The changing University of Tennessee

By Ralphine Major

I felt like a stranger in a foreign land.  How could a place that was once so familiar to me during my college days and afterwards look drastically different now?  A recent drive down Cumberland Avenue on The University of Tennessee campus was eye opening.  Gone were many of the businesses and buildings that, in my mind, would forever be fixtures to the area.  I once could name nearly all of them—the Torch Restaurant, Ruggles Colony Shop, McClellan’s, and more.  Now, even some of the fast-food restaurants are no longer there.  The four-lane stretch of highway now appears more pedestrian friendly with only two lanes and a median between them with grass and trees.  On the day I traveled Cumberland Avenue recently, cranes were hoisting heavy steel for new buildings that will add more change to an area that already has a totally new look.

One building still standing on “The Hill” is Ayres Hall.  It is the iconic image of the university often shown on national television when the sports teams are playing.  Congratulations to the men’s and women’s basketball teams who represented Tennessee in this year’s tournaments.  The Lady Vols played in the Sweet Sixteen, and the Vols went on to play in the Elite Eight.  As I neared the end of Cumberland the thought entered my mind to drive around to the other side of the campus.  Then I decided against it.  I had seen more than enough change for one day.  That will have to wait for another day.  A glance back through some old college photos would be sufficient.

Words of Faith: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV).