years at the company, he has guided some of its largest and most complex projects, including the award-winning Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg, and the new Student Union at UT.

Headden has served as a UT Chancellor’s Associate and a member of the College of Architecture and Design’s Advisory Board. He remains on the college’s Dean’s Advocacy Board. He is a graduate of both Leadership Knoxville and Leadership Sevier. Headden serves on the Knoxville board of SmartBank, the Helen Ross McNabb Center Events Committee, and the Knoxville Open Championship Committee. He is a past board chair and founding member of the Trinity Foundation. He was the 2012 president of the East Tennessee chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and currently serves on the AIA Tennessee Board of Directors.

Headden is also a longtime supporter of UT. He serves as a Big Orange Give ambassador and has supported the College of Architecture and Design and UT Athletics. Together with Chuck Griffin, president and CEO of BarberMcMurry, Headden oversees the $1 million BarberMcMurry Endowed Professorship, which brings internationally recognized architects to teach at UT for a full semester.