Senator Bob Corker (’74)

Category: Awards | Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner

A two-term Tennessee senator, Bob Corker retired from politics at the beginning of 2019, leaving a legacy as a standout performer among his peers for taking a bipartisan approach to governing. In addition to his regular senatorial duties, his colleagues elected him chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the 113th Congress.

Before being elected to the US Senate in 2006, Corker was Tennessee’s commissioner of finance and mayor of Chattanooga. Prior to entering politics, he spent most of his life in business.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in industrial management from the Haslam College of Business in 1974. He credits Professor Oscar Fowler’s critical path method of project management for much of his success in starting and growing his own construction company, which eventually expanded operations to eighteen states across the country.

But it was a mission trip to Haiti that sparked his involvement in public service. Upon his return, he began to take a closer look at needs in his own community. That led to the creation of the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, a nonprofit organization that today has helped more than 10,000 families secure decent, fit, and affordable housing.

Corker has served the University of Tennessee on many occasions, including several visits to the Haslam College of Business to speak with students, faculty, staff, and local business leaders. He has served on the UT Chattanooga Foundation Board of Trustees and was inducted into the UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business Administration Hall of Fame in 2005.