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Your first step to becoming a TRUE VOLUNTEER at the University of Tennessee!


Note: Although there may be overlap, students who participate in Ignite will not be penalized in any way for missing pieces of the 2021 Welcome Week programming. We work closely with New Student Orientation to ensure that all incoming students have the resources and support they need to start their UT experience strong.


Ignite 2021 registration is NOW OPEN!


Questions about Ignite? Check out the Ignite 2021 Participant Information Book!

Ignite has a strong tradition on our campus, and incoming students have been participating in the program for nearly twenty years. Each year 1,000 incoming students participate—you do not want to miss out on this Volunteer experience!

Ignite is a fun way for incoming students (freshmen and transfers) to start their time at UT! Ignite shows new students what it means to be a true Volunteer and connects them with other new students as well as UT student leaders all while having the time of their lives!

Ignite program dates for 2021:

All programs are led by current UT students serving as Student Directors and Team Leaders.

Each session of Ignite costs $200 each. No payment is required at the time of registration for Ignite Knox, Ignite Serves, or Ignite Summit; we will charge your student account for the appropriate amount in September. (Payment for Ignite Outdoors is due at the time of registration.)


Click here to apply for a 2021 FEE WAIVER

Students in need of financial assistance to attend the program are encouraged to apply for a fee waiver to attend cost-free. Ignite Fee Waivers are need-based. Please complete the following form to be considered. Applicants must attend an Ignite session to be eligible to receive the fee waiver.


    • Meet hundreds of other UT students
    • Experience campus, the outdoors, or the city of Knoxville like never before
    • Participants have a greater success rate than non-participants in making it to graduation
    • Participants go on to become premier student leaders, serving in a variety of roles on campus



Ignite Knox is a three-day leadership and community engagement program that introduces students to our Scruffy City. Participants engage in conversations with UT alum and city leaders, tour the city, serve local nonprofits, and participate in leadership activities.

Ignite Leadership Summit is a three-day camp-like leadership retreat focused on the Volunteer values. Students participate in a ropes course, team builders, and leadership activities.

Ignite Outdoors is a four-day outdoor trip filled with adventure, leadership, learning, and outdoor skill development for all experience levels. University of Tennessee Outdoor Pursuits staff takes pride in providing a meaningful experience for participants. With training in navigation, wilderness first aid, risk management, group dynamics, leadership, and technical skills, our leaders are well prepared to provide an enjoyable, learning adventure for students. The challenge of the wilderness provides many amazing opportunities to learn about how to cope with new challenges. This experience eases the transition to college life.

Ignite Serves is a three-day service experience for 500 incoming students. Participants move into their residence halls early and participate in local service opportunities, leadership programming, and social events.

What Former Ignite Participants and Their Parents Have to SayStudent with an Ignite shirt look up and the American flag in front of Ayres Hall


“My experiences at Ignite helped me define what it really means to be a Tennessee Vol and how to become a part of campus.” —Ignite participant

“Both of our children participated in Ignite their freshman year and became leaders in the program. It was a great introduction to UT and helped them meet new people in a smaller setting. I would highly recommend this program to incoming freshmen.” —Mary La Haie, Nashville 

“Participating in Ignite was probably the single best decision I could have made before stepping on campus.” —Ignite participant