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University of Tennessee at Martin
The University of Tennessee at Martin is a primary campus of the University of Tennessee system. Other primary campuses include those in Knoxville, Chattanooga, the Center for the Health Sciences in Memphis, and the Space Institute in Tullahoma.
UT Martin began in 1900 as Hall-Moody Institute in Martin, Tennessee, a Baptist junior college. In 1927 the school was in danger of closing, and area civic and political leaders asked the state of Tennessee to step in and operate the school under the auspices of the University of Tennessee, which it did, renaming the institution the University of Tennessee Junior College. It operated under this name until 1951, when, with the addition of four-year fields of study leading to a bachelor's degree, it was redesignated the University of Tennessee Martin Branch. In 1967 it was designated as a primary campus of the UT system and given its current name.
Given its rural location, much of the focus of the school has been on undergraduate studies in education and agriculture, although many other courses of study are offered, particularly in the liberal arts, and in recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on business and engineering. There is an active ROTC program, and a school of nursing. There is a small graduate school, with most graduate degrees being conferred in education.
The school grew greatly in the post-World War II era, largely under the influence of the G.I. Bill of Rights, and again in the 1960s. It was noted that the school had almost as many entering freshmen in 1969 as it had overall students in 1961. Currently enrollment is approximately 6,000. It was the first campus in the University of Tennessee system to practice racial desegregation. A large experimental farm is operated, and there are several satellite campuses in West Tennessee (and one in Middle Tennessee). The campus is noted for being particularly scenic and well-landscaped. Athletic teams, now called the "Skyhawks," participate in the Ohio Valley Conference.
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