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Peyton Manning Drops In on Zoom

Dear Vols,

Earlier today, one of our most celebrated alumni generously gave a little of his time—and gave some of our students one big surprise.

Former Vols quarterback and Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning dropped in on a communication studies class on Zoom today to encourage our students to keep a positive attitude and to help others where they can.

It’s a message we can all take to heart as we navigate this unexpected end to the spring semester. I’m inspired by alumni like Peyton and so many others who give back to the university and their communities—especially during challenging times like these.

We have received an incredible response to our call to help students who need extra assistance during this uncertain time.

After only two days, our VolStarter fundraiser has raised $34,491 from 268 donors. More than half the gifts came from alumni and more than a quarter came from faculty and staff. The rest came in from students, their families, retirees, and other friends of the university.

When asked why they decided to give, donors told us:

“My experience on Rocky Top changed my life. I am proud to support the University of Tennessee.”

“UT provided me with financial help when I attended in the late 1960s. I could not have continued in school without that financial help. This is a way to thank the school for that help.”

“We are Vols for Life and that means taking care of people.”

Like all of you, I am proud to be a Vol.

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Donde Plowman