Cleveland, Tenn., businesswoman and philanthropist Brenda Lawson has been selected by the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame to receive the Fred Gregg Jr. Award, the organization’s most prestigious honor, at its Feb. 25th banquet, to be held at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center.
Previously announced honorees include Brooke Pancake as Female Athlete of the Year, Steven Fox as Male Athlete of the Year, Peggy Michaels for the Betty Probasco Lifetime Achievement Award, and Rachel Price as the Jim Morgan/Allan Morris Award winner.
Also to be honored that evening will be Hall of Fame inductees. They will be announced next week.
Banquet Tickets: Hall of Fame dinner tickets are $35 each. For reservations call Dr. John Farr at 423-875-9282. Ticket order deadline is Feb. 15.
“Mrs. Lawson certainly has distinguished herself in the sports arena with her contributions to the University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Cleveland High School,” said Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame president Dr. John Farr.
In 2011, UTC named a new athletics complex the Brenda Lawson Student/Athletic Center. That complex houses the athletic fitness center, a basketball practice court utilized by the men’s and women’s teams, and a large meeting room for the school’s athletic teams. UTC’s McKenzie Arena is also named for her.
In 2007, the University of Tennessee named the Lady Vols practice court in the Pratt Pavilion the Brenda Lawson Court. The softball complex at Cleveland High School is also named in her honor. She also is a longtime supporter of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
The CEO of Brenda Lawson & Associates continues to contribute monies to each of the three schools. She serves on the UT Development Council, is on the executive committee for the UT Alliance for Women Philanthropists and co-chairs the capital campaign for the university. At UTC, she is on the Foundation Board and serves on the advisory board for the UTC School of Business. She is involved with women’s success programs at both UT and UTC.
Her significant contributions go far beyond the field of athletics. She is president of Cleveland 100 and immediate past president of the Bradley/Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Lawson serves on the boards of the Bradley County United Way and Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.
She has been honored by several organizations. UT named her Philanthropist of the Year in 2012, while the Association of Professional Fund-Raisers proclaimed her Philanthropist of the Year in 2006. She earned the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise honor in 2010. She is also past recipient of Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award, the Cleveland Junior Achievement Free Enterprise Award and the Cleveland Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award.
The UTC School of Business inducted her into its Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2004 and she was the school’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006.