April 18, 2024

Tuesday Traditions: The Hill

This week on Tuesday Traditions, we take a look at The Hill.

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This week on Tuesday Traditions, we take a look at one of the most iconic parts of campus, The Hill.

Just by taking a look at the start of the Alma Mater, you can see the importance of The Hill — “On a Hallowed hill in Tennessee Like Beacon shining bright.”

When the University of Tennessee was founded in 1794 as Blount College, it was located in downtown Knoxville. In 1828, the campus was relocated to what is now known as ‘The Hill’ and quickly started growing.

While expansion and construction have pushed the majority of campus to the west, The Hill still serves as a symbol for the university.

Today, The Hill holds the main part of the old campus and still rises gloriously to the sight, as it sits on the north banks of the Tennessee River above Neyland Stadium.

Ayres Hall was built in 1919 as a part of the original campus and sits in middle of The Hill. The Hill is also home to the oldest building on campus, South College Hall, which was built in 1872.

The Hill serves as the center for most activities for several majors at UT and was important enough to make it into the Alma Mater when it was written in 1928 by Mary Fleming Meek.

It also serves a major role on game days at Tennessee. The Pride of the Southland Band starts each home game by marching from Pat Head Summitt Street to The Hill. Once arriving, the Pride stops its parade and flips to face the hill and plays a brief concert, simply know as “Salute to The Hill.”

The Pride used to make the turn onto Peyton Manning Pass and then turn left on Phillip Fulmer Way, because of construction. The only issue was that The Pride could not actually face The Hill with the new route. Last season at the Western Carolina game, The Pride changed the route, so it could return to facing The Hill.

The band marches across the pedestrian bridge and down The Hill. Half of the band turns and faces The Hill, while the other half actually stands on it.

The Hill is also where Charles Moore spotted a group of orange and white daises growing. That small group of wild daises wound up inspiring Tennessee’s very distinct shade of orange.

Featured image by TNJN

Edited by Cody McClure

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Sam Forman is the lead sports staff writer for the Tennessee Journalist and is a senior studying Journalism and Electronic Media with a focus on sports broadcasting and reporting. He has been with TNJN since the fall of 2014. He is also a DJ for WUTK 90.3 fm. and a member of the Rock Solid Sports team. Sam has spent six years marching in the Pride of The Southland Marching Band. When he is not covering or talking sports, you can find him outdoors, playing music or hanging out with friends. You can find him on twitter: @samWforman