The University of Tennessee (also referred to as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UT Knoxville, UTK, or UT) is a public sun-grant and land-grant university headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee
Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee entered the Union as the 16th state, University of Tennessee is the flagship institution of the statewide University of Tennessee system with nine undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges and hosts almost 28,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. In its 2014 ranking of universities, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT 106th among all national universities and 46th among public institutions of higher learning. Seven alumni have been selected as Rhodes Scholars; James M. Buchanan, M.S. ’41, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics. UT’s ties to nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, established under UT President Andrew Holt and continued under the UT-Battelle partnership, allow for considerable research opportunities for faculty and students.
Also affiliated with the university are the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum, which occupies 250 acres (100 ha) of nearby Oak Ridge and features hundreds of species of plants indigenous to the region. The University is a direct partner of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is one of two Level I trauma centers in East Tennessee. As a teaching hospital, it has aggressive medical research programs.
The University of Tennessee is the only university in the nation to have three presidential papers editing projects and holds collections of the papers of all three U.S. presidents from Tennessee—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson. UT is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the oldest secular institution west of the Eastern Continental Divide.