The University of Tennessee Knoxville Chancellor, Jimmy Cheek, hosted a welcome reception August 3 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) in Tullahoma honoring its new Executive Director, Mark Whorton. Approximately 150 people attended to show their support.
Chancellor Cheek opened the reception with welcome remarks noting the great turnout and acknowledging the tremendous support of UTSI. He stated, “UTSI is a world class and nationally competitive Institution holding on to its rich tradition and proud heritage as we continually develop.” Cheek alluded to Butch Jones’ philosophy in describing UTSI’s growth process as “brick by brick we will build a strong foundation” so we can look back and see what productive years we have had and our accomplishments.
In introducing Whorton, Cheek stated that Whorton received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology and his MS in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. He comes to UTSI having been a Branch Chief at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and more recently President of Teledyne Optech, Inc. and Chief Technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering.
UTSI’s new Executive Director addressed the group stating how fortunate he feels to be given the opportunity to join UTSI which is a world class one-of-a-kind research facility on a beautiful campus setting. UTSI has tremendous assets and proud partners in the community and with our support we are a strong team. Whorton’s vision for the Institute is to continue being a place of distinction and a destination of choice for students.
Chancellor Cheek noted the presence of Charles Wharton, a member of the UT Board of Trustees, Senator Janice Bowling, Colonel Rodney Todaro, Commander of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, Dean Wayne Davis, UT College of Engineering and Anthony Haynes, Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy.
Whorton, a native of Alabama, is married to Lee Whorton, and they have three beautiful daughters.