UT renames Writing Center in honor of Judith Anderson Herbert

The newly renamed Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center expresses gratitude to Herbert family on Oct. 11.

Welcoming students all week long, the Writing Center offers free services, tutoring sessions and even a grammar hotline. On Oct. 11, at 3:30 p.m. in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, the center honored Judith Anderson Herbert, a supportive alumna of the Writing Center.

When Herbert entered the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she had the intention of majoring in education. However, after having to grade assignments for an English teacher, she quickly switched her major.

“I scored high enough on the entrance exams, so I started out in education,” Herbert said in Higher Ground. “During that time, it seemed like most girls would be teachers, but that didn’t appeal to me at all.”

After graduating from UT with a degree in English, she soon realized a problem between a portion of college students and writing skills.

“I reviewed the resumes of young people coming into my husband’s business and would be appalled at their writing skills,” Herbert said.

With this in mind, she and her husband, Jim Herbert, set up the Jim and Judi Herbert Excellence in Writing Endowment in 2017 to supplement undergraduate tutoring.

As a small token of appreciation, the Writing Center renamed its program the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center.

Administrative Support Assistant for the Herbert Writing Center Michele Wilson addressed the renaming process:

“All of our logos, every piece of literature and signage were changed,” Wilson said. “It was really fascinating to see what happened behind the scenes.”

In attendance at this event, the Herbert family brought a new kind of energy. 

“Not only is [Judith Herbert’s] commitment to the university huge, but also her understanding of how important writing is to all majors,” Wilson said. “The family was very approachable and kind. It made a difference as far as the excitement of what their gift is going to enable us to do in the future.” 

Following Herbert’s example, the Herbert Writing Center aims to create a lasting impact.

“The Herbert Writing Center shows that the university genuinely cares about the student body,” Wilson said. “It is one thing to offer top notch classes, but to provide free services presents the opportunity to really plant the seed early especially with freshmen. The university really makes an investment in their students.”

Featured image by Abigail Francis

Edited by Grace Goodacre and Ciera Noe