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The Pacer

University of Tennessee at Martin - Student Publications

Established in 1928. Press archives of the student newspaper at the University of Tennessee at Martin.


The University of Tennessee at Martin has had student-lead publications for most of its history, dating back to its time as the Hall Moody Institute in the early 1900s. The Baptist college's student newspaper, The Crimson & Gold was printed for several years according to Robert L. Carroll's book, The University of Tennessee at Martin: The First One Hundred Years.

Carroll says that a year after the UT Martin re-opened as the UT Junior College in 1927, students wrote articles that appeared in the Weakley County Press under the name The Checkerboard. In the Spring of 1928, the students printed a magazine by the same name which is considered the forerunner for both The Pacer and The Spirit, the former yearbook at UT Martin which has since become an annual magazine.

The first issue of The Volette was published December 17, 1928 as Volume 1, Issue 1. It contained no pictures and a handful of advertisements, along with a few "community news" notes that highlighted what students were doing, such as traveling to nearby cities or visiting family. The University of Tennessee system's athletic teams were all known as "Volunteers," which likely played into the decision to go with the name.

In the Spring of 1971, UT Martin broke with the university system and renamed their team the Pacers, and The Pacer followed suit with its first issue coming on October 6, 1971. While that issue was also labeled Volume 1, later staff members saw fit to reset the numbering back to that of the first Volette. As you browse the archives, you will see that the printed volume numbering will not match how it is archived.

Though the university’s nickname changed again in 1995, then-Pacer adviser Dr. Robert Nanney allowed the staff to vote whether to again change the newspaper's name to "The Skyhawk" or some other other variant, just as it had in 1971 to become The Pacer.

"By an overwhelming margin, the staff voted to retain the Pacer moniker for two reasons. First, The Pacer reflects an ever-evolving, pace-setting entity, and we believed the newspaper should continue to represent such on campus," Nanney said.

"Second, the staff believed that retaining the name would make it clear that the newspaper does not necessarily follow the recommendations of consultants."

Today, The Pacer is printed every other week during the Spring and Fall semesters.


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First Flight 2007 is a newspaper edition for new students at the University of Tennessee at Martin produced by The Society of Professional Journalists in cooperation with The Pacer .
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