KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee officially dedicated its newest residence hall on Saturday, paying tribute to the man the building is named after.
Stokely Hall officially open its doors to residents back in January. Now, after four months of housing students, the university said the dorm setting an example of the future of dorm living.
"It's a new way of living at the University of Tennessee," Chancellor Beverly Davenport said.
684 students now call Stokely Hall home.
"It's brand new, it's exciting. People get excited to come to Stokely or any of the new buildings," Jada Blackwell, a student resident assistant, said.
On Saturday, the university held an official ribbon cutting. The event showed their gratitude to man the new dorm is named after, William B. Stokely.
“They've given a lot to us in terms of education and involvement. Our blood runs orange," Stokely said.
The Stokely family has given back to the university for the last 100 years.
“We’ve got four generations of Stokelys that have graduated here. We’ve been involved for four generations. I can’t say much more than that,” Stokely added.
The new dorm also showcases a new way of life at UT, integrating education and student life.
"In talking to students as they are visiting on a campus tour, our students want to know: where am I going to live? Where am I going to eat? And this facility highlights the best of what we have to offer," Frank Cuevas, assistant vice chancellor of student life & director of housing, said.
Blackwell said the new space offers everything a student could want with its suite-style living, study space, even classrooms within the building. UT's goal is to bring learning directly to students.
“It really does represent what learning today means. You eat, you learn, you gather, you socialize all in the same space," Davenport said.
"It's where we have to come back every day after class. We live here for a whole academic year. It's where we want to bring our family and show them how we're living," Blackwell added.
The university said Stokely Hall is helping to keep UT competitive, so it can keep recruiting the best and the brightest students.
The dorm is one of three new residence halls on campus. Brown Hall opened in 2014 and Orange & White Hall opened in January. The University plans to open three more dorms in the near future. It's all a part of UT's vision to transform student life on campus.
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