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On the way to watch a basketball game at the University of Tennessee at Martin, Floyd Flippin drove through Sharon and saw the “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural painted on a grain bin.
He knew he wanted to be a part of that message.
“My doctor is a UT grad. My dentist is a UT grad. The utility manager here in Humboldt is a UT grad. Our insurance agent is a UT grad. All of the judges in Gibson County that I practiced in front of are UT grads. Just everywhere I look, I do see UT,” said Floyd, who graduated from UT Knoxville with a Bachelor of Science in communications in 1980 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1983. His wife, Guinda, earned a nursing degree from the UT Health Science Center in 1986. Their children, Clint and Claire also have graduated from UT Knoxville.
Floyd’s relationship with the university began as a child as his grandparents were friends with legendary UT President Andy Holt.
“That probably tweaked my interest in the University of Tennessee,” he said.
That passion bloomed in September 2020 into a 50-foot-by-15-foot mural painted on the side of the Flippin Law Group building in downtown Humboldt. It is visible to about 1.2 million travelers a year and is the sixth installment in the campaign.
Guinda said as she travels from Memphis to Knoxville to Chattanooga to everywhere in between, she sees evidence of UT.
“It’s there for anybody,” she said. “It’s very attainable to go to one of the colleges.”
Additionally, the couple said they have experienced the expert assistance from UT Extension with their garden in Humboldt to the Flippins’ century farm in Milan, which recently had its highest cotton yields, as well as aid from the UT Institute for Public Service’s County Technical Advisory Service.
“Every facet of your life, the University of Tennessee can be involved in and they are in ours,” Floyd said.
And the Flippins know how UT can change a life.
“It got me out of my box,” Guinda said about studying at UT Knoxville before transferring to UTHSC. “It allowed me to grow into a person I didn’t think I even knew existed. The nursing faculty was very encouraging and did anything they could to make you be a success. They were wanting to help you in any way they could.”
Flippin Law Group
1302 Main Street
Humboldt, TN 38343
Troy Freeman started his mural painting career while still in high school, painting mascots for his and area schools before advancing to sign painting work for local farmers and then founding his own business.
Free Sky Studios, Inc. is a Springfield, Illinois, based professional mural and sign painting business providing commercial and residential clients with a professional source for quality, creative work. With more than 20 years of experience, Troy focuses on delivering quality service marked with exceptional talent and professionalism in every project.
From a 65-foot corn cob to 4-story Frank Lloyd Wright tribute mural, Troy has the experience and expertise to tackle any location we envision.