Gift Planning

A Planned Gift Grows Student Engineers and Entrepreneurs

Lee Martin

Engineering Entrepreneurship Program Director H. Lee Martin (left) is also Professor of Practice in the Tickle College of Engineering.

"The Engineering Entrepreneurship Program taught me that there are no real-world problems that cannot be solved," explains Brooke Ballard, a senior in the Tickle College of Engineering. "Our world faces a plethora of gigantic, complex problems, and knowing that every one of them can be solved—with research and imagination—is truly something this generation of engineers needs."

Ballard is just one of many students trained in entrepreneurship and mentored by Professor H. Lee Martin ('78, '86), whose tagline for the program is "Come for a degree...leave with a company!" The program, started a few years before the campus-wide entrepreneurship minor, delves deeper into technology and provides exceptional mentoring to each engineering student.

Martin's uncle, Roy Burkle Martin, also saw the value of teaching engineering students entrepreneurship. Roy received his mechanical engineering degree from UT in 1935. For the bulk of his career he was a specialist in HVAC with Allen & Hoshall, but he was also an entrepreneur, founding and leading Roy B. Martin Consulting Engineers for five years.

Scholarship recipients with H. Lee Martin

Brooke Ballard (center) is one of many students who has gained from the mentorship of Professor H. Lee Martin (far right) in the Engineering Entrepreneurship Program.

Through a planned gift, Roy endowed a scholarship to encourage engineering students to enter and complete the entrepreneurship minor. The impact on students' lives is immeasurable.

"The Roy B. Martin Entrepreneurship Scholarship was a big confidence booster for me," says Ballard. "I am a first-generation, 100 percent financially independent student. Freshman year, I was overwhelmed with uncertainty, but being awarded this scholarship helped me recognize that I was on the right path."

Like Roy Burkle Martin, you can make a meaningful gift to UT that will have a lasting impact on future Vols. Contact the Office of Gift Planning at 865-974-2370 or giftplanning@utk.edu to begin your giving journey.