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The Torchbearer

Our beloved academic mascot, the Torchbearer, exemplifies everything it means to be a Volunteer. We light the way for future generations through leadership and service.

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For 50 years, the Volunteer statue, best known by its nickname the Torchbearer, has been the proud embodiment of a UT Volunteer, a combination of leadership and service that improves the world around us.

The torch is a symbol of knowledge, enlightenment, truth, and intellectual optimism—the belief that the light of truth and reason overcomes the darkness of ignorance.The inscription at its base reflects the university’s ideals of service. It bears the words of inspiration, known as the Volunteer Creed: “One that beareth a torch shadoweth oneself to give light to others.” Watch below to learn more about this iconic statue and the most prestigious student award given in its honor from a campus tour guide.


Learn more about the Torchbearer


Torchbearer Pro-Tip

If you are on Rocky Top to watch Tennessee football, you won’t want to miss The Vol Walk. Two hours before kickoff, The Vol Walk starts at the Torchbearer statue in Circle Park and follows Peyton Manning Pass, all the way down through Gate 21. You will see the Vol Spirit Squads and the Pride of Southland Band cheering in front of the football team as they walk down to Neyland Stadium.

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