Retirement Dinner

Our department head, Dr. Michelle D. Deardorff, has arranged a retirement dinner on August 21 at the Mountain City Club here in Chattanooga, which I am looking forward to as an opportunity to reconnect with some of my former students over the years.  She has drafted the following letter with her usual skill and deftness, which I am posting in case some invitees may not receive the letter but may see this posting and wish to attend. I wish to thank the seven individuals mentioned in the letter for their willingness to serve on the Steering Committee for the contemplated lecture series that Dr. Deardorff mentions in her letter.

“After 45 years of dedicated service to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Dr. David Carrithers has decided to retire to focus his time and energy on his beloved Montesquieu. Our newest Professor Emeritus, after a short career in the UTC Department of History, joined political science to teach public law and American political thought; he served as department head and as pre-law advisor for many years. As the Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Government, he edited four well-regarded books on Montesquieu and currently is completing a new translation of some of Montesquieu’s more obscure works into English. If you would like to catch up with David, visit to view his new website that discusses his intellectual passion.

In order to celebrate the career of this outstanding educator and mentor, who remembers so many of you in great detail, we are gathering on August 21st at the Mountain City Club, located at 729 Chestnut Street in Chattanooga, for a dinner in his honor. We hope that you will be able to join us. A reception will begin at 6:00 PM, with dinner and program to follow at 7:00 PM. Please visit /carrithersdinner to RSVP, view meal options and purchase tickets, or call Ms. Amy Oaks at (423) 425-4281 for more information. Dress is business casual, and we ask that you please RSVP by August 10th.

In addition to the dinner, we are working to raise money for a speaker series that will be named after Dr. Carrithers and will focus on contemporary topics in constitutional law and thought. Our hope is to use this annual event to pull together UTC alumni, students, and faculty with the local legal community and other interested members of the public to discuss key controversies in public law. Dr. Carrithers has modeled a life in pursuit of societal good as it is understood within its historical context. To ensure that this series perseveres and stands as a lasting tribute to an extraordinary legacy, we have assembled a steering committee of alumni and community leaders who will help us identify the speakers and ensure that there is not a too overt focus on Montesquieu! They join us in hoping that you will support us in our goal to fund this series and celebrate with us on August 21st.

Please join us in making a tax-deductible gift or pledge to the David Carrithers Speaker Series today. For your convenience, a postage-paid reply envelope and pledge form are included with this letter. Please make checks payable to the University of Chattanooga Foundation. To make a credit card gift via our website, visit and click on the “Make a Gift” button, adding “David Carrithers” to the designation field noted “Other.” Pledges may be made in annual payments, and credit card gifts may also be made via phone by calling the Development Office at (423) 425-4232. All annual donors to the speaker series will be listed by name in each event program.

On behalf of the students and faculty of Political Science, Public Administration, and Nonprofit Management,


Michelle D. Deardorff, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science and Department Head
On behalf of the David Carrithers Speaker Series Steering Committee,

H. Franklin Chancey ’85  Charlotte Kimsey ’09   Russell Fowler  McCracken Poston ’82   Zachary H. Greene ’01  Robert Wheeler ’12   Tom Greenholtz ’96”



2 thoughts on “Retirement Dinner

  1. Good day Dr. Carrithers, it is with a mixture of sadness and joy that I have received your email about your upcoming retirement. The thing is that it is, in great part, your course entitled “Philosophy of punishment” that fueled my desire to pursue a Ph. D. in Political Science with a focus on death penalty. I am currently conducting research on prison reforms in Africa (with Nigeria as my main country of study) and I keep on referring to the notions you provided me in that fundamental course.
    Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the dinner on August 21 but my heart and good wishes will be directed towards Chattanooga that day.
    Thank you for all your help and support since 2005 when I enrolled to your courses at UTC.

    Best wishes in your future endeavor,

    1. Thanks so much for those comments, Lionel. I vividly recall your work not only in that course but also in American Political and Constitutional Thought during your year in Chattanooga as an exchange student. I wish you well in all your future endeavours.

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