Paige Atchley, Of Hixson, Receives University Of Tennessee's Torchbearer Award

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Paige Atchley with Chancellor Jimmy Cheek receiving her Torchbearer Award
Paige Atchley with Chancellor Jimmy Cheek receiving her Torchbearer Award

The University of Tennessee honored its 2014 Chancellor’s Honor Recipients’ at a banquet on Wednesday. Twelve students were honored as Torchbearers. The Torchbearer award is the highest honor a University of Tennessee graduate can receive.

Paige Atchley, 22, a native of Hixson, and a 2010 graduate of Soddy Daisy High School received this award. She is the daughter of Greg and Lori Atchley. She will graduate in May Summa Cum Laude with a degree in marketing with a dual concentration in international business and a minor in communication studies.  After graduation, she will be moving to Nashville as she was accepted into the Tennessee Governor’s Management Fellowship Program. She will be working at the capitol for the next two years.

Ms. Atchley began her UT journey as a freshman serving on the freshman council of SGA. She was a Chancellor Scholar, and accepted into the Global Leader Scholars program. She played intramurals, and was active in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry.

Her sophomore year she was a SGA senator, studied abroad for her spring semester, and became a member of the Chi Omega Sorority. She also participated in multiple campus events, and volunteered in the Knoxville community.

Her junior year she was selected as a Student Ambassador giving campus tours to prospective students and their families. She worked in the alumni office, co-founded “Impact” a new student organization focused on promoting campus traditions, and school spirit, and to encourage a culture of student philanthropy.

Ms. Atchley was instrumental in the development of the senior gift campaign which asked seniors to give a one- time gift of $20 to the university, this program raised $31,000 in 2013. She also was instrumental in the development of “I heart UT week”. Students were engaged in campus cleanup and raised donations to start a food pantry for students, faculty, and staff in need. It is now an annual event on campus. Impact also raised $250,000 in 125 hours in the Big Orange Campaign. Students spent hours calling individuals to raise money and writing letters of thanks. 

She then decided to run for SGA vice-president. With little money, she got creative and baked over 600 cookies, 130 cupcakes, and 300 muffins and packaged them with “Baker-Atchley” stickers. Her campaign was successful and she was elected SGA VP.

Her senior year, Paige served her fellow students as vice-president. She was over the senate, and also the Freshman Council. She engaged her freshman leaders and was a mentor to them. She successfully planned the first annual freshman retreat where she treated the students with a surprise visit to Neyland Stadium to watch a televised away football game. She provided volunteer opportunities for this group, and hosted the first annual freshman council banquet. She continued her duties as student ambassador. She was active in her sorority and Greek life representing this group in student government. She was an ambassador to Impact. She was nominated by SGA and was on the homecoming court. She represented the university traveling to Washington D.C., Nashville, New Orleans, and Columbia, Missouri. She met with Senators Corker, and Alexander, Governor Haslam, and even got to sit at the Vice President Biden’s desk.  She was awarded the Traditions Keeper Award for performing more than 40 UT traditions as a student.

Everyone who knows Paige recognizes her strong work ethic, her passion for life, and her will to make the most of every day. In the words of one nominator, Paige “carries the torch in hopes of helping and enlightening others, while happily serving from beneath the shadows”.
12 Torchbearer recipients with Chancellor Cheek
12 Torchbearer recipients with Chancellor Cheek

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