Skip to main content

Three new UT Volunteers and East Tennessee residents have been awarded the newly created Randy and Jenny Boyd Scholarship for tnAchieves students.

The scholarship helps students who participate in the tnAchieves program and earn their associate’s degrees from a Tennessee community college to earn their bachelor’s degrees from UT. The Boyds provided a $1 million gift to establish the program.

The recipients were recently notified of their award.

  • Timothy Whitehead, of Lenoir City, Tennessee, graduated from Pellissippi State. He previously attended Greenback High School in Loudon County.
  • Andrew¬†Frantz, of Knoxville, graduated from Pellissippi State and previously attended Hardin Valley Academy in Knox County.
  • Eleanor Loy, of Maryville, graduated from Pellissippi State and previously attended Alcoa High School in Alcoa, Tennessee.

Whitehead was surprised when he was told he received the scholarship.

“I am extremely grateful for receiving the Randy and Jenny Boyd Scholarship. It has prevented me from taking out extra loans that I would have had to take.” Whitehead said. “My first few weeks have been challenging adjusting to the new workload and higher-level classes, but it is nonetheless exciting to see how far I have come.”

All tnAchieves students who earn their associate’s degrees and apply to UT are automatically considered for the scholarship. Recipients are chosen from a pool of applicants who have completed the tnAchieves requirements. The scholarship provides $1,000 a year toward tuition and fees.

“We are excited to offer tnAchieves students the opportunity to transfer to become Volunteers. Furthering their education will open doors for them in the work world,” Randy Boyd said. “Our hope is to make a difference in the lives of people who can then make a difference in our state.”

Randy Boyd earned his bachelor’s in industrial management from UT in 1979. The Boyds have invested in numerous UT programs. These include the Boyd Venture Fund, which rewards young entrepreneurs through an annual competition, and a community-based school initiative at Pond Gap Elementary School. The couple has also supported UT Athletics and provided a gift to create the PetSafe Chair in Clinical Animal Behavior, placing the College of Veterinary Medicine in an elite group of veterinary schools that have a behaviorist on their faculty.

Founded in 2008 in Knox County, tnAchieves is a statewide organization that aims to increase higher education opportunities for Tennessee public high school students by providing last-dollar scholarships with volunteer mentor guidance. Boyd chairs the tnAchieves board.

Andrew Frantz is majoring in biology and biochemistry and hopes to be a tnAchieves mentor one day.

“TnAchieves helped me obtain my associate’s degree debt-free. I was very excited to also obtain the Randy and Jenny Boyd Scholarship,” said Frantz. “The scholarship program allowed for me to engage and experience college. The fact that someone has faith in you to continue your education means everything to me.”

Boyd is chairman and CEO of Radio Systems Corporation and previously served as special advisor for higher education to Governor Bill Haslam. In that role, he focused on increasing the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or professional certifications to 55 percent by 2025. The Boyds’ gift contributes to Governor Haslam’s goals along with the university’s goals for enrolling more transfer students.

More than 6,400 Tennessee students have entered a postsecondary institution through tnAchieves. Most of the young men and women are first-generation college students. To find out more about tnAchieves, visit the website.

C O N T A C T: 

Karen Simsen (865-974-5186,