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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An Atlanta couple with ties to Alcoa and Maryville high schools has established a $50,000 scholarship fund at the University of Tennessee.

The scholarship, which gives preference to Blount County students, is a memorial to Alan K. Thompson, son of Herman and Peggy Thompson.

Alan Thompson, who suffered from depression, took his own life Jan. 18, 1998. He was 34 years old. Elizabeth Watts, Maryville, is his grandmother.

Herman Thompson is a graduate of Alcoa High School and UT, class of 1957. He played basketball for the Vols 1954-57, captaining the 1957 squad and leading that year’s team in scoring.

Peggy Thompson is a graduate of Maryville High School and Knoxville Business College.

Alan was a graduate of Dunwoody High School and West Georgia College. A marketing major, his career was in the computer printer industry. He enjoyed snow skiing, scuba diving, sky diving and other sports.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be graduates of an accredited high school, enrolled full-time in undergraduate studies at UT-Knoxville, and able to demonstrate a willingness to help support themselves and their higher education aims through employment.

Top academic credentials are not a requirement, but applicants should have high school grades and college admissions test scores that reflect strong academic potential.

To remain eligible for the award, recipients must stay full-time students with a grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.