The University of Tennessee is a public land-grant research university in Knoxville, Tennessee. Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee became the 16th state, it is the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee system, with ten undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges. It hosts more than 30,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. It is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity".
UT's ties to nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, established under UT President Andrew Holt and continued under the UT–Battelle partnership, allow for considerable research opportunities for faculty and students. Also affiliated with the university are the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum, which occupies 250 acres of nearby Oak Ridge and features hundreds of species of plants indigenous to the region. The university is a direct partner of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is one of two Level I trauma centers in East Tennessee.
The University of Tennessee is the only university in the nation to have three presidential papers editing projects. The university holds collections of the papers of all three U.S. presidents from Tennessee—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson. Nine of its alumni have been selected as Rhodes Scholars and one alumnus, James M. Buchanan, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics. UT is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the oldest secular institution west of the Eastern Continental Divide.