UT’s Torchbearer statue relighted at ceremony

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Students returning to campus for the fall semester at the University of Tennessee will be greeted by the iconic Torchbearer statue on the renovated plaza at Circle Park, now with its flame burning bright once again.

The torch was relighted in a ceremony Thursday morning. It had to be turned off during the renovation project. The rebuilt plaza is now wider to accommodate larger outdoor events and features new trees, streetscape elements and sidewalks.

Circle Park has been updated with new paths, landscaping, and a new irrigation system.

Related story: UT alumnus upset about plan to relocate Torchbearer engraved bricks

“The whole fact that we’ve been renovating Circle Park this summer and students are finally back on campus, and just like reigniting that flame on that torch bearer, kind of starting the year off right,” said Mariah Beane, student services director.

The new academic year begins with $87 million in improvements.

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