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Gene Mitchell Gray Pioneer Award

Gene Mitchell Gray Pioneer Award

This award recognizes the outstanding, pro-active contributions of students who serve the campus community and promote diversity and inclusion. The recipient will have demonstrated service, leadership, social advocacy, and/or a commitment to the spirit of cultural enrichment and the appreciation of differences on campus.

Anyone who has received the award in the preceding five years is ineligible for consideration.

What to include in the nomination:

A current biographical sketch of the nominee is requested along with the nomination  letter. Please do not send resumes. The nomination statement should adequately reflect specific contributions and beliefs. This statement will be the primary basis for consideration for the award and should be thorough and precise.


  1. The nominee must be currently enrolled as a full-time UT Knoxville student.
  2. The nominee must be in good standing, in both academics and student conduct.
  3. The nominee must be openly pro-active in his/her beliefs in a diverse & inclusive university community.
  4. The nominee must be actively involved within the UT community, including participating in an organization/group that promotes diversity.

The honoree will be selected by Commission for Blacks members.

Apply here.

Previous Awardees

Year & Name of Recipient

1998 Gene Mitchell Gray

1999 Spruell Driver, Jr. and Patricia Ann Littlejohn

2000 Not Awarded

2001 Omar Jackson

2002 Sharon Rodriguez-Alicea

2003 Sherica A. Matthews

2004 Ronnie Clark, Jr.

2005 Vanessa Larella Thomas

2006 Jeffery Charles Cohran

2007 Joseph McArthur Cole

2008 Victoria Thomas

2009 Quiteka L. Moten

2010 Quineka Moten

2011 Janay Bryant

2012 Jayanni ElizabethWebster

2013 Melanie L. Barron

2014 Brityney Jackson

2015 Summer Lead Institute Action Committee

2017 Michael D. Oliver, II

2018 Amber Danielle Hale


2020 Allen Heaston

2021 Elise “Josie” Campbell