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Niswonger Scholars building legacy at Carson-Newman

Rising Carson-Newman University freshman Derek Driskill joins Hope Adkins, the University’s Alumni Relations coordinator. Driskill and Adkins are among a select group of Niswonger Scholars who are a part of the Carson-Newman family.

(July 8, 2020) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — When rising college freshman Derek Driskill begins studying at Carson-Newman University this fall, he will do so as a Niswonger Scholar, making the Cocke County High School graduate the newest member of a select group.

Overseen by the Niswonger Foundation, Niswonger Scholars are selected through a nomination process that seeks to identify the region’s best and brightest future leaders. They are given the opportunity to attend the college or university that will best prepare them for success in their field of study, while participating in a four-year leadership program.

One of the Niswonger Scholars to attend Carson-Newman, Hope Adkins, now serves as the University’s Alumni Relations coordinator.

The Niswonger Foundation opened the door for me to continue my education at Carson-Newman and pursue the type of educational experience that I had only dreamed of before,” Adkins said. “I fell in love with education and specifically higher education, knowing I wanted to work every day to ensure college students felt seen, encouraged and capable of success.

“The beauty of returning to serve as the Alumni Relations coordinator at my alma mater is that it has come full circle for me. I now get to live each day in the light of the philosophy of ‘Learn, earn and return,’” she added, quoting the foundation’s motto.

Adkins said she is grateful and proud to see others continuing in that legacy at C-N.

“I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of previous Niswonger Scholars and cannot wait to further my education at Carson-Newman,” Driskill said. “I’m excited to spend the next four years studying at a place that feels like home.

Driskill follows three prior C-N Niswonger Scholars: 2008 graduate Sara Smith Noe from Greene County, Adkins, and 2020 graduate Tanner Shivley from Fall Branch.

Niswonger Foundation President and CEO, Dr. Nancy Dishner, said that the foundation is proud of each Scholar who has made Carson-Newman University their choice for higher education.

We value our association with Carson-Newman and appreciate both the fine academic and extra-curricular experiences provided to our Scholars,” Dishner said.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and has over 2,700 students. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

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