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East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University was built on the foundation of a single gift.

 In 1909, when railroad giant George L. Carter offered his 120-acre farm and $100,000 in cash toward the establishment of the East Tennessee Normal School, he believed “big.”  He believed in what the normal school could mean for Johnson City.  He believed in what this institution would mean for the state’s education system.  And he believed in what this would do for the people of the region.  It’s doubtful he dreamed so big, that 109 years later, his farm would be home to over 14,500 current students, over 2,300 faculty and staff members, and serve as the symbolic “home” to over 93,000 alumni and countless partners and friends.  But it is.  Over these many years, East Tennessee State University has developed and maintained a reputation for providing our region and nation with quality graduates. These graduates have entered the workforce in various professions and distinguished themselves with outstanding service. This is George Carter’s legacy and this legacy continues to grow as our university moves into the future.

George Carter’s farm – the home of ETSU – is now in our collective hands.  In this regard, the foundation, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends are all servant-leaders for ETSU students and their families, for the people of this region, and for the good of the State of Tennessee. 

The purpose of the ETSU Foundation is to raise and manage private support for the institution and to support ETSU’s aggressive Strategic Plan to develop a world-class environment for students to thrive.  We will do this by utilizing a board of volunteers ( and by relying on a professional fundraising staff ( Together, we will all encourage, leverage, and celebrate the importance of a single gift.

We look forward to working with all of you to make this happen.  If we can be of assistance, please reach out to anyone on the “Contact Us” page or send e-mail to .  Also, follow us on Facebook at


Hite Sig                                                              Pam Sig

Lieutenant General Ronald V. Hite, U.S. Army Retired                 Pam Ritter
Chairman, ETSU Foundation                                                         President & CEO, ETSU Foundation

P.S.  COMING SOON - See the 2018-19 ETSU Foundation Board of Directors here.

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