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About the Pride Center


We build community, raise awareness, and celebrate diversity.


You belong here.


The Pride Center works to provide a safe and welcoming environment for UT’s diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, and intersex communities and their allies.


As a physical symbol of UT’s commitment to diversity, Pride Center provides support, resources, and a community space for UT’s LGBTQQIA and ally students, faculty, and staff, as well as anyone who seeks to learn about topics related to sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. Pride Center achieves this by sponsoring programs and events that raise awareness, increase visibility, and engage in advocacy regarding LGBTQQIA issues.


Contact us!

Pride Center

Melrose Hall F-103
1616 Melrose Avenue
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN 37996

Pride Ambassadors

“We believe the center is a vital resource to have on campus for all students, faculty, and staff. We’re glad the Center is here!” —Leticia Flores, faculty member

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The Pride Center on Google Earth.


Professors Bharat Mehra and Donna Braquet interviewed over 20 LGBTQ-identified students, staff, faculty, and alumni to gauge the needs of LGBTQ individuals at UTK.  Social isolation, a lack of formalized institutional support, inadequate support services, and disconnected LGBT advocacy efforts were challenges the community faced. Several participants mentioned the lack of space and resources for LGBTQ individuals, as well as the desire and need for a center.


A virtual resource center was established as part of the Commission for LGBT People’s website.Check out the virtual resource center here


Interim Chancellor Jan Simek met with the Commission for LGBT People. The Commission established a Resource Center Committee.


In June 2009 the committee completed a study and outlined a proposal for a center. Interim Chancellor Simek designated a space in Melrose Hall to be the location of the new center.


On February 25, 2010 the OUTreach: LGBT & Ally Resource Center opened. More than 200 people from campus, and the community attended the opening ceremony. Andrew Morse became the Center’s first graduate assistant. In April, UTK held the 2nd Annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony, one of the Center’s first programs.


In July, the Center became part of the Office of Diversity. This was the first time that the Center had an administrative home.  In August, Donna Braquet became the Director of the Center and special assistant to the Chancellor with a quarter time appointment, This meant Braquet spent 25% of her time working with the Center, with the other 75% of the time working with her primary role on campus. In September, the Center hired the first work study students allowing the center to be open throughout the week.


In June, the Center received oversight of the Safe Zone program, which was previously administered through Student Activities and Multicultural Student Life. LGBTQ+ and Ally Resource Center’s name changed to “The Pride Center” on August 10, 2015.The LGBT in the Center’s original name was no longer inclusive of all students. The Pride Center celebrated this  change at a grand re-opening and ice cream social event on October 6th.


Please contact the Center for permission to conduct journalistic interviews prior to arriving,at or 865.974.7803.  Please respect all students’ right to privacy and be attentive to the use of names and/or photos.

As a component of the University of Tennessee, the Center recognizes the importance of research to expand knowledge. The Center is committed to protecting human subjects participating  in university research.

Prior to initiating any research on human subjects at or associated with the Center, investigators must first obtain the approval of the University IRB through their established policies and procedures. Only research approved by UT’s IRB and the Center’s staff will be permitted on-site. Off-site research soliciting participants via e-mail must also have IRB approval from the researcher’s home institution.

For more information on research policies please visit the Office of Research and Engagement web site.



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