KNOXVILLE -- Macy Harrison from Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas, and Chris Barnes from Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville have been named the 2012 recipients of the Peyton Manning Scholarship at the University of Tennessee.
The scholarship program is in its 15th year and began in 1998, when a first-year student participating in the University's Honors Program received the scholarship for the first time. The Manning Scholarship, named for the Vols' 1997 All-American quarterback and co-captain, covers full tuition costs and is awarded based on criteria that includes academic achievement, leadership and community service.
Manning, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, Provost Susan Martin, and Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart joined Harrison and Barnes and their families during the June 18 ceremony on the UT campus. This year, Peyton and wife, Ashley, made a donation that allowed the program to honor two students each year.
"The scholarship has always brought me back to the University of Tennessee every year," said Manning. "It makes me feel old now that we're up in the teens as how many we've given. This year, we're giving two, and we've always just given one. The scholarship that I won as a student-athlete was put in an endowment and was matched and added to by the university, and this year, Ashley and I added one donation back to the university. We wanted to give two because it's such a great program for these scholars to get into, because they automatically get into the Haslam Scholars Program, which is just outstanding. It's been a special connection for me to not just the football program but the entire university."
Both Harrison and Barnes are part of the 2012 incoming class of Haslam Scholars, which are top-tier students selected from those who participate in the university-wide Chancellor's Honors Program. The Haslam Scholarship program is the university's premier, four-year scholarship program and is an in-depth enrichment program in which elite students learn from and with one another through a series of integrated, interdisciplinary seminars and extracurricular experiences, including common study abroad.
Harrison will major in sociology or social work and plans a career in global public policy. She was a four-year member of the volleyball team at Centennial and also volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization as well as at a local animal shelter.
"I am very grateful to have this opportunity and that all of the hard work in high school has been recognized," said Harrison. "I am excited for all of the opportunities that are offered at UT, and I cannot wait to be there."
Barnes, an avid swimmer, is an alumnus of the Governor's School for the Sciences and Engineering. He participated for club teams at Hardin Valley Academy in both swimming and ultimate frisbee and plans to major in biochemistry at UT with a possible double major in chemical engineering.
"Receiving this scholarship is a massive honor," said Barnes. "Peyton has a huge legacy at UT, and I'm excited to be a part of it and to have opportunities that I may not have otherwise had."
A speech communication major who was No. 1 in his 1997 graduating class, Manning is the career passing leader at Tennessee with 11,201 yards, a 62.5 completion percentage and 89 touchdown passes.
The Manning Scholarship is funded from gifts to the university garnered from Manning's academic awards, the UT Athletic Department's corporate matching grants program and other private gifts.
Manning's four-year career at UT (1994-97) produced a number of awards that generated $165,000 in scholarship funds. Among the awards were the Burger King-Vincent de Paul Draddy National Scholar Athlete of the Year, the Davey O'Brien Foundation Award and the American Honda Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
(E-mail Stan Crawley at firstname.lastname@example.org)