UTC Celebrates The AT&T Tennessee Distinguished Scholars Program

Monday, November 25, 2013
Tennessee Senator Bo Watson, MaryStewart Lewis, regional director, AT&T, and UTC Chancellor Steve Angle
Tennessee Senator Bo Watson, MaryStewart Lewis, regional director, AT&T, and UTC Chancellor Steve Angle

Representatives from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the City of Chattanooga, the state General Assembly and AT&T gathered to celebrate the 10 AT&T Distinguished Scholars Program at UTC.  The University of Tennessee System announced the creation of the AT&T Distinguished Scholars Program.

AT&T contributed $100,000 to UT to create scholarships for academically qualified low-income students attending UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga or UT Martin during the 2013-14 academic year.

The AT&T Distinguished Scholars program will provide $2,000 scholarships to 30 students at UT Knoxville, 10 at UT Chattanooga, and 10 at UT Martin.

AT&T Distinguished Scholarships are available for Tennessee residents who meet the following criteria:

  • Family adjusted gross income (AGI) of $40,000 or less
  • Are enrolled at one of the UT campuses immediately following graduation from a Tennessee high school.
  • Submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Eligible AT&T Scholarship recipients were determined based upon admitted students’ FAFSA forms (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). After FAFSA review, those eligible for AT&T Scholarships were selected by the Office of Financial Aid at each campus, with all AT&T scholarships approved by the Director of Financial Aid for each campus.

“Opening the doors to higher education for more Tennesseans is one of the central missions of the University of Tennessee,” said Dr. Joseph DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee System. “Thanks to this new scholarship program, up to 50 deserving low-income students will receive financial assistance in getting an outstanding education and preparing for the rigors of the work place.  This is good for these students, good for the University and good for the state of Tennessee.”

“Public private collaborations like these scholarships greatly enhance our ability to support deserving students at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,” said Dr. Steve Angle, Chancellor of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  “We work very hard to support all of our students and to provide an outstanding college education which is critical as these young people prepare for advanced degrees or the workplace.”

State Senator Bo Watson said corporate support for the university will reap benefits for the state and its businesses.

“These scholarships will make a real difference to a great many students across our state and help Tennessee produce the kind of job applicants that retain and attract the best jobs in the country,” he said. ” I know that companies like AT&T are rapidly deploying new mobile broadband technology, and I want AT&T to be able to find qualified Tennessee graduates to fill any new jobs that their investment and new technology creates.”

State Representative Gerald McCormick echoed that statement.

“Supporting education in Tennessee is one of my highest priorities, but I know that state government can’t do it alone.  Public – private partnerships like the one behind these scholarships help us extend our reach and serve more Tennesseans,” he said.

Historically, supporting education has been a major focus for AT&T, and education continues to be a key philanthropy focus for the company.  In 2008, AT&T launched AT&T Aspire, specifically focused on confronting the high school dropout crisis to help ensure that student’s graduate prepared for the future challenges of continuing education and the workforce. In 2012, AT&T renewed its commitment to Aspire with a $250 million investment planned over five years. In Tennessee, $1,015,422 has been invested through the Aspire program. AT&T has also provided Job Shadow opportunities for 702 students in Tennessee, teaming them up with employees to help them learn the educational background and skills they need to succeed on the job.

“Investing in our communities is part of AT&T’s core values,” said Joelle Phillips, President of AT&T Tennessee. “I want to thank Senator Bo Watson, Representative Gerald McCormick and the other members of the Tennessee General Assembly who have worked hard to create a welcoming economic environment in Tennessee that helps companies like AT&T invest in our state, create jobs and contribute to worthy endeavors like this.”

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