The University of Tennessee at Martin will name the road leading to the Veterinary Technology Center “Walker Lane” in honor of the Walker family, who has donated more than $29,000 to UT Martin and is strongly connected to the main campus.
Joe Walker was an employee of UT Martin for nearly 50 years. After serving in the Army and Air Force in World War II, Joe married his sweetheart, Verna, who he was married to for 69 years until her death in 2015. He worked at his family farm until 1951, when he began his work at UT Martin as the head of mechanical maintenance. He retired from his full-time position in 1985 and returned as a part-time employee until 2003, when he fully retired.
Joe’s brother, Raphael Walker, worked for the 7-Up Bottling Co. from 1946-56 and for Universal Flavors from 1956-91, where he earned the Salesman of the Year award three times. Raphael was a military veteran; he served in the Korean War from 1948-49 and in the National Guard from 1950-1953. He served as an alderman for the city of Martin from 1974-76 and was an active member of the Martin Church of Christ for over 40 years. Raphael and his wife, Mildred, were married for 68 years, and were long-term partners with UT Martin, by renting their large farm located next to the campus to the university.
Raphael’s son, Dr. Danny Walker, is an associate professor of veterinary health technology at UT Martin. Danny began teaching at UT Martin after 32 years in small-animal veterinary practice and serves as the lead professor in the Veterinary Health Technology program. He received the Elsevier Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017, which is a national award that honors educators who are recognized by their students and colleagues as exceptional instructors, and in 2019, he received the UTAA Outstanding Teacher Award. Danny has also served as the president of the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association.
For more information, contact Jeanna Curtis-Swafford, associate vice chancellor for development and planned giving, at firstname.lastname@example.org.