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The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a proposal to rename the building previously known as the Black Cultural Center for alumni Ron and Don Frieson.

Introducing the Frieson Black Cultural Center

The popular student programming and support building located on Melrose Avenue is now named the Frieson Black Cultural Center. Ron and Don Frieson (pronounced fry-son) are African American identical twins from Memphis who attended UT in the late 1970s. The renaming recognizes the Frieson’s $1 million gift to the facility, and their leadership and commitment to diversity.

The gift will help the Office of Multicultural Student Life provide additional academic support, diversity workshops, peer mentoring, and leadership development opportunities based from the Frieson Black Cultural Center.

Learn more about the Frieson Black Cultural Center.

“The Friesons’ generous gift and the renaming of the cultural center will help raise the visibility of diversity at UT and improve the familial atmosphere and feeling of ‘home’ at this facility.”

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek

Diversity on our campus

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is committed to creating a vibrant multicultural, multi-ethnic community where diverse students, faculty, and staff are recruited and retained and where diversity scholarship is valued.

UT seeks to develop graduates who can effectively work across differences and who are prepared to live and work in a global society. We have initiated several university-wide programs to raise awareness of and support for diversity, such as the annual Collaborators for Change diversity summit, the African American Trailblazer speaking series, and the Women in STEM Symposium.

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