Seven Williamson County natives were among 73 University of Tennessee graduates this year who completed more than 225 hours each of community service, earning the gold service medallion awarded by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Jones Center for Leadership and Service.
To celebrate the university’s 225th anniversary, the Jones Center designed a three-tiered medallion system to recognize students who log over 100 hours of community service during their time at UT. There are three different service levels: the bronze medallion for 100–174 hours, the silver medallion for 175–224 hours and the gold medallion for 225 hours or more.
“Being a Volunteer is being proud to be a part of something bigger than myself. Service consistently reminded me of that,” said Tippany Patrick, a UT College of Law graduate and gold medallion recipient from Knoxville. “Broadening your perspectives through service makes you a better student, enhances your ability to empathize and makes you a more successful individual as a whole.”
This spring, a total of 309 students received a medallion. Of the gold medallion recipients, 31 logged between 300 and 950 hours each. Additionally, 19 of the gold medallion recipients are graduating law students who provided pro bono work during their time with the College of Law.
“Service is one of the main components of what it means to be a Volunteer. Through the service medallion request process, we are able to recognize those that have logged their service hours during their time at UT,” said Brooke Squires, coordinator at JCLS. “It is incredible to see that so many students truly embody the Volunteer spirit, and we hope that they continue to carry that with them after they graduate.”
Spring 2020 graduates still have until June 1 to request their medallion. They will be distributed at a later date.
The following Williamson County graduates earned the gold service medallion:
• Emma Barnhart of Franklin, Tennessee
• Alva Bethurum of Franklin, Tennessee
• Eint Ei of Franklin, Tennessee
• James Elliott of College Grove, Tennessee
• Wylan Feick of Spring Hill, Tennessee
• Sarah Martin of Franklin, Tennessee
• Sharon Okseniuk of Nolensville, Tennessee
This spring, the university will award 4,625 degrees — 3,415 undergraduate degrees, 1,014 graduate degrees and certificates, 117 law degrees and 79 veterinary medicine degrees. Additionally, 14 Air Force cadets and 17 Army cadets will be commissioned.
Although in-person commencement ceremonies in May had to be postponed for safety, UT plans to honor 2020 graduates on campus in person as soon as it’s safe. See the commencement website for details.