Tuba player from D-B named Haslam Scholar

Rick Wagner • May 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

KNOXVILLE — A tuba player from Dobyns-Bennett High School is among the newest

class of Haslam Scholars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Cookenour, set to graduate from D-B Saturday, plans to major in computer

science. UTK announced the list of Cookenour and 14 other Haslam Scholars


Recently selected as an All-State tuba player by the East Tennessee

School Band and Orchestra Association, he served as principal tuba player in

both the Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra and the Dobyns-Bennett Wind


He also marched in the D-B band and performed in concert band and

other groups. In addition, Cookenour was also a finalist in the 2012 UT

Pro2Serve FERMAT I Math Competition.

“I’m planning to march in the Pride (of

the Southland) next year,” Cookenour said Monday, adding that he may try out for

performance groups. “Band camp starts on my birthday, Aug. 9.” Classes start

about two weeks later.

He is the son of Mike and Jill Cookenour of


“We’re really, really happy for him,” Jill Cookenour said. “It’s a

big opportunity for him.”

Haslam Scholars, according to a Monday UTK news

release, are part of an intimate academic and leadership group mentored by top

faculty. Program benefits include a $1,500 laptop computer and a study-abroad

experience valued at $4,000, as well as up to $5,500 to support students' honors

thesis research and travel to present their work. In addition, each Haslam

Scholar will receive a scholarship package that totals $21,500.

“I am

certainly very blessed for all that,” Cookenour said.

The other 14 Haslam

Scholars are from across Tennessee except for one from Arkansas. No others were

from Northeast Tennessee this year except Cookenour.

Others in the class,

according to the news release from UTK, include musicians. a student who knows

five languages, those who have done community service work, including one who

organized a 5K run to benefit Cambodia.

UT’s premier four-year scholarship

program admits up to15 first-year students each year from the university-wide

Chancellor's Honors Program and supports them with the university's most

generous named scholarships.

“This year's class of Haslam Scholars, like

those who preceded them, are a high-powered group of scholar-leaders. Our

expectations for them as a group are as high as the scholars' expectations for

themselves individually,” said Bruce Wheeler, acting director of the

Chancellor's Honors and Haslam Scholars Programs. “They have been a joy to

recruit. We anticipate four years of achievement, innovation and excitement from

this group.”

UT alumnus Timothy Hulsey, currently the founding dean of the

Honors College at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been named associate

provost and director of the Chancellor's Honors and Haslam Scholars Programs. He

will begin on July 1.

The Haslam Scholars selection process began with

nominations of high school seniors. From the nominees, 60 were selected and

offered interviews. Of those interviewed, 30 were invited to campus for an

interview weekend in early March.

Selection criteria included scholastic

achievement, leadership potential, special talents, maturity and seriousness of


The Haslam Scholars Program was created five years ago with $2.5

million from Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Jimmy Haslam is president and chief executive

officer of Pilot Flying J. Dee Haslam is CEO of RIVR Media.

Jim and Natalie

Haslam contributed an additional $2.5 million to support the program. Jim Haslam

is founder of Pilot Corp. For more information, go to http://haslamscholars.utk.edu.

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