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For UT Knoxville pre-med sophomore Morgan McPheeters, the Regal Scholarship is just what the doctor ordered. She received $2,500 to help with college expenses this year.
"I work to pay for tuition, and my mother, who is on disability, does everything she can to ensure that I get a good education," McPheeters says. "This generous donation relieves some of this pressure."
Regal Entertainment Group has pledged to give up to $100,000 annually for the next five years to support the new program. Each year, the program provides $2,500 to 40 Knox County students—10 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 10 juniors, and 10 seniors—attending UT Knoxville. The adjusted gross family income of eligible students cannot exceed $40,000.
Regal's scholarship program is just one of the entertainment company's many gifts to the Campaign for Tennessee, the university's most ambitious—and successful—fundraising effort in its history. In 2010, UT Knoxville (which includes UT Athletics) met its $610 million campaign goal.
More than 98 percent of all gifts in the campaign are designated for a specific purpose, such as scholarships, endowed professorships, and building construction.
"Investing in our local community is a point of pride for us," says Amy Miles, UT alumna and CEO of Regal Entertainment Group. "Supporting the students, the faculty, and the athletic programs at UT, as well as the students and programs at UT Medical Center, are significant parts of our commitment to be a corporate leader in Tennessee."
Headquartered in Knoxville, Regal is the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world, operating 6,775 screens in 548 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
Regal Entertainment Group's other gifts to UT include the following:
UT Academics. UT Knoxville's College of Business Administration has benefited from two investments. One will establish the endowed Regal Entertainment Group Distinguished Professorship. The other will support the CBA Technology Fund, which helps maintain state-of-the-art computers, software, and other technology in classrooms in the James A. Haslam II Business Building. In appreciation, a second-floor team room in the building will be named the "Regal Entertainment Group Team Room."
UT Athletics. The Regal Soccer Stadium, named in honor of Regal Entertainment Group's legacy of support for UT Athletics, was dedicated in 2008. The $7.5 million facility was paid for by private donations. An additional gift by Regal Entertainment Group will help build a new state-of-the-art football training center adjacent to the Brenda Lawson Athletic Center and Haslam Field.
UT Medical Center. The Regal Foundation (Regal's charitable arm) and the Will Rogers Institute recently donated $1 million to UT Medical Center and the UT Graduate School of Medicine to establish the Mike Campbell Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship. The fellowship will foster enhanced research and training for physicians specializing in pulmonary disease and will help attract the nation's leading pulmonary residents.