Long-Time UT Supporter to Speak at Haslam Spring Graduate Hooding Ceremony

April 14, 2023

Janet McKinley (HCB, ’80), who has been an avid supporter of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and its Haslam College of Business for over 40 years, will deliver the commencement address for the Haslam graduate programs hooding ceremony. The event will be held at the university’s Student Union on Wednesday, May 17, at 11 a.m. The ceremony will also be viewable on livestream. For complete details on the commencement proceedings, including parking availability and security measures, please visit commencement.utk.edu.

After earning her bachelor’s in accounting from Haslam, McKinley joined BellSouth Corporation, where she held positions of increasing responsibility, which culminated in her becoming chief audit executive, in which role she implemented sweeping internal audit changes. McKinley received her MAcc from the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 1988, and she is also a certified internal auditor.

Upon retirement, McKinley dedicated herself to creating and funding initiatives that help others build foundations for success. She was the founding president of the BellSouth Women’s Networking Alliance and served as board chair for Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta. McKinley served on multiple boards and created a scholarship for women returning to school to complete their college education. A member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2005, she was also named the 2005 Canon Businesswoman of the Year, the 2006 Office Depot Woman of the Year and one of the 2009 Pathbuilders Achieva Top 20 Women of Achievement.

In her continuing commitment to UT, McKinley served on multiple boards and councils, including the UT System Foundation Board and UT System Development Council, where she served as chairperson. She is a member of several university societies, including the 1914 Society and the Alliance of Women Philanthropists. McKinley received the UT Knoxville Alumni Service Award in 2014 and the Brenda G. Lawson Legacy of Leadership Award from the Women’s Alliance in 2016.

McKinley has established many scholarships, including the Women in Business Scholarship for female student-athletes enrolled in Haslam, the Auditing Excellence Scholarship in honor of her father and the McKinley Family MAcc Scholarship Endowment, which recognizes three generations of her family as UT accounting graduates. McKinley created the Grads to Golf program to encourage business students to play golf and understand its importance in business, as well as the Bob and Barbara McKinley Student Enrichment Endowment that focuses on experiential learning for Herbert College of Agriculture students.

About the Haslam College of Business

Founded in 1914, the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, consists of more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Its graduate and executive education programs, seven departments, six centers and institutes and four forums reach across the for profit, not-for-profit and governmental sectors of business, with a heavy emphasis on practical research. Its nationally ranked supply chain management, business analytics, marketing and accounting and information management programs are well known for their innovative curricula and experiential learning. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was founded in 1794 and was designated Tennessee’s land-grant institution in 1879.


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