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Awards and Honors

The provost oversees a number of awards and honors that recognize and further the work of the university and its impact on the state of Tennessee.

Honorary Degrees

An honorary degree is the highest form of recognition offered by the University of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees authorizes the awarding of honorary degrees to recognize individuals who have benefited the institution or society through outstanding achievements or leadership.

2023 Honorary Degree Nominations Current Honorary Degree Recipients


Academic Honors Program

The Academic Honors Banquet was created in 2021 to recognize the accomplishments of the university’s faculty, staff, and students in academia and research. Students, faculty, and staff receiving these honors exemplify what it means to be a Volunteer—to have the courage to step forward in leadership and service.

2024 Academic Honors Nominations 2023 Award Recipients


Volunteer of Distinction

The Volunteer of Distinction awards celebrate academic excellence among undergraduate and graduate students. Students are selected to be honored as Volunteers of Distinction in recognition of their extraordinary academic achievement, professional promise, teaching (graduate students), or research.

2024 Volunteer of Distinction Information 2023 Volunteer of Distinction Award Winners


SEC Faculty Achievement Award

The SEC Faculty Achievement Awards were established by SEC Presidents and Chancellors to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of faculty at SEC universities. These awards honor those with outstanding records in both teaching and research and who serve as role models for junior faculty and students.
Previous Winners
For nomination information, please contact the Division of Faculty Affairs at

James R. Cox Professorship

The James R. Cox Professorship honors faculty members for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. The university’s gifts from Cox, a Knoxville native, helped establish professorships in 2002 for faculty in the arts, theater, biological and physical sciences, architecture, and forestry industries.
Previous Winners
For nomination information, please contact the Division of Faculty Affairs at