He says it's a surprise he never expected.

On Thursday, former UT President Dr. Joe Johnson received the "Knoxville Award" from the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service group. The award is given to people who the group believes really go out of their way to take care of the community.

Past winners include Pat Summitt, Hallerin Hilton Hill, and Senator Howard Baker, Jr.

Dr. Johnson says being grouped in with those big names means the world to him.

"In looking at all the people who have received this award, to think that I'm on the list, is the highest compliment," said Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson served as UT President for nearly a decade back in the 90's.