Life Members Sponsor a Polynesian Sea Turtle

It’s not every day you see a turtle who reminds you of a UT football player.

Frank A. King, BA ’78, JD ’95, and Katy Morehead Witt Maninen, BBA ’92, Life Members, were on vacation in French Polynesia when they visited the Le’ Hibiscus Sea Turtle Preserve. The preserve pays local fishermen to turn over sea turtles for rehabilitation instead of eating or selling the endangered creatures.

The crew of King and Maninen’s ship, the Vanira II, sponsored the turtle pictured above. King named him “Tommy” after legendary UT linebacker Tommy Nobis. “I suggested the name because of his strength—he was not easy to hold for the picture —his powerful build, and the speed he exhibited swimming away from the boat,” King says.

King released Tommy back into the water after the turtle’s stay at the preserve.

“Tommy seemed to be stunned at first when I put him back into the lagoon, but took off like a scalded cat,” King says.

From left: Katy Morehead Witt Maninen, Frank A. King, and Captain James Michael Spence. Spence was a commanding officer in UT”s Navy ROTC program from 2009-2010.


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