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 chapters 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 Vice-Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture, Tim Cross, is an initate of Alpha Kappa Chapter of AGR. The past Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, Dr. Jimmy Cheek and the past 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 eight Tennessee Commissioners of Agriculture as members, seven are UT AGR alumni.
Alpha Gamma Rho is the only fraternity on Fraternity Row to own its own house. An extensive $2.5 million renovation of the current chapter house ending in 2018 was conducted by the UT AGR Alumni Chapter to modenize and update the house built in 1967.
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.
AGR at UT is one of the strongest fraternity chapters on the UT campus. Active chapter membership in Spring Semester of 2020 was 112 undergraduate members. Since 1951, AGR has initiated 1405 brothers into the UT chapter. UT's AGR chapter is one of AGR's largest collegiate chapters as well as one of UT's largest, if not strongest fraternity. AGR has been named as UT's outstanding fraternity two of the past three years. AGR's membership training, focus on academics and building better men into better citizens, social life and mentorship have increased AGR's status at UT and in attracting the highest quality best UT men for membership.
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 2020, AGR members were awarded $52,000 in scholarships from the UT AGR Alumni Association.
The UT AGR House lives 30 brothers; 2 per room with A/C, internet, cable access. etc. House rent per semester is $1000.00 per room.
AGR had 24 brothers graduate from UT in during the 2019/2020 academic year; in 2018/19, 26 AGRs graduated from UT. 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 Winter 2020 was 3.42 with 56 brothers making the Dean's list (3.50-4.0) and 14 collegiate brothers recording 4.0 GPS! The Fall Semester 2019 GPA was 2.97 & Spring 2018 it was 3.19.
John Calvin Bryant was named as an UT Torchbearer for 2020, the second AGR to have been given UT's highest honor 2 of the past 3 years.
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. The Herbert College of Agriculture named AGRs as its Outstanding Junior and Senior for 2020.
Intramural sports are a big part of fraternity life and AGR participates in such sports as football, basketball, and softball.
For 43 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. 164 alumni in 2019/20 paid voluntary alumni dues of $17,875 to support AGR at UT. UT's AGR chapter has 1247 living alumni; over 900 in Tennessee with another 300+ scattered across the United States in over thirty states.