Kurt Vonnegut in Tennessee

Kurt Vonnegut, who died this week at age 84, received part of his education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Writing in the Tennessee Alumnus Magazine, writer Aaron Purcell describes the program that brought Vonnegut to The Hill in 1943:

“With lower enrollment and nearly empty dormitories, the university easily accommodated such groups as the air corps cadets, who received five months of instruction in English, mathematics, history, geography, physics, and physical education while completing flight training. The Army Specialized Training Program also sent several hundred students to the University of Tennessee, including then-engineering student Kurt Vonnegut. This national program was distributed on college campuses across the country to prepare specialists in engineering, science, mathematics, and foreign languages for wartime demands. During the war, these and other government-sponsored programs educated thousands of soldiers on the Knoxville campus.”

I met Vonnegut once in Massachusetts and found him to be a personable and kind individual. Here is a photo of him as a young man:


photo by Edie Vonnegut

3 Responses to Kurt Vonnegut in Tennessee

  1. ~V~ says:

    Thank you for posting this photo.

    i found it via Google image search & used it in this post, in memory of the anniversary of Mr. Vonnegut’s passing.

    So it goes.

  2. Brianna Kellum says:

    I’m a current student at UT, and an AVID Vonnegut fan, and I was wondering where he lived when he went to UT. I live in a bery old building on cumberland ave, 1721 west cumberland, I was curious if he maybe stayed in my building, or where it was he stayed. Do you know what resources I should use, or someone who was maybe friends with him during this period i could speak to? I am absolutely dying to know. Feel free to email me at qzk839@vols.utk.edu thank you.

  3. tennesseeguy says:

    Alas, I have no further information on Vonnegut.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: