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Nik Dalton

It was on a 2011 family trip to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas that Nik Dalton started thinking about a career in the resort business. “The Bellagio blew my mind,” says Dalton, now a first-year hotel and tourism management major at UT, where he is a recipient of both the HOPE Scholarship and the national Folds of Honor scholarship for military spouses and dependents.

Dalton grew up in a Navy family—his father, Victor, is a retired master chief petty officer. Born in Memphis, Dalton moved at age two with his family to Yokosuka, Japan, then at five to Hawaii and at 11 back to Memphis, where he was a base-stealing right fielder at Lausanne Collegiate School. “I love sports,” he says. “Playing them, watching them, debating about them.” He will play intramurals and is happy to discuss all aspects of UT sports along with his pro favorites—the Atlanta Falcons, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves.

Dalton chose UT because of its excellent hotel and tourism management program. “I’ve been traveling so much of my life,” he says. “I want to own a resort someday. I look at resorts like Sandals in Jamaica and I say to myself, ‘I could do that.’”


Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993,