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GSE History

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees voted on March 29, 2017 to name the Graduate School of Education in UT Knoxville’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences for David T. Bailey, a longtime supporter of the college and the university.

Bailey, who lives in Knoxville, is the largest supporter of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. He has provided financial support for the college and scholarships for future educators to help them make a difference in the lives of students in Knoxville and across the state.

“I can’t think of a more fitting way to recognize the generosity of David Bailey than to name the Graduate School of Education in his honor,” said Bob Rider, dean of the college. “His dedication to our teacher education students, and in turn to the thousands of children whose lives they will touch, is beyond reproach. Mr. Bailey’s name will forever be etched on the walls of our graduate school and in the minds and hearts of the many students who will benefit from his philanthropy.”

Bailey is a 1950 alumnus of UT’s Haslam College of Business and played for the Volunteer football and golf teams during his time on Rocky Top. He became a successful business executive and a benefactor to the university and the community.

“The impact of opportunities afforded to students and faculty of our renamed graduate school as a result of Mr. Bailey’s generosity will ripple through their lives and the lives of those with whom they work throughout their careers as educators,” said Susan Benner, associate dean of the college and director of the graduate school.

In 2007, the Claxton Addition wing of the college’s Claxton Education Building was renamed the Jane and David Bailey Education Complex in honor of Bailey and his wife.

The David T. Bailey Graduate School of Education is ranked 47th among all public universities by U.S. News and World Report.

For more information about the college and its graduate and undergraduate programs, visit