Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pat Summitt Plaza dedication on Friday

At 11 a.m. on Friday, UT will honor the legacy of legendary Lady Vol basketball coach Pat Summitt with the dedication of a plaza bearing her name and the unveiling of a statue that was created in her likeness.

The dedication and unveiling of the bronze statue, created by internationally-known artist and sculptor David Adickes of Houston, Texas, will be held at the newly-constructed plaza on the corner of Lake Loudoun Blvd. and Phillip Fulmer Way. The event will be streamed live on

UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Dave Hart will help the university pay tribute to Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA men's or women's basketball history. During her 38-year tenure from 1974 to 2012, the Lady Vols posted a 1,098-208 record (.840), won eight NCAA National Championships and claimed a combined 32 SEC regular season and tournament titles while graduating all 122 players who completed their eligibility at UT.

Along with the current Lady Vol staff members and players, several former players are expected to be on hand to help celebrate the accomplishments of Summitt during the late-morning ceremony. Following the unveiling of the statue and snapping of some group photos, a private luncheon honoring Summitt will be held in the Anderson Training Center.

The dedication is an outdoor event, and public seating will not be provided. Guests attending the ceremony will not be allowed to bring folding chairs of any kind.

Parking for the event will be available in the G-10 garage, located between Thompson-Boling Arena and Neyland Stadium. Access to G-10 will be via Neyland Drive only. Spaces for vehicles with disabled parking placards will be available in staff lot 23, located at the corner of Neyland and Lake Loudoun Blvd.

UT visitors and employees should be aware of temporary street closings for the dedication and plan travel accordingly.

Phillip Fulmer Way will close at 9 a.m. on Nov. 22 from the Andy Holt Tower administrative parking garage entrance to the intersection with Lake Loudoun Blvd. At 10:30 a.m., Lake Loudoun Blvd. will close from Neyland Drive to Volunteer Blvd. UTPD will manage traffic and crowd control for the event and will reopen streets when the crowd has dissipated following the event.

Approximately 600 donors stepped forward to provide financial support for the Pat Summitt Plaza, with leadership gifts coming from the LaPorte family of Elizabethton, Tenn., and Houston, Texas, and the Hilleary family of Spring City, Tenn. The LaPortes donated the statue, while the Hillearys provided the lead gift for the plaza in honor of Bill Hilleary, a community and business leader from Rhea County.

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