The Volunteer Spirit Award is the highest honor given to a staff member at the university. Its significance is similar to the Torchbearer for undergraduates and the Macebearer for faculty.
Brian Gard joined UT after 23 years in the Marine Corps. He has been director of Emergency Management since 2010 and serves as emergency services coordinator to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. He is past-president of the state’s professional association for emergency managers and a graduate of the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy.
What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere? I need to have a higher purpose to make my work meaningful. Being a Volunteer means I get to contribute to changing peoples lives for the better. At UT, I have the support of the campus leadership, resources, and freedom to implement programs needed to succeed in my areas of responsibility. As a bonus, I get to work with professionals who are top tier in their areas of expertise.
Dr. Spencer Gregg
Dr. Spencer Gregg, a native East Tennessean, received his BA in biology from Carson-Newman University in 1985 and MD from UT Center for Health Sciences, College of Medicine in 1989. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the UT Graduate School of Medicine, UT Medical Center in Knoxville in 1990. After serving four years on active duty in the US Army as a general medical officer, he returned to Knoxville to complete his residency and has practiced in the Knoxville area as a board-certified internist since that time. He received his MBA from UT’s Haslam College of Business in 2013 and has been the director of the Student Health Center since 2016.
What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere? A Volunteer is someone who offers their service willingly. A Volunteer, however, is someone who does so as a positive reflection of the Tennessee community that was instrumental in developing them into the person they become. The University of Tennessee has provided me with an education and opportunities that I otherwise might not have been afforded. It has been an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience to have served our community during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and I am grateful to have shared this experience with so many other exceptional, fellow Volunteers.