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The Torchbearer with clear blue skies in the background.

As the fall semester winds down at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 95 students from across the state are finishing their first semester as Distinguished Tennessean Scholars.

UT launched the new scholarship program this fall which awards a tuition and mandatory fees scholarship, renewable for four years, to one outstanding student from each county across the state. The new scholarship is part of UT’s continued commitment to providing access to an affordable and valuable education shaped by a rich educational experience.

“While UT has become a destination for students from across the U.S. and globally, our focus remains on increasing access for Tennesseans, especially those who exemplify the volunteer spirit like our Distinguished Tennessean scholars,” says Kari Alldredge, vice provost for enrollment management. “We are proud of these outstanding students and proud they’ve chosen to be Volunteers.”

Meet the First-Ever Class of Distinguished Tennessean Scholars

  • Anderson County, Oak Ridge High School: Amelia Thomson
  • Bedford County, Shelbyville Central High School: Sophia Reed
  • Benton County, Camden Central High School: Cloe Mcdowell
  • Bledsoe County, Bledsoe County High School: Rian Fann
  • Blount County, Maryville High School: William Gardner
  • Bradley County, Cleveland High School: Paige Wenger
  • Campbell County, Campbell County Comprehensive High School: Eliza Johnson
  • Cannon County, Cannon County High School: Rebecca Green
  • Carroll County, West Carroll High School: Natalie Moore
  • Carter County, Elizabethton High School: Richard Vanhuss
  • Cheatham County, Harpeth High School: Cara Stuart
  • Chester County, Chester County High School: Jada Arnold
  • Claiborne County, J. Frank White Academy: Blake Stoner
  • Clay County, Clay County High School: Tamara Smith
  • Cocke County, Cocke County High School: Sophia Rouleau
  • Coffee County, Coffee County Central High School: Connor Fox
  • Crockett County, Crockett County High School: Logan Gaters
  • Cumberland County, Stone Memorial High School: Serenity Driscoll
  • Davidson County, Middle College High School: Jayden Phillips
  • Decatur County, Riverside High School: Adalyn Pettigrew
  • DeKalb County, DeKalb County High School: Sean Antoniak
  • Dickson County, Creek Wood High School: Kathryn Collins
  • Dyer County, Dyer County High School: Gabriel Jackson
  • Fayette County, Briarcrest Christian High School: Taylor Kearbey
  • Fentress County, Clarkrange High School: Kaylea Fields
  • Franklin County, Franklin County High School: Sydney Curl
  • Gibson County, Milan High School: Kameron Tharpe
  • Giles County, Richland High School: Nolan Robertson
  • Grainger County, Grainger High School: Audrey Stratton
  • Greene County, Chuckey-Doak High School: Hayden Sampson
  • Grundy County, Grundy County High School: Alexis Brady
  • Hamblen County, Morristown Hamblen East High School: Graham Goforth
  • Hamilton County, Signal Mountain Middle-High School: William Marsden
  • Hancock County, Berean Christian School: Julia Martin
  • Hardeman County, Bolivar Central High School: Cooper Henson
  • Hardin County, Hardin County High School: William Blount
  • Hawkins County, Volunteer High School: Aedyn Mullins
  • Haywood County, Tipton-Rosemark Academy: Jack English
  • Henderson County, Scotts Hill High School: Jarrett Tubbs
  • Henry County, Henry County High School: Elizabeth Taylor
  • Hickman County, Hickman County High School: Johnathan Jacobs
  • Houston County, Houston County High School: Elizabeth White
  • Humphreys County, Waverly Central High School: Zoe Turner
  • Jackson County, Jackson County High School: Cassidy Collins
  • Jefferson County, Jefferson County High School: Cecilia Payne
  • Johnson County, Johnson County High School: Jackson Matherly
  • Knox County, Bearden High School: Baylor Johnson
  • Lake County, Dyer County High School: Roberto Alamillo Banuelos
  • Lauderdale County, Ripley High School: Jazmin Henning
  • Lawrence County, Lawrence County High School: Peyton Smith
  • Lewis County, Tennessee Connections Academy: Maggie Kinker
  • Lincoln County, Lincoln County High School: Kimberly Mireles
  • Loudon County, Loudon High School: Sarah Pinkston
  • Macon County, Macon County High School: Aidan Flynn
  • Madison County, South Gibson County High School: Sophie Browning
  • Marion County, Whitwell High School: Caitlynn Lewis
  • Marshall County, Marshall County High School: Gracie Steely
  • Maury County, Columbia Academy: Libby Love
  • McMinn County, Central High School of McMinn County: Kellan Baker
  • Mcnairy County, Adamsville High School: Leslie Shaw
  • Meigs County, McMinn County High School: Alice Grace Beavers
  • Monroe County, McMinn County High School: Anja Shull
  • Montgomery County, Northwest High School: Coleton Montjoy
  • Moore County, Moore County High School: William Trice
  • Morgan County, Clarkrange High School: Jackson Austin
  • Obion County, Union City High School: Kobe Terrell
  • Overton County, Livingston Academy: Jettie Mabry
  • Perry County, Perry County High School: Ada Grinder
  • Pickett County, Livingston Academy: Brayden Poore
  • Polk County, Copper Basin High School: Joseph Boggs
  • Putnam County, Cookeville High School: Lisa Patel
  • Rhea County, Rhea County High School: Kaitlyn Neal
  • Roane County, Roane County High School: Trishu Patel
  • Robertson County, Greenbrier High School: Amburgey Lauren
  • Rutherford County, Oakland High School: Emma Jackson
  • Scott County, Scott High School: Gracie King
  • Sequatchie County, Signal Mountain Middle-High School: Iris Love
  • Sevier County, Gatlinburg-Pittman High School: Naerguess Siahatgar
  • Shelby County, White Station High School: Sophia Aiello
  • Smith County, Gordonsville High School: Lily Manor
  • Stewart County, Stewart County High School: Eli Haley
  • Sullivan County, Dobyns Bennett High School: Grace Nelson
  • Sumner County, Beech High School: Alexis Bullion
  • Tipton County, Brighton High School: Angelina Noneaker
  • Trousdale County, Trousdale High School: Mason Maddox
  • Unicoi County, Unicoi County High School: Lucas Rogers
  • Union County, Union County High School: Peyton Helms
  • Van Buren County, Van Buren High School: Eli Brock
  • Warren County, Warren County High School: Alyssa Carter
  • Washington County, Science Hill High School: Carmen Arielle Palileo
  • Wayne County, Wayne County High School: Savanna Mcclain
  • Weakley County, Westview High School: Natalie Williams
  • White County, Daniel 1 Academy: Dean Limper
  • Williamson County, Brentwood Academy: Brooks Brown
  • Wilson County, Green Hill High School: Macie Nunn

Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship Selection

Each year, one incoming first-year, in-state student from each of the 95 Tennessee counties who demonstrates exceptional academic performance and engagement will be awarded the Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship. Students who apply by December 15, the regular admissions deadline, will be automatically considered for this award.

The recipient must be admitted to the university and enroll the fall semester immediately following their graduation from a Tennessee high school.

UT is investing in more scholarships than ever before. In addition to The Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship, the university offers the Tri-Star Scholarship program, the Volunteer Scholarship, and other institutional scholarships to Tennessee residents. More scholarship opportunities can be found here. Students should apply by the regular admissions deadline of December 15 to be fully considered for these scholarships.


Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993,

Erica Estep (865-974-2225,