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TTU News

Elissa McLerran, of Red Boiling Springs, is being recognized for her scholastic achievement and community involvement with Tennessee Tech University’s top student honor, the Derryberry Award.

The senior agriculture major is one of two 2014 recipients of the award, which is given to a graduating senior who has displayed moral and academic integrity, campus involvement, good citizenship, leadership qualities and physical vigor.

McLerran will accept her prestigious honor at TTU’s annual luncheon forum Tuesday, April 29.

McLerran is a member of the TTU honors program; Associated Scholars Guild; Agricultural Council; FFA, also known as Future Farmers of America; and the Lambda Alpha Sigma sorority.

She worked with TTU’s Agriculture Council and Delta Tau Alpha to develop and implement the Purple Pancakes Agriculture Awareness Breakfast. The event promoted a sense of community on campus and an awareness of issues in the agriculture industry.

McLerran served as a TTU president’s ambassador from 2013 to 2014. In that role, she helped generate and implement ideas to improve campus. She also served as an admissions representative in 2014.

She has volunteered with the Miss Fabulous Pageant, Carmen’s Promise 5K run, Soles 4 Souls, Relay for Life, Lambda Alpha Sigma events and Can Tabs for Cancer.

McLerran is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Delta Tau Alpha and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. She has been on the dean’s list for her entire collegiate career.

As a sophomore, she served as the state secretary for the Tennessee FFA Association. Other leadership positions include state reporter and district secretary for Tennessee Young Farmers and Ranchers, council president for the Tennessee School of Agriculture and council president for the TTU Associated Scholars Guild.

McLerran has participated in intramural softball, flag football and basketball. She has run multiple 5K races and the Music City half marathon.

Her parents are Tim and Laura McLerran. She is a graduate of Clay County High School.

This year, TTU had two seniors who received the award. Meghan O’Donoghue, who is studying political science and French, also received the Derryberry Award. O’Donoghue, daughter of Conor and Susan O’Donoghue, graduated from Morristown Hamblen High School West.

Courtney Tucker and Molly Heady were finalists for the award. Tucker, a Henderson High School graduate from Hendersonville, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Tucker and an accounting and music performance major. Heady, a nursing student from Monterey, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Heady.

The Derryberry Award was established in honor of Everett Derryberry, who was TTU’s president for 34 years. He retired in 1974.