Olivia Holly of EHS selected Roan Scholar

Published 12:02 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

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Olivia Holly, a student at Elizabethton High School, has been selected as one of ten newest members of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University. These 10 students will join 24 returning Roan Scholars on campus in the fall as part of the prestigious four-year scholarship program.
“We are very excited to select 10 new Roan Scholars for the first time,” said Executive Director Scott Jeffress. “(Roan Founder) Mr. Louie Gump’s initial vision for the Roan included having at least 10 students in each class. From an inaugural class of four Roan Scholars, we have more than doubled that class size over time, and it is wonderful to see this aspect of Mr. Gump’s original vision now becoming a reality. We are grateful to ETSU, and to all of the individual donors and business partners whose ongoing financial support makes that growth possible.”
This year’s class of Roan Scholars was selected from among more than 100 outstanding students across Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina.
“Members of the Roan Class of 2027 have been recognized for their academic, athletic and extracurricular achievements at local, state and national levels. From teaching first aid classes and volunteering with summer reading enhancement programs, to spearheading a new community Jamboree to benefit local merchants and brightening the days of children in the foster system, they are already leading and serving in their communities, and we look forward to seeing all the ways they will make a positive impact on ETSU’s campus and our region in the future,” added Jeffress.
Holly is an accomplished student-athlete and leader. She is an all-region varsity basketball player who also competes in track and field, serves as senior class vice president, is a student ambassador, and was crowned Homecoming Queen last fall. She is a member of her school’s women’s ensemble and has sung at multiple benefit concerts for local charities. Holly has a passion for children’s health and has participated in clinical rotations through her high school to better understand patient care. “Olivia is a one-of-a-kind student,” said school counselor Megan Ellis. “(She) has gone above and beyond in her efforts to make a mark here at EHS … (and) never missed an opportunity to challenge herself.”
Other students selected to this year’s class of Roan Scholars include Peyton Gentry of Johnaon County High School; Nora Honeycutt of Science Hill High School; Grace Kellner of Daniel Boone High School; Shelby Koerten of Sevier County High School; Olivia Lamb of Morristown High School; Maggie Martin of Mitchell High School in Spruce Pine, N.C.; Olivia Nothnagel of West Ridge High School in Blountville; Eliza Smith of Volunteer High School in Church Hill; and Reagan Sparks of Mitchell High School in Spruce Pine, N.C.
“With nearly 100 alumni now leading and serving throughout our region and around the world, and with our largest-ever incoming class, it is impressive to see the continued growth and development of the Roan Program over the past two-plus decades,” said Roan Steering Committee Chair Mark Kinser. “That success is thanks to our many partners – the high school counselors and administrators who identify and encourage such outstanding students, the committee members and staff who devote many hours to interviewing and selecting students and our supporters who generate the resources that support the program. We’re grateful for everyone who makes up the extended ‘Roan Family.’”
The Roan Scholars Leadership Program empowers students to be leaders of excellence who will positively impact the ETSU campus, the region and the world. The Roan scholarship offers four years of unique, out-of-the-classroom experiences and opportunities designed to challenge and inspire students to grow and develop as leaders. The scholarship also includes a significant financial award for tuition and fees, room and board and books.
The Roan, which continues to be funded primarily by private donations, was established by Louie Gump in 1997. The first class of Roan Scholars entered in 2000.

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