By Chelsea Langley, Staff Writer —
While many students may have heard of the UC Foundation, few know what it is or know that it pays for many of the amenities students have access to.
The University of Chattanooga Foundation Inc. manages the University’s private endowment which goes to helping students and professors with various scholarships, high-quality housing, faculty development, teaching innovation grants and more.
The UC Foundation was created in 1969 when the private University of Chattanooga merged with Chattanooga City College and joined the University of Tennessee system of statewide campuses. The University of Chattanooga’s property had to be sold to the state. The money that was made from selling the buildings was used to make a foundation that supports the university which became the UC Foundation.
“We are very lucky,” said UC Foundation Associate Professor Dr. Charlene Simmons, department of communications. “A university of our size and state usually doesn’t have a foundation or an endowment backing us up, but because of this unique situation, that they were private and had to sell the buildings, we made money by becoming a state school and they made their own foundation to invest.”
The foundation has made a huge impact on UTC by funding the redesign of courses, supporting community partnerships, and purchase of state-of the-art equipment for classrooms and laboratories. It has also helped secure students through scholarships and honors programs.
The UC Foundation also built the housing on south campus. The dorms do not belong to the state and are private property.
“That really changed campus,” said Simmons. “It really made it more residential and changed the student body because we pulled other students from other places besides Chattanooga.”
The UC Foundation is also responsible for the new 600- bed residence hall at the intersection of Vine and Houston Streets. It is projected to open in Fall of 2018.
The foundation is also planning major landscaping projects on Oak and Vine Streets, which will recreate the areas into park-like spaces to be enjoyed by all.
In 2016, the UC Foundation raised over more than $118 million. The money went to scholarships, professorships, institutional support, faculty development, and academic support.