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Former Tennessee Tech President Dr. Angelo Volpe Passes At 83

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Former Tennessee Tech President Dr. Angelo Volpe Passes At 83

Retired Tennessee Tech University Dr. Angelo Volpe died Sunday evening at the age of 83.

Volpe served as president of Tech from 1987 to 2000. Dr. Robert Owens, Tennessee Tech’s Chief Diversity Officer, said he first met Dr. Volpe when Owens was a freshman at Tech in 1993.

“I believe he changed the trajectory of the institution,” Owens said. “I believe that Tennessee Tech has always been a great institution, but he did some things in his tenure that have really set the foundation for the great institution that we see now.”

Owens said that one thing he’ll remember most about Volpe was his jovialness. He said that from the first time he met Volpe to the last time Owens saw him, his spirit never changed.

Owens said not only was Volpe a “magnificent man,” he was an excellent leader. He said that Volpe’s perspective as a northerner gave him the ability to take the university to new heights.

“He made a significant move towards making diverse hires if you will,” Owens said. “So under his tenure, although it may not seem to be a lot now, there were people of color that were hired that at the time was a significant number of people hired as faculty and as administrators, and that’s important. I’ve heard that up until recently, under the leadership of Dr. Oldham, we saw the most movement around diversity at Tennessee Tech University.”

He said that despite not being a local, Volpe always showed his love for the university and the community as a whole.

“He was not a southerner, but he loved the institution and he moved it forward while maintaining who he was as an individual, and I think that’s very unique,” Owen said. “He didn’t try to make Tennessee Tech into a northern institution, not from what I saw. But he maintained who he was as a northerner if you will while leading Tennessee Tech to higher heights.”

Arrangements for Dr. Volpe are pending.


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