The Hardy Liston Jr. Symbol of Hope Award goes to a faculty member, staff member, or friend of the university who demonstrates a commitment to diversity, multiculturalism, and appreciation of the differences in people and cultures on our campus.
Eric Stokes is a committed and passionate diversity leader. As senior assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and program director for the UT LEAD Summer Institute, Stokes is focused on recruiting, enrolling, and retaining a diverse freshman class. But his commitment extends well beyond the admissions office. Stokes works with the Knoxville Area Urban League’s National Achievers Society, Project GRAD Knoxville, the Public Education Foundation in Chattanooga, Gear UP statewide, and other college readiness programs for students from underrepresented communities. His nominator said, “His stellar leadership and constant efforts to motivate students to form their own thoughts about social issues and expose students to cultural experiences outside of the norm have undoubtedly helped our Volunteer community.”