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Colby Dorcely

Dorcely hopes to return to Haiti and engage in community development through job creation, education and vocational training.

Supply Chain Management - Alumni

Colby Dorcely graduated in 2016 from UT’s Haslam College of Business with a major in supply chain management – something he wouldn’t have thought possible in 2010 when his family was caught in a devastating earthquake in their home community of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Although the earthquake lasted for only 28 seconds, it crippled much of the island country. Buildings were reduced to rubble and nearly 230,000 Haitians were killed, including several of Dorcely’s friends, a pastor from his church and his teacher.

“The earthquake left a tremendous devastation in the country and in the community where I was living,” says Dorcely. “It exacerbated the poverty in the country. But what was most dangerous to me was the deep sense of hopelessness that the community felt. I thought it was the end of the world.”

Following the earthquake, Dorcely was working as a translator between victims and volunteers when he met Todd and Kristi Stewart, two pastors from Knoxville’s Grace Baptist Church. The Stewarts helped him get a student visa to come to the United States.

Dorcely attended Pellissippi State Community College for two years before transferring to UT in 2014.

“The professors taught with so much passion and enthusiasm,” he says. “I felt convinced that it was the college I wanted to pursue my degree in.”

Dorcely spent a great deal of his time at UT in the library and TRECs but found a true passion in Bridges International, a Christian organization on campus.

“We serve international students by facilitating their transition to campus and creating a community for them to feel loved and appreciated,” he says. “Being an international student myself, I understand how hard and overwhelming the transition can be, so I have been absolutely privileged to serve with Bridges International in that capacity.”

Dorcely is now considering graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in economics or law school. He hopes to return to Haiti and engage in community development through job creation, education and vocational training.

“My motto is that life on earth is ephemeral – it is crucial that I live it for something durable, eternal – something bigger than my short existence on this earth,” he says.