State Senator Douglas Henry to Retire

Senator Douglas Henry (D-Nashville)The longest-serving member in the history of the Tennessee General Assembly has officially announced that he will not be running for reelection in 2014.

State Senator Douglas Henry (D-Nashville), age 86, will continue to serve the remainder of his current term.  He represents the State’s 21st Senatorial District.

Beginning his legislative career in 1955, Henry served in the State House for one term.  He was later elected to the State Senate in 1971, where he served as the longtime Chairman of the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee.  Senate Finance is widely recognized as one of the legislature’s most powerful committees.  He now serves as the Committee’s Chairman Emeritus, alongside Senate Finance Committee Chairman Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge).

Senator Henry has been a tremendous advocate for public higher education over the course of his legislative career.  “He always had a keen interest in higher education and was always willing to sit and explore these issues.  Senator Henry was very interested in how he and his colleagues could help UT improve.  He wanted your advice and thoughts,” says UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson, commenting on Senator Henry’s service.  “He gave priority to the enhancement of higher education–public and private–in Tennessee.  The things I appreciate most about him are his availability and his thoughtfulness.”

In recent years, Senator Henry played leading roles in a number of education reforms, including the First to the Top Act and the Complete College Tennessee Act.  UT President Joe DiPietro reflects on Henry’s career, saying, “He was a great champion of higher education, and we appreciate his support.”

Please join us in thanking Senator Henry for his commendable service to the people and the State of Tennessee.