Elizabethton Elks Lodge renames nursing scholarship in memory of long-time member

Published 8:15 am Monday, May 13, 2019

The Elizabethton Elks Lodge recently succeeded in petitioning their state organization to rename one of their nursing scholarships after long-time member Kenneth Swift.

President of Elizabethton Elks Lodge Jacklyn Morris said the name change came from a petition she made during the annual Tennessee Elks Association meeting in April.

With the petition passing during the meeting, the organization will now officially rename one of the Tennessee Elks Benevolent Trust Nursing Scholarships after him.

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“They awarded it to honor him for what he has done for this lodge and the state,” Morris said.

Swift was a former state president of the lodge who worked with the organization for roughly 41 years.

“All the high schools knew him,” she said. “I just think of how proud he would be.”

Swift died on March 24 of this year after a lengthy illness. She said the two of them would typically hand out the scholarships at high schools together.

“Anybody who is willing to dedicate that much time should be honored,” Morris said.

When the state branch approved the petition to rename the scholarship, she said she gained even more respect for the organization she currently works for.

“They know how much he has done,” she said.

She said the lodge was devastated to hear about his death.

“We argued every day, but we loved each other,” Morris said, remembering the memories they shared together as members of the lodge. “Words cannot describe what it is like to lose someone like that. Those shoes cannot be filled.”

The scholarship itself applies to those pursuing nursing and/or its associated field, including radiology, but Morris said high school students are not the only possible applicants. Those in college who decide to go into radiology can still apply. The only restriction is to maintain a certain grade point average in high school and college.

Morris said the scholarship will most likely be available again at the end of October or early November. Those interested can get more information at TEBT’s website.