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Noteworthy Happenings
Freshmen continue True Blue legacy with help of alumni scholarships

Four students who personify True Blue spirit have enrolled at the U of M this fall with help from the Alumni Association. Three were awarded the Alumni Scholarship and another received the Association’s Book Scholarship.

Kara Jones
Kara Jones

Kara Jones of Bethel Springs, Tenn., graduated from McNairy Central High School. She was a four-year member of the cheerleading squad, serving as co-captain in her junior year and captain as a senior. Jones was a part of the Homecoming court for three years and was elected Homecoming Sweetheart her senior year. She also was a Student Government Association representative, a member of the choir and active in community service.

In appreciation of her involvement, the senior class honored Jones with the Best Sideline Spirit award. “This honor shows how much she supports others and how much her support is appreciated,” says McNairy Central principal Cecil Stroup. “She managed to maintain an outstanding grade point average in her classes, including many honors classes and dual credit courses. Regardless of the tasks assigned to her, Kara always works hard to be successful at everything she is asked to do.”

Her parents are Jeff (BBA ’85) and Cynthia Droke.

John Jordan
John Jordan

John Jordan is a graduate of Collierville High School, where he excelled at both academics and athletics. Jordan played freshman basketball and junior varsity and varsity baseball and was a two-time recipient of the Academic Excellence Award. He collected numerous honors for sports at Collierville: he was named first team all-state by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association and to the Region 8 all-region baseball team and the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association second team all-state. Jordan, who will play baseball for the Tigers, also was chosen Most Valuable Player on the CHS baseball team.

He also is active in his church, coaching children’s basketball and soccer and participating in youth group mission activities.

“As a student and an athlete, John has demonstrated an exceptional ability to achieve and excel,” says Collierville teacher Ken Mears. “When confronted with any assignment, he is quick to perceive its message, analyze all its components and accurately complete the task at hand. He is a creative thinker who has a probing and incisive mind.”

Mears also commended Jordan’s leadership qualities. “John has strived to grow outside the classroom as well as inside. Through sports, music and church he has developed such a well roundedness that others have looked toward him as a role model.”

He is the son of Joseph E. (BBA ’87, MEd ’93) and Tammy Jordan of Rossville, Tenn.

James Noble Jr.
James Noble Jr.

James Noble Jr. graduated from Cordova High School, where he finished in the top 10 percent of his class. He was a member of the LIGHT Club (Living in God’s Hands Together) and the National Honor Society, and received the Do the Right Thing Award. Noble was a co-teacher for Vacation Bible School at Balmoral Baptist Church and volunteered with Impact Ministries.

“James is a natural leader who earns respect from his peers and his teachers with his refreshing honesty and his strong moral character,” says English teacher Marie Wood, who worked with Noble in the school’s Christian club. “He has a knack for being able to work and communicate with people of all ages and still feel at ease. He has been a strong asset in motivating our club members and challenging them to meet strict goals and expectations.”

His parents are James and Redunda L. Noble (BA ’08) of Cordova.

Austin Collins
Austin Collins

Austin Collins received the Alumni Association Book Scholarship. He is a graduate of Bolton High School, where he was a member of the school’s Knowledge Bowl team, the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Spanish Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Collins also was named to Who’s Who Among American High School Students and the National Honor Roll. He was active at Bartlett Hills Baptist Church, where he participated in Vacation Bible School and was a Kids Camp counselor.

At the U of M, the multitalented Collins plans to major in computer engineering with a minor in music and Spanish. Karen Dean, English and theatre teacher at Bolton, praised Collins as an avid reader, excellent writer and talented actor. “His talent in analyzing a piece of literature is far above that of many of his classmates,” she says. “Not only is he a good writer, he loves to write. Having that passion only helps to enhance his ability. His enthusiasm in class spills over to his fellow classmates.”

He is the son of Kevin (BBA ’87) and Tina Collins of Bartlett.

Each Alumni Scholarship is renewable for up to four years, provided the recipient maintains a minimum GPA of 2.5 for the first two semesters and 3.0 thereafter. Applicants must be children or grandchildren of Alumni Association members.

For more information on the Book Scholarship program, call 901/678-2586 or 800/678-8729.

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Last Updated: 1/23/12