Haslam Receives ‘First of Its Kind’ $400,000 Sustainability Endowment

The endowment by iSustain, a national leader in industrial recycling, will support graduate students with a passion for protecting and improving the health of the natural environment.

March 7, 2023

iSustain, a national leader in industrial recycling, established a $400,000 graduate fellowship endowment to support students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business.

iSustain committed $200,000 to the university, which will receive a one-to-one match from Haslam’s matching gift program for a total of $400,000. This endowment will support graduate students with a passion for protecting and improving the health of the natural environment, both in business and in their personal lives. The predicted amount of the annual scholarship is approximately $18,000.

Stephen L. Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair at Haslam, said, “iSustain’s creation of this endowment will serve to assist generations of UT students in achieving their career and life goals. Their investment will help ensure that the business leaders of the future are both well-trained and committed to preserving our planet’s natural resources.”

Paul Clark, senior director of development for Haslam, said, “This will be the first scholarship, undergraduate or graduate, within the Haslam College of Business that gives preference for students who are passionate about, and engaged in, promoting sustainability. This is a truly groundbreaking investment. This fellowship could be the difference between a full-time graduate student working multiple jobs or being able to focus on their studies.”

While there are various scholarships available to undergraduate students, graduate students often must pay for their studies with personal funds or teaching assistant positions. No federal or state aid is available to graduate students, making this fellowship all the more vital. Not only does establishing this endowment help fill the need for students seeking a graduate-level business education, but also the scholarship is a first-of-its-kind that seeks students who demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.

According to Mark Huber, vice president of business development at iSustain and 1997 UT graduate, the company wants to exponentially expand its environmental impact.

“Establishing this iSustain endowment will forever fund scholarships each year to students dedicated not only to seeking higher-level business education, but also to students that demonstrate a love and passion for improving our planet,” Huber said. “We create the greatest impact by not only assisting students in perpetuity, but also creating the business sustainability leaders of tomorrow.”

About iSustain

iSustain works with businesses across North America to improve their sustainability programs by reducing and beneficially reusing waste. Since iSustain’s inception, the organization has been fully committed to not only helping corporations improve their environmental footprint but also has worked with nonprofits to further drive its community impact. Whether it’s partnering with the Tennessee Aquarium to not only understand the threat of microplastics, but also help educate its visitors on the subject each day, or donning wader boots and helping inspire and educate the community to support river clean up with Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, iSustain supports the preservation of the environment.


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist, rmcnutt4@utk.edu