by Emily Grooms

CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMCNews)— Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., recognized 114 students for their academic achievements in its annual Honors Awards Ceremony, May 8.

“Today is the day when we honor those of you who have worked hard to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind,” said Dr. Brad Reynolds, the college’s Vice President for Academic Services. “The bible is clear to give honor to whom honor is due and today we will recognize those who have achieved certain academic milestones.”

Dr. Emir Caner, TMC President, echoed Reynolds sentiments as he referenced Philippians 2:3 which says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.”

“Today we say thank you for what you have done for His name and for His glory,” Caner said. “We remind you also the reason our faculty and staff invest so heavily and lovingly in you is because we realize it’s not about ourselves; it’s a matter of expanding Gods kingdom through His local churches, that His name will be known, and that His Gospel will be shared.”

“Our hope is that as we expand as a student body, expand academically, that you will expand the Kingdom of God wherever you go.”

Students earned their honors in three categories of academic accomplishment: president’s club, dean’s list, and a combination of both.

Citation for the President’s Club requires students to maintain a 4.0 GPA for three consecutive semesters. Students on this list were:

Rebekah Faith Atkins

Kelsea Layne Batson

Emilie Dayle Brady

Blake Kathryn Bramblett

Brittany Elizabeth Cates

Christopher Thomas Chapman

Katelyn Olivia Coburn

Ashley Chantel Davis

Elizabeth Leighton Eldridge

Charity Dawn Estes

Katelyn Elizabeth Hammock

Natalie Denise Johnson

Rachel Silvia Johnson

Drea Morgan Kelley

Jordan Michelle Malaier

Chelsea Lanier Mann

Audra Marie Minish

Lisa Ann Raper

Cambree K Rose

Katherine Louise Scott

Joy Nichole Smith

Mackenzie Mae Stover

Meagan Denise Taylor

Charissa Veal

Jordan Brittany Westbrook

Stevi LaRie Williams

Kathrine Elizabeth York

Trista Rose Blankenship

Joshua Caleb Meeks

John Didicher Pearson

Ricky A Rowell


Earning a spot on the Dean’s List requires students to maintain a 3.5 GPA for three consecutive semesters. Those students include:

Joely Amy Danie Cook

Jennifer Nicole Daniels

Bridgette Leigh Fordham

David Jeremiah Gaylor

Daniel Allen Gentry

Thomas Christopher Johnson

Lynette K McDonald

Jenna Darlene McMillian

Emilee Paige Merritt

John Evans Newell

Jessica Starr Parker

Kristen Melissa Pruitt

Benjamin Wynsor Raley

Catherine Marie Warren

Jamie Stewart Butler

Lucy Elizabeth Hedrick

Regina Lynn Reid


Students who have been named to the President’s Club and Dean’s List for three consecutive semesters were recognized to the President’s and Dean’s List. Those students include:

Cody James Ansley

Alexander Wade Bradley

Melissa Joy Braswell

Jonathon David Campbell

Lauren Gail Chancey

Eric Bradley Combs

Sarah Elisabeth Conort

Sarah Anne David

Ruth Anne Dennis

Jennifer Marie Donalson

Jessica Taylor Epting

Garrett John Erath

Levi Michael Fangmann

Sarah Ann Fitzsimons

Kelly Ann Folsom

Vanessa Hurtado

Joshua Seth Johnson

Kelcie Meghan Johnson

John Thomas Bethel Justus

Hannah Leigh Kennedy

Kristina Marie Langley

Hillary Brooke Ledford

Hannah Ruth Minks

Jesse Austin Mitchum

Bethaney Lauren Murphy

Jonathan David Peacock

Cameron Todd Pearson

Abbey Nicole Sellers

Jacob Brandon Spencer

Andrea Grace Towns

Christina Morgan Wallace

Hannah Marie Watts


36 Truett-McConnell College athletes were recognized by the school’s athletic conference, the Appalachian Athletic Conference, as conference All-Academic Team Members, while ten were given national recognition by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Association as NAIA Scholar Athletes.

Meagan Taylor, a junior soccer player who is also a world missions major, was recognized for her outstanding academic achievement of maintaining a 4.0 cumulative GPA while Jon Luna, a sophomore psychology major who is also a member of the Bears Gold Team, was recognized for his 3.72 cumulative GPA.

Two special scholarships were also awarded to Truett-McConnell students who exhibit exceptional character; the Ashley Collis Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship dedicated to the memory of former TMC student and cross country runner, was awarded to freshman cross country runner, Delia Louise Hines, and the Harris Scholarship, presented by Dr. James Harris, is an award given to a student who is pursuing a medical career and was awarded to Jessica Taylor Epting.

Each year, a Truett-McConnell senior who carries a cumulative 3.3 GPA or higher and maintains exceptional character and participation in extracurricular activities and community service, is awarded the Who’s Who Award. This year’s recipients were: Garret John Erath, Daniel Allen Gentry, Kaley Shea Lang, Kristen Melissa Pruitt, Jacob Brandon Spencer, and Caleb Berkley Stephens. 

Students also garnered recognition in each of the Truett-McConnell College Academic Divisions. The recipient and academic division are listed below: 


Outstanding Business Student of the Year – Garrett John Erath

Outstanding On-Line Business Student of the Year – John Didicher Pearson 


Education/Behavioral Sciences

Outstanding Achievement in Education – Lynette K McDonald 

Outstanding Achievement in Psychology – Joy Nicole Smith 

Outstanding Endeavors in Psychology – Hannah Kathleen Rhodes 



Bachelor of Arts in English – Lucy Elizabeth Hedrick 

Bachelor of Arts in History – Emilie Dayle Brady 

Outstanding in Humanities – Sarah Anne David 


Math/Natural Science 

First Year Biology Award – James Christian Lee 


Music/Fine Arts

Bachelor of Arts in Music, Concentration in Contemporary Worship – Hannah Leigh Kennedy


World Missions/Christian Studies 

Bachelor in Christian Studies –Grace Elizabeth Erath

Bachelor in Christian Studies –Heather Kay Guest

Bachelor in Christian Studies –Joshua Seth Johnson

Bachelor in World Missions –Hayden Scott Fleming

Bachelor in World Missions –Courtney Rose Ryan

Bachelor in World Missions –Jacob Brandon Spencer


Several student service awards were also distributed during the ceremony. The Pearl Nix Award is awarded to students studying Christian Studies or education and was awarded to both Kaitlin Blankenship – Christian Studies and Biology, Melissa Braswell – Education, and Jori Huyck – Christian Studies.

The UPS Scholarship awarded by the Georgia Independent College Association is an award given to a junior or senior with high academic achievement and was presented to Lisa Ann Raper.

A number of faculty and staff members were also recognized for their outstanding performance, dedication and service to Truett-McConnell College and its students throughout the year. Johnny Douglas, acting director of Information and Technology, received the Presidential Achievement Award which is presented to a person or persons who exhibit unusual contributions to the life of Truett-McConnell College by going beyond what is expected of an employee. 

Dr. Robert Bowen, Assistant Professor of Biology, was awarded the Vulcans Material Award which is funded by the Vulcans Material Company in the Georgia Independent College Association. It is given to a faculty member who is recognized by the administration as an outstanding contributor to undergraduate education, student learning, and campus life.

The Truett-McConnell College Faculty Excellence Award, an award given to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in the classroom, performs service above and beyond the call of duty, and exhibits a Christian worldview, was given to Dr. Holly Haynes, the Associate Professor of Behavioral Science. 

In closing remarks, Dr. David Armstrong, the school’s Vice President for Finance and Operations, applauded the academic efforts and achievements of Truett-McConnell students and closed the ceremony with a prayer where he encouraged those in attendance to take the message of Christ with them wherever they go. 




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