JFWA Hosts Commencement for Class of 2021


jfwagrads2021Lincoln Memorial University’s (LMU) J. Frank White Academy (JFWA) held commencement exercises on May 22 at the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center in the Duke Hall of Citizenship. The class of 2021 continued JFWA’s tradition of 100% college placement. The 20 graduates will attend colleges in seven different states in fall 2021 and have been awarded $1 million in four-year scholarships.


“I can only imagine that like so many other senior classes that came before, you dreamed of a senior year full of wonderful experiences and lasting memories,” said Principal Bobby Lockhart in his message to the graduates. “And now, here on your graduation day, I wonder what kind of stories you will tell about your senior year in five, 10 or 25 years from now. I hope your stories will tell of the flexibility and adaptability you have shown. I hope you aren’t too shy to talk about how much grit you had to have to get through this year.”


Dr. Christopher Stotts, JFWA assistant principal, addressed the class as the keynote speaker. He talked about the pandemic and other struggles that made the year especially challenging and provided the class of 2021 a chance to shine in contrast.


“It is my belief that on the stage built from the fragments of this year that you have carried out your greatest performance,” Stotts said. “In a year that others have defined as ‘exhausting, chaotic, and lost,’ I look at you and I see a resilient, determined, and courageous group of individuals who are more than capable of handling anything that life can throw your way.”


Valedictorian Olivia Grace Nichols will attend LMU while salutatorian Jason Lee Illick is going to Morehead State University. Other diploma recipients were Haleigh Elaine Almbarak (Emory & Henry College), Dallas Nicole Boger (LMU), Tanner Ryan Wade Brush (Huntingdon College), Carson Andrew Daniels (LMU), Daniel Gao (Penn State University), Mackenzie Nicole Graham (Emory & Henry College), Jaelyn Aaliyah Gunter (LMU), Elijah Ace Harrington (Huntington University), Brianne Elizabeth Hess (Emory & Henry College), Ashlynne Kinsee LeFevers (Maryville College), Elizabeth Ann Melton (Bridgewater College), Charles Patrick Moore (University of Alabama in Huntsville), Thomas Edward Robards, III (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Ethan Harris Shumate (Somerset Community College), Grant Todd Thompson (LMU), Mason Wynn Troutman (Oregon State University), Lillian Michael Turley (LMU), and Hunter Ryan Whitaker (LMU).


JFWA honored the class of 2021 during awards day on May 19. Nichols received the Shining Knight Award for her academic performance, participation in extracurricular activities, community service and completion of LMU dual enrollment classes. Subject area award winners included Graham (Biology II), Boger (English IV), Nichols (Drama), and LeFevers (American Government). Gao was recognized as a World School International Forum delegate. Nichols and Gao were also recognized as winners of the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative short story contest. Boger, Nichols, Thompson, Turley and Whitaker will receive Tennessee Hope Scholarships. Melton received the Key Club Award. Five students signed to continue their athletic pursuits for their college teams: Nichols, Graham, Brush, LeFevers, and Turley.


The J. Frank White Academy is a private, college preparatory day school serving grades K-12, located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University. JFWA is fully accredited and STEM certified by Cognia, which is the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) schools and programs, signaling the growing emphasis on STEM education by educators, politicians and business leaders around the world. For more information contact JFWA Director of Admissions Bernie Harrington at [email protected] or apply online at JFWA.LMUnet.edu.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].

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