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Chilcote and Driskill named Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award recipients

Carson-Newman University awarded its Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards during its fifty-fourth annual Honors Convocation. Awardees Kelly Chilcote and Derek Driskill (pictured center) stand with University Provost Jeremy Buckner (left) and C-N President Charles A. Fowler (right).

Carson-Newman University announced that Kelly Chilcote and Derek Driskill are recipients of the 2023 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. The recognition, announced during C-N’s Honors Convocation, is the highest honor the University presents to students.

A resident of Chattanooga, Chilcote is a cross-cultural sociology major with minors in both missions and criminology. She is described as “a living embodiment of Carson-Newman’s ideals and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan qualifications.” Not only is she a four-year Faith & Justice Scholar, but she far surpassed the program’s requirement of 50-hours of service per semester. Through work with YOKE Middle School Ministry, Renovatus, and True Life Church, she accumulated a total of over 1,000 hours of service in the community. She is an advocate for members of Tennessee’s Death Row, including taking part in monthly in-person visits and written correspondence with inmates.

As a member of our Forensics Team, she secured a first-place statewide finish in Persuasive Speaking, earning her a spot in nationals. Along with forensics, her campus involvement has included Mortar Board Honor Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Tri Alpha Honor Society, a University Orientation Leader, Residence Hall Chaplain and member of C-N’s Homecoming Court.

“Kelly is a dedicated Christian who not only excels in academics and service, but is constantly striving to grow as a human in order to serve others better,” said Dave McNeely, coordinator of the University’s Faith and Justice Program. “She is an excellent ambassador of Carson-Newman.”

Driskill is an English literature major from Newport. Since beginning his time at Carson-Newman, he has sought ways to get involved, inspire others, and make a difference.

Embracing opportunities, he has served as vice president of C-N’s chapter of Alpha Chi Honor Society, resident assistant in Butler Hall and lead RA in Appalachian Commons. Currently president of the student body, he has also held the roles of vice president and freshman delegate within the Student Government Association. In representing SGA, Derek utilized conversations with the University president, members of executive leadership, as well as faculty and staff to advocate for students and the betterment of Carson-Newman. He is a student ambassador and Niswonger Scholar.Driskill was also selected to serve on the Residence Life Task Team, a group charged with planning and presenting designs for West Campus Commons, C-N’s first new residence hall complex in over 20 years.

Derek is a friend to many,” said Emily Feist, director of Alumni Relations. “He is a recognized leader among his peers and the perfect example of what it means to embody C-N’s mission of helping students reach their full potential as educated citizens and worldwide servant-leaders.”

The New York Southern Society established the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1890 to honor an Indiana native and Manhattan attorney who was considered a living example of genteel spirit and Christian compassion. The awards, which are donated by the foundation that bears his name, are granted at more than 70 colleges and universities to graduating seniors, one female and one male, who “excel in high ideals of living, in fine spiritual qualities, and in generous and unselfish service to others.”

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