The Sorority and Fraternity Life Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes alumni that have made significant contributions to their organizations, the University of Tennessee, or within their respective professional fields. Nominations can be made through the annual Fraternal Excellence Awards. Explore the full list of inductees and a short description below.
Congratulations to our inaugural class of inductees!
Yvonne Ayers is a member of Pi Beta Phi and is a graduate of The University of Tennessee. During her time at the university, she served as a chapter officer, a Rho Chi (Recruitment Counselor now known as a Gamma Chi), and Panhellenic President. Her first year post-graduation, Yvonne served as a graduate consultant for Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Headquarters where she traveled to over 30 chapters in 9 months. After that role, she served as Regional Advisor in the Nashville area for five chapters. Since then, Yvonne has served as Alumnae Club President, Vice President, and Treasurer. She also has served on various committee chairs. Yvonne also has played a significant role in the Christmas Village fundraiser in Nashville, TN that is put on by the Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club. The event is in its 60th year and has raised almost $13 million for various charities. In addition to all of this, Yvonne has also served on the Alumnae Advisory Committee for the Pi Beta Phi Chapter at Vanderbilt for six years. Yvonne is proud to not only be part of her sorority, but is also proud to be a Tennessee Vol.
Ann Baker Furrow is a member of Alpha Delta Pi and graduated from The University of Tennessee is 1967. She was the first woman to play on a men’s varsity sport team at the University, playing on the men’s golf team from 1964 to 1965. In addition to this, she was the first woman to give a commencement speech at the University in 1971, and was also the first woman to serve on the UT Board of Trustees. Following her graduation from the university, Ann had a successful golf career, becoming the 1978 Women’s Southern Amateur Champion and is a member of the Tennessee, the Greater Knoxville, and the Blount sports halls of fame. She has served on board for UT Athletics, Covenant Health, Fort Sanders Foundation, Tennessee Valley Authority, and is a founding board member of Spiritual Heritage Knoxville. Ann Baker Furrow Boulevard in Sorority Village was named in honor of Ann in 2012.
Don Frieson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated and graduated from The University of Tennessee in 1990 where he studied Operations Management. Originally from Memphis, TN, Don first attended the university to study engineering and later transferred to the College of Business. Post-graduation, Ron began his career with Kroger and worked in management for 12 years with Schneider National Carriers. In 1999, Ron joined the Walmart company where he would later be named Senior Vice President in 2007 for the Central Division. In addition to his career successes, Ron is active in the community where has served as a member of the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Advisory Board at the University. Don is also honored with being half of the namesake of the Frieson Black Cultural Center, sharing the buildings name with his brother Ron.
Ron Frieson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated and graduated from The University of Tennessee in 1981 with a degree in Finance. After graduation, Ron would begin a substantial career at BellSouth. He later became the operations manager and eventually the Vice President of the company. He expanded advertising efforts internationally in Latin America and directed the online Yellow Pages effort. In 1999, Ron joined the consumer services division and later became the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer in 2001. Under his direction, BellSouth became a main sponsor of a Gay Pride Parade, formed “networking groups” based on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and extended insurance benefits to same-sex couples. Later in his career, he became interim president of the Atlanta Urban League and later served as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Ron is also honored with being half of the namesake of the Frieson Black Cultural Center, sharing the buildings name with his brother Don.
Born in Roane County, TN in 1941, Sam Furrow is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Repperts School of Auctioneering and the Certified Auctioneers Institute of Indiana University. In addition to his commitment to education, Sam has shown consistent dedication to multiple organizations and volunteers often. He has served on the board of directors for Leadership Knoxville and the Knoxville Zoo. He is also very active in the Beck Cultural Center, the Boy Scouts of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Knoxville, and the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Knoxville. He has also been honored by the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service and The National Conference of Christians and Jews for his volunteerism. In addition to this, he has been recognized nationally by his fraternal headquarters. He was awarded the Raymond L. Gardner Alumnus of the Year Award in 1992 and has been involved with the Tennessee Gamma chapter of Phi Delta Theta as a chapter advisor, Province President, Alumni Club President, and Phi Delta Theta’s Board of Trustees.
Charlie Morgan joined Phi Sigma Kappa in the fall of 1967, the first fall that Fraternity Park was officially open. Since graduating from UT in 1971, Charlie has been an active volunteer both with the University and with Phi Sigma Kappa. Charlie has served on the Phi Sigma Kappa Alumni Board since 1973 and has held every position possible from Treasurer to currently serving as President and helped to rebuild the house after structural damage in the 1990’s. Charlie has also served in volunteer roles for the University’s Board of Governors and on the Board for the Faculty Club. Charlie currently serves as President of Gray Hodges, a local plumbing and cabinet distributing company and has been with the company for 35 years. Charlie credits his success in learning how to run a business from his time in the fraternity and states that he would not be where he is today without the social and organization management skills he has learned throughout his membership with Phi Sigma Kappa. Fun fact about Charlie, he has only missed one home football game in Neyland Stadium since 1967. Now that’s a Vol for Life!
Bert Sams is a member of Alpha Tau Omega and has been involved in the chapter for over 50 years. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees to the Pi Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega for over 30 thirty years. He was initiated into the fraternity in 1965 and graduated from The University of Tennessee in 1967. After graduating, Bert stayed close to home and connected with the fraternity and sorority community at The University of Tennessee. After working at the university for 30 years, he retired in 1999 as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. After retirement, Bert took this opportunity to remain involved within Alpha Tau Omega. He began serving as a chapter advisor and also served in many various leadership capacities with Alpha Tau Omega headquarters. He also helped the Pi Chapter set up the Brad Whittington Memorial Scholarship Fund that is administered by the Alpha Tau Omega Foundation. In honor of this and all of his contributions, the Pi Chapter created a scholarship award in Berts honor; the Bert Sams Man of the Year Award. Outside of his fraternal duties, Bert is involved in Habitat for Humanity, his church, and Friends of the Library.
Daniel C. Wheeler was born in Crab Orchard, Tennessee in 1942. He is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and was initiated in 1962 into the Alpha Kappa Chapter. Daniel graduated from The University in 1964 with a bachelors in Agriculture. Although Daniel was only an undergraduate member of his chapter for two years, he served as the intramural chairman, recruitment chair, house manager, and secretary. After graduation, he worked as an insurance and field agent with Farm Bureau for 29 years where he eventually served as Chief Administrative Officer. Daniel was also named “Man of the Year” by Progressive Farmer Magazine. After his term ended with Farm Bureau, Daniel became the director of the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture, later becoming President. He has also been honored by his fraternal headquarters as one of their “Brothers of the Century”.