East Tennessean of the Year

Honoring an East Tennessee History Maker

Established in 2011 by the East Tennessee Historical Society Board of Directors, the award periodically recognizes and honors an East Tennessee history maker who is an ambassador for the region and represents integrity, dignity, leadership, and the volunteer spirit. The award is given to an East Tennessean with either a recent accomplishment or a compilation of accomplishments in fields such as history, politics, entertainment, education, research, or humanitarian work that improves the lives of others.


ETHS is Pleased to Announce the 2018 East Tennessean of the Year
Natalie L. Haslam

The East Tennessee Historical Society Board of Directors is pleased to honor a true servant leader as the 2018 East Tennessean of the Year. A native Knoxvillian, Natalie Haslam graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1952. She has been an active volunteer and philanthropist in Knoxville.

She was the first woman to be president of the Knoxville Symphony Society and has been president of the East Tennessee Foundation and the East Tennessee Historical Society. She was a founding board member of the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has served on the boards of the Tennessee Arts Commission, Child and Family Services, Knoxville Zoo, Maryville College, Webb School of Knoxville, Wellness Community and Junior League. A graduate of the Leadership Knoxville Class of ’86, she also has been president of the Knoxville Garden Club and the Arts Council for Greater Knoxville.

She was chosen as the University of Tennessee Volunteer of the Year in 1992. In 1995, she was awarded the national Amy Angell Collier Montague Medal from the Garden Club of America for her continuous leadership and service to the causes of the arts, education, history, mental health, gardening and conservation in Knoxville and the state of Tennessee.

She was the recipient of the National Conference for Community and Justice Award in 1996. In 2003, she reviewed the Governor’s Award from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Knoxville Award from the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Services.

The University of Tennessee’s music school, the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, was named after her in recognition of the support she and her family have given to the school over many years. Natalie married to James A. Haslam II, and they have six children, 18 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

2011 East Tennessean of the Year
2014 East Tennessean of the Year
2016 East Tennessean of the Year
2017 East Tennessean of the Year