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UTSI Support Council is Hosting Reception for Caruthers May 23

The Support Council of The University of Tennessee Space Institute will honor John E. Caruthers, UTSI’s retiring leader, with a reception and “roast” at the Arnold Lakeside Club on the evening of May 23.

Joseph E. (Joe) Johnson, President Emeritus of The University of Tennessee, will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Council Chairman Dick Farrar of Fayetteville, in announcing the event, said it will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. with the program starting at 6:30 p.m. The affair is open to “all of John’s many friends in our area,” Farrar said.

While no admission is being charged, Farrar requested that reservations be made with Dee Merriman, professional assistant to Caruthers, by calling (931) 393-7213 or emailing A list of guests will assist security forces in directing visitors to the club, Farrar said.

“We especially want to thank Caruthers for his untiring efforts since he was named UT Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UTSI in April, 2001,” Farrar said.

“However, John’s contributions to the Space Institute and to education in Middle Tennessee extends back to April 1, 1978, when he joined UTSI’s faculty as an assistant professor teaching aerospace and engineering science courses and conducting fluid dynamics research.”

Caruthers has announced his retirement effective June 30 and he and his wife Susan plan to move back to their native Alabama. Don Daniel, former chief scientist at Arnold Engineering Development Center, has been named to succeed Caruthers and will join him at the Institute in early June.

Heavy Hors d’oeuvres will be served. A video presentation will be included on the program and special guests, including several officials from UT Knoxville, will be introduced.

Before named to his present position of leadership, Caruthers held two chaired professorships at UTSI. On Oct. 1, 1995, he became the first Jack D. Whitfield Professor of High Speed Flows, a position he held through November 1997. The next day, he became the third Space Institute faculty member to be selected as the B.H. Goethert Professor.

He had been promoted to associate professor on Sept. 1, 1980, and elevated to full professor on Aug. 1, 1996. In 2000, Caruthers was named UT Assistant Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at UTSI.

A native of Lanett, Ala., Caruthers graduated as valedictorian from Lanett High School and was named “Outstanding Engineering Graduate” from Auburn University in 1967, where he also earned a master’s degree in 1970.

In 1976, Caruthers received his Ph.D. from Georgia Technological University, having also attended Purdue University extension in Indianapolis. While pursuing his education, Caruthers received the General Motors Fellowship, National science Foundation Fellowship, and the Douglas Aircraft Fellowship.

Following graduation at Georgia Tech, Caruthers joined the Detroit Diesel Allison Division of General Motors Corporation in Indianapolis. As a scientist in the Analytical Mechanics Research Section of the Research Department, he developed advanced methods for aerodynamic designing of jet engines and for prediction of aerodynamically induced vibration in jet engines. He was employed by General Motors until joining UTSI in 1978.