All individuals who have been awarded a varsity letter “T” in an NCAA-sanctioned intercollegiate sport at UT (both men and women) are considered members of the Letterman’s Club. The Varsity Club was formed in 1903, and women are recorded as having been in a Varsity Club in 1906, although the first varsity letters were not awarded to women by the Athletic Council until 1920. (Varsity sweaters were first awarded to women’s basketball team members in 1925.)
The Athletic Council enthusiastically adopted the notion of a Varsity “T” Association in December 1919. The Council decided to give all “T” men a lifelong pass for admission to all forms of athletics on the Hill, and to have special, reserved places for them at athletic events. The Varsity “T” Association was formally organized on April 20, 1922, with the adoption of a constitution and bylaws. Adolph Hatcher was the first president. In 1925 the club selected a gold key in the shape of a “T” which was to identify the members when the sweaters were not being worn. In 1922 freshmen lettering on the freshman team were given sweaters with their class numerals (’26) on them. All letter awards for male athletes were standardized in 1915. The UT Lettermen’s Club was the first such organization in the South.
The Girl’s “T” Club was organized in spring 1928 with four members. It was composed, according to the 1928–29 freshman manual, The Torch, of those girls who “have shown an interest in athletics and have been awarded the letter.”