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Marian Moffett Unsung Hero Award


ESTABLISHED: Spring 2006

JUSTIFICATION: This award was established to recognize and reward one female faculty member, one exempt female staff member and one female non-exempt staff member. The Marian Moffett Unsung Hero Award winners are recognized as those who work behind the scenes at the University of Tennessee to make the work of those they work for and with easier each day.

BACKGROUND: Marian Scott Moffett received her PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975 and came to The University of Tennessee that year as an Assistant Professor in Architecture. Dr. Moffett’s professional work took her from study of the cantilevered barns of East Tennessee to wooden architecture of Poland. Dr. Moffett worked quietly and behind the scenes at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville to make a difference in the lives of those working with her. She was very involved in the governance at UT, serving as Associate to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 1993 to 1999, Associate Provost from 2000 to 2001 and Associate Dean in the College of Architecture and Design in 2003 and 2004. She served as President of the Faculty Senate in 1985-86 and contributed much to UT by serving on many University committees.

In her personal life, Dr. Moffett was a past President of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalistic Church and a member of the Greater Knoxville Recorder Society. Her recognitions for her work for the UT community are many, including the Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Service to the University. She was very proud any way she promoted the active role of women at The University of Tennessee and proved this by being a most active contributor to the welfare of women here. Dr. Moffett’s legacy at UT is her work which highlights the contributions of women in the University community.

Dr. Moffett passed away September 26, 2004 in Knoxville.


Award is given annually and is announced in the Fall. The award recognizes women from three categories:

  • Faculty
  • Staff Exempt
  • Staff Non-Exempt

Nominations are solicited from the University community, and the final selections are made by the Marian Moffett Award Committee.


Winners are recognized for their dedicated and selfless service to the University community. Their good works, so often behind the scenes, inspire and empower the students, faculty, and staff persons around them to reach farther and work harder to attain their
academic and personal goals.


  • Framed certificate


Faculty—Bonnie H. Ownley (Associate Professor, Entomology and Planet Pathology)
Staff Exempt—Melissa Parker (Director of Advising Services, Arts and Sciences)
Staff Non-Exempt—Mary Robinson (Administrative Aid, Office ofthe Chancellor)