Campus News Archives

Dedication ceremony planned for UT Martin Solar Garden


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut


MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin will host a dedication ceremony for the UT Martin Solar Garden, a student sculpture project located outside the Paul Meek Library, at 1:30 p.m., April 21, in the Boling University Center plaza.

The solar garden’s creation was a collaborative effort between students and faculty in the UT Martin departments of engineering and visual and theatre arts. The sculpture was made possible by donations from UT Martin alum Bill Blankenship and the support of then-chancellor Bob Smith. Blankenship is a noted university donor who also supported a large portion of the construction of the UT Martin Fine Arts Building. The Blankenship Recital Hall, located inside that building, is named for him and his wife, Roberta.

The dedication ceremony April 21 will include the unveiling of a plaque honoring those who supported and participated in the project’s design, including 10 UT Martin students. The sculpture features two large metal flowers on either side of a freestanding “tree,” which gathers solar power to help support the campus. The tree’s “trunk” is made of a specialized handmade paper designed and created by UT Martin students to withstand outdoor elements and maintain a tree-like shape and texture.

In case of rain, the ceremony will be held in room 206 of the Boling University Center.

For more information on the UT Martin Solar Garden and the collected energy, visit


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