As chancellor of the TBR from 1990 until his untimely death in 1993, Floyd was known for his vision, leadership, understanding and integrity. Selection criteria for the scholarship established in his memory includes that it must go to an in-state student who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance in high school and committed himself or herself to a career in teaching and/or public service.
This year, the selection panel found those qualities and more in Kingsport native Anna Nicole Skelton, an incoming freshman at Tennessee Technological University. In a letter announcing her selection, TBR Chancellor Charles Smith noted that Skelton was the unanimous choice of the committee. She is also the first university student to receive the scholarship, which went to a community college student in 1996, the first year of the award. The Floyd Scholarship is renewable up to four years, covers in-state tuition and fees and the cost of room and board and provides both a book allowance and stipend.
At Sullivan South High School, where she graduated last spring, Skelton blended school involvement with outstanding academic achievement, serving on the Southern Belle Dance Team, the National Honor Society and National Beta Club. She took part in the Tennessee Honors Program and won mention in Who's Who Among American High School Students. She graduated with a 4.045 grade average and achieved standout ACT scores.
As to her career goals, Skelton is setting her sights on a career as a teacher and will study elementary education in the College of Education at Tennessee Tech.
"I'm delighted that a Tennessee Tech student is the first university Otis Floyd Scholarship recipient, and I believe Ms. Skelton is an excellent choice for the honor," said Angelo Volpe, president of Tennessee Tech.
"Through her academic achievements and commitment to service, she is clearly on a path to make outstanding contributions, both as a professional and a community member. She seems a very fitting choice to continue Dr. Floyd's legacy."Skelton, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Vernon Skelton of Kingsport, begins her studies at Tennessee Tech August 18.