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A University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sign near an entrance to the campus along McCallie Avenue is photographed Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A $15 million anonymous bequest, the third largest in University of Tennessee at Chattanooga history, will be used to create a Fund for Excellence to support facilities, research, equipment and scholarship, according to a news release.

"This extremely generous donation will have transformational impact on the university and our ability to provide an excellent, high-quality educational experience for our nearly 12,000 students," UTC Chancellor Steven Angle said. "We are deeply grateful to the longtime and steadfast UTC supporter who has made this commitment and for the impact it will have on current and future generations of UTC students."

An endowment managed by the University of Chattanooga Foundation will be set up so that the chancellor may allocate money for equipment and technology needs; facility enhancement, renovation or expansion; support for scholarly research; undergraduate and graduate student scholarships; and experiential learning opportunities for students, the release states.

Kim White, CEO of River City Co. and chairwoman of the University of Chattanooga Foundation, noted that "Gifts of this size to higher education are rare, regardless of the institution, and at $15 million, this is the third-largest single private gift ever for UTC."

White, also a member of the UT Board of Trustees, said the gift was "an amazing example of investing in higher education through philanthropy."

University of Chattanooga Foundation Executive Director Bryan Rowland said private support for UTC has risen dramatically in the last five years.

"This marks the second eight-figure commitment made to UTC in the last eight months," he said. "From capital investment in our facilities to an emphasis on experiential learning, Chancellor Angle has the university on an amazing trajectory, and our alumni and friends are supporting his vision."

In 2018, private giving to UTC totaled $57.3 million, the highest annual total in university history, according to the release.

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