As the upcoming academic year quickly approaches, 55 top students state
wide have been selected as first-year recipients of the Ned McWherter
Scholars program, including 23 students bound for the UT, according to
state officials.

The scholarship awards $5,000 renewable annually for students who meet set
academic standards.

McWherter said the scholarship program is aimed at keeping the Tennessee's
brightest in the state.

"Our goal in creating this program was to keep our best young minds here in
Tennessee," McWherter, governor of Tennessee, said.

"These are the students who will develop into our next generation of
leading researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and professionals," he
said.

Qualifications of the scholarship include: graduation from a Tennessee high
school with a minimum grade point average of 3.5, an ACT or SAT
standardized test score within the top 5 percent in the nation and be a
Tennessee resident and have parents who are also Tennessee residents.

To retain the scholarship while at college, a student must remain a
full-time student and maintain a 3.0 grade point average each term and a
minimum yearly average of 3.2.

The funding for half of each $5,000 scholarship is provided by the state in
the form of a $2.7 million endowment managed by state treasurer Steve
Adams, with each academic institution providing matching funds.

McWherter said the scholarship fund is an investment in the state's
future.

"Investing in their minds will pay great dividends for Tennessee in the
future," he said.

The scholarship, formerly the Tennessee Academic Program, was renamed in
honor of McWherter by the 1994 General Assembly for McWherter's
contributions to state education system, according to state officials.

The 55 newest McWherter scholars were selected from an applicant pool of
657 students.

The 1994-95 edition of the McWherter scholars who are slated to enter UT in
the fall include:

*Virginia R. Attaway, Knoxville-Farragut High School

*Addie J. Brownlee, Bristol-Tennessee High School

*Krisdha Buranapiyawong, Germantown-Germantown High School

*Sjon-Paul Conyer, Westmorland-Westmorland High School

*Norma Marie Edwards, Memphis-Kirby High School

*Mark W. Fugate, Tazewell-Powell High School

*Nathanael I. Hammer, Franklin-Franklin High School

*Jerrie C. Haney, Clarksville-Northeast High School

*Samantha Sara Hopkins, Knoxville-Oak Ridge High School

*Brandtly N. Jones, Dyersburg-Dyersburg High School

*Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Kingsport-Dobyns-Bennett High
School

*Kari Lynne Mount, Knoxville-Bearden High School

*Diana Marie Pabst, Germantown-Germantown High School

*Jennifer Lynn Parsons, Brentwood-Brentwood High School

*Damian Rogero Pitt, Knoxville-Fulton High School

*Jennifer Jean Rosenbaum, Germantown-Houston High School

*Jason Donald Spain, Nashville-Hillwood High School

*Franklin Shields Watkins, Tazewell-Claiborne County High
School

*Drew Garrett Wilson, Franklin-Page High School

*Janis D. Wilson, Johnson City-Science Hill High School

*Sarah Jean Wright, Cosby-Cocke County High School

*Mark Zwickey, Germantown-Germantown High School

There were 27 men and 28 woman selected, with an average grade point
average in high school of 3.97, and an average ACT score of 33.09.

UT was the most popular institution chosen by the scholars, followed by
Vanderbilt, which was chosen by 16 recipients. Other schools chosen
included: Rhodes College (6), the University of the South (3), Tennessee
Technological University (2), Carson Newman College (2), Union University
(1), UT-Chattanooga (1), and Christian Brothers College (1).

To date, 335 students state wide have benefited from the scholarship
fund.

The scholarship fund is administered through the Tennessee Students
Assistance Corporation.