Donor Spotlight: Martha Leiper – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Athletics
Name: Martha leiper
Joint: Mike Leiper
Occupation: Executive Vice-President and Director of Investments at UNUM
Town of residence: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Foster mother: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga – 1988
Member of Club Mocs since: 2020
What prompted you and Mike to join the Mocs Club and support the efforts of our student-athletes?
Passionate about sports, I have always appreciated the passion and dedication of student-athletes. Mike and I are the parents of three children who played competitively through high school and understand the rigor and sacrifice these student-athletes go through to play at the college level. We are delighted to promote this program which has a positive impact on these future leaders of our community. We have so much respect for the program, the faculty, the staff, the athletes and the caliber of the graduates. I know they are well prepared for the future.
Tell us how you got to UTC to graduate?
I transferred my last year of university to UTC. I was engaged to Mike and knew we would be living in Chattanooga. I met Dr. Fulmer from the business school and was impressed with the program, faculty, and professor / student ratio. Within a year of graduating, I enrolled in the MBA program. After that, I came back and took additional accounting courses so I could take the CPA exam. For a moment Mike wondered if I would ever stop taking classes! UTC had so many course options and access to great teachers.
What is your favorite memory from Chattanooga Athletics?
I was a transfer to school and worked while finishing my studies so I didn’t have a lot of time to attend sporting events as an undergraduate student. I’m making up for it now. Mike and I returned to Chattanooga from San Antonio, Texas in 2019, just before Covid. We are very happy to attend the football games this fall. The atmosphere at Finley Stadium is amazing. We are fortunate to have such a good program in Chattanooga. We can attend games, support our local university, and enjoy the fall football experience without the cost, hassle and crowds of Division I FBS schools. I have a lot of pride in Chattanooga and UTC. I think the university is a hidden gem in our city.
What’s your favorite part of living in Chattanooga?
Chattanooga is an amazing city. When we lived in Texas and came back to visit, I remember our kids commenting on how cool Chattanooga was. I don’t know if you fully understand this until you live far away. Magnificent surroundings, friendly people, ease of getting around and proximity to big cities. We have the best of both worlds. It is definitely an environment conducive to a healthy work-life balance.
What are your interests outside of Chattanooga Athletics?
I like sports and outdoor activities in general. We enjoy hiking, biking, boating and attending local festivals.
Tell us how your degree from UTC has helped you build a successful career?
My training prepared me well for my career. When I transferred to UTC, a finance degree took me 9 additional hours of accounting compared to my previous program. It gave me a very solid foundation for finance and investing. In the MBA program, there has been a strong emphasis on group projects and problem-solving skills that are essential for management.
Favorite place to eat in Chattanooga?
We have so many great restaurants in Chattanooga that it’s hard to pick just one. We love spending time on the Riverwalk and on Main Street. I would count STIR, State of Confusion and Boccaccia among our favorites.
What would you say to other community leaders to get them involved in Chattanooga Athletics?
I encourage other community leaders to come out and support our hometown college. A strong sports program will contribute to a vibrant community and the games are so much fun. Go out and experience it for yourself.
What advice would you give to our student-athletes?
1. Congratulations! You have an opportunity that many dream of but few realize.
2. Stay focused on your education.
3. The discipline required to graduate and compete at the college level will serve you well.
4. Take advantage of your university experience and give back to UTC after you graduate to ensure the continued success of the university.
About the Club des Mocs:
The Mocs Club is the annual fundraising arm of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Athletic Department. The support of each Moc Club member benefits more than 300 Moc student-athletes. The financial support generated by the Mocs Club is aimed at lowering the cost of student-athlete scholarships and having a positive impact on our student-athletes in the classroom, on the playing field and beyond.
Mission of the moccasin club:
Generate resources to support the academic and athletic success of all UTC student-athletes.
You are not a member of Club Mocs and would like to register?
The Mocs Club strives to reach 1,500 Mocs Club members by 2022. Contact the Mocs Club at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (423) 425-4233. You can also register by clicking on the link below.