Tee Off with Tee Martin Golfers Raise $110K for Knoxville Student Scholarships


Category: Giving

Golfers at the 2023 Tee Martin Golf Tournament

Tee Martin (’00) hosted the second Tee Off with Tee Martin Golf Tournament at Avalon Country Club on Friday, June 23, with help from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Office of Alumni Relations and the Chancellor’s Associates in Lenoir City, TN. Tournament golfers raised over $110,000 for last-dollar Tri-Star Scholarships to benefit incoming Knoxville students from Austin-East, Central and Fulton high schools.

From his time as UT football quarterback to this most recent volunteer service, Martin evinces Vol for Life (VFL) passion. At the event, he shared with tournament participants about why scholarship support is so important.

“By participating in this tournament, you are helping to change the lives of students from Austin-East High School, Central High School and Fulton High School,” said Martin. “Thank you for lighting the way for others through your Volunteer spirit and your participation. You all being here today helps deserving students gain access to a UT education.”

Alumnus Mike Berry shares Martin’s interest in giving students greater access to the Volunteer experience, and it’s the reason he chose to compete in the tournament.

“I am proud to know that I helped local students become future Volunteers!” said Berry. “The tournament was a great experience. The golf course was beautiful, the whole event was well run and everyone had a smile on their face even despite a little rain.”

VFLs also in attendance included Steve Johnson, Billy Ratliff, Joey Kent, Chuck Smith, Anthony Hancock, Al Wilson, Jamal Lewis, Fred White, Kevin Simon, and former head football coach and athletics director Phillip Fulmer. Of the 28 teams that competed, the Faris Family McDonald’s team finished first.

An online auction held in conjunction with the tournament brought in nearly $22,000 for scholarship funding. The auction featured sports memorabilia like signed collector’s items by former UT athletes including Tee Martin, Candace Parker, Peyton Manning and Al Wilson, as well as experience packages like a luxury cabin getaway and concert tickets.

Duane Wiles, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations, thanked all in attendance for opening doors to a UT education for local students.

“I would like to thank Tee Martin for being here with us today and leading the tournament,” said Wiles. “I would also like to thank all our incredible sponsors, VFLs and teams. Because of the dedication of our sponsors and all of you playing today, more than $110,000 has been raised for life-changing Tri-Star Scholarships that benefit students in our Knoxville community. We are so grateful to each of you for helping UT live out its mission to provide access to higher education for all Tennesseans.”

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UT is so inviting and welcoming and supporting. The alumni are awesome.

– Alex Galindo, recipient of merit and need-based scholarships