Alpha Kappa Chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR), the national fraternity for agriculture, life sciences and related interests, is located at 1840 Fraternity Park Drive in Knoxville, Tennessee. Better know as "AGR", the UT chapter was chartered at UT on January 27, 1951. UT's AGR chapter is one of four AGR chapters in Tennessee (the others are at UT-Martin, Middle Tennessee State, and Austin Peay State) and one of 70 AGR chpaters across the country. AGR has members from across Tennessee, as well as four other states. AGR members have majors ranging from Turfgrass Management, Food and Ag Business and Animal Science to Engineering, Construction Science, and Marketing.
The Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Dr. Jimmy Cheek and the Chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture, Dr. Larry Arrington, are both members of Alpha Gamma Rho. Both Chancellors were initiated into the University of Florida AGR chapter. AGR counts six Tennessee Commissioners of Agriculture as members, all alumni of the UT-Knoxville Chapter.
Alpha Gamma Rho is the only fraternity on Fraternity Row to own its own house. Extensive renovation over the past seventeen years has modernized and updated the AGR house.
Since 1992, AGR has been a "hazing free" fraternity. Pledging has been eliminated and what is expected of a new member is the same as a graduating senior.
Two $1000.00 scholarships for incoming male freshmen and transfer students with confirmed admission to the UTK College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and/or an interest in in agriculture and related fields is available annually. Concluding at Homecoming 2011 was the AGR Alumni Association's extremely successful Capital Campaign, "The Campaign for AGR-Make A Difference". 139 alumni and ten friends pledged over $815,000 towards scholarships for AGR members and future house needs. In 2012, AGR members were awarded $27,000 in scholarships from the UT AGR Alumni Association.
AGR at UT is one of the strongest fraternity chapters on the UT campus. Active chapter membership in Spring Semester of 2013 was 87 undergraduate members. Since 1951, AGR has initiated 1172 brothers into the UT chapter.
The UT AGR House lives 30 brothers; 2 per room with A/C, internet, cable access. etc. House rent per semester is $625.00 per room.
AGR had 17 brothers graduate from UT in during the 2011/2012 academic year, with three more in December 2012. Academics are important at AGR as the fraternity has manditory study hours for all new brothers as well as brothers who do not meet the chapter GPA for the previous semester. AGR's GPA for Fall Semester 2012 was 2.88 & Spring 2012 it was 3.19.
AGR members are active on the UT Campus, both on the Ag Campus as well as "The Hill". Members are active in leadership positions across campus as well as clubs, scholastic organizations and honorary fraternities and societies. Since the late 1970s, AGRs have been honored as Smokey's Handlers, UT's bluetick hound mascot.
Intramural sports are a big part of fraternity life and AGR participates in such sports as football, basketball, and softball. The 2012 AGR basketball team was undefeated in it's league last winter and the 2013 basketball team made it to the IFC playoffs.
Alpha Gamma Rho at UT has received several national awards & recognition for 2011/12. Alpha Kappa received "Green Chapter" status in recognition of high achievement in six of seven categories, which include academic excellence; lifelong membership development; alumni relations; chapter publications; recruitment; chapter website; and Promise & Values. AGR also received Highest Honor for Recruitment Excellence in recognition of their year-round efforts and quality control efforts. Alpha Kappa, along with the Highest Honor in recruitment initiated the largest number of new members into AGR by one single Chapter in 2010/11; 33 men were initiated into Alpha Kappa during the 2010/11 school year.
For 35 years, AGR members have been handlers for Smokey, UT's bluetick hound mascot. AGRs has led UT's football team thru the "T" for every home game since 1977.
AGR alumni also assist the chapter by offering leadership, financial backing, and mentorship to collegiate members. 200 alumni in 2012 paid voluntary alumni dues of $14,325 to support AGR at UT. UT's AGR chapter has 936 living alumni; over 700 in Tennessee with another 200+ scattered across the United States in over thirty states.