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UT Debuts Premier Scholarship Program


KNOXVILLE –- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has established the Haslam Scholars — a premier honors program that will provided unprecedented opportunities for 15 of the nation’s top scholars.


The program is being funded with $2.5 million from Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Jimmy Haslam is president and chief executive officer of Pilot Travel Centers. Dee Haslam is CEO of RIVR Media and also chairs the UT Development Council. The Haslams are chairs of the Campaign for Tennessee for the Knoxville Campus.

Haslam Scholars will be part of an intimate study group mentored by top UT faculty. The interdisciplinary curriculum and experiences will focus on study abroad and support a research thesis project.

All Haslam Scholars also receive a Chancellor’s scholarship -– currently the top academic scholarship -– which provides annual award amounts between $5,000 and $10,000.

The Haslam program provides additional benefits that include a $1,500 laptop computer and a study-abroad experience valued at $4,000, as well as up to $5,500 to support a senior research thesis and travel to a national or international academic or professional meeting to present their work.

“We are excited to help UT offer this unique opportunity that will bring some of our nation’s top scholars to the University of Tennessee,” Jimmy Haslam said. “UT is a top-notch research institution where Haslam Scholars will thrive. Likewise, campus will benefit from having Haslam Scholars among its ranks.”

The Haslam Scholars Program is similar to the Jefferson Scholars Program at the University of Virginia, the Morehead-Cain Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Presidential Scholars Program at Boston College.

Students interested in being Haslam Scholars must apply by Nov. 1. The first class of Haslam Scholars will enter UT as freshmen in the fall of 2008. Students will be chosen based on scholastic achievement, leadership experience and potential, maturity and seriousness of purpose, and evidence of special talents and skills.

“This prestigious scholars program will help us attract some of the most talented students in the country. Creating a learning community of this caliber will have a positive impact on our entire student body, as well as our faculty, and it will assist UT in its goal of establishing pre-eminence as a top research university,” Chancellor Loren Crabtree said. “All of this allows the University of Tennessee to be a training ground for tomorrow’s leaders.”

Haslam Scholars will receive priority course and housing registration and extensive library privileges.

The honors curriculum is designed to allow Haslam Scholars to capitalize on UT’s internationally recognized strength in medieval and Renaissance history, its collaborative management of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Ready for the World initiative. The students also will participate in service-learning coursework and an executive-level internship that is designed as a hands-on exploration of U.S. intercultural diversity and its relationship to social and economic inequalities.

Although there are no strict grade-point average or test score minimums to be eligible, Haslam Scholars are likely to have earned a superior GPA in a rigorous high school curriculum and scored in the top 1 percent of the national distribution of standardized test scores, currently 33-plus on the ACT, 1460-plus on the SAT or 2190-plus on the new SAT.

To be eligible for the Haslam Scholars Program, students must apply by Nov. 1 for early admission to the UT Chancellor’s Honors Program. Once accepted, students must request and complete an initial interview with the director of the Chancellor’s Honors & Haslam Scholars Programs by Feb. 1. Finalists for Haslam Scholars will be invited to interview with a blue-ribbon selection committee in March.

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