ttu logo

tennessee technological university

TTU News

<thumb Peter_Erica_BellTwo of the top students in the country came to Tennessee Tech University this fall for their undergraduate educations.


National Merit Scholars Peter Talley, of Knoxville, and Erica Hohne, of Tullahoma, came to Cookeville this fall to study mechanical engineering and math, respectively.

“We are delighted they’ve come to Tech and are going to be Golden Eagles,” TTU President Bob Bell said. “Any university in the country would have been honored to have them and we wish them the very best.”

Talley and Hohne were among 15,000 finalists selected nationwide out of a pool of 1.5 million students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“These are two of the best and brightest students in the entire state and in the entire nation,” said Jim Gray, associate director of admissions at TTU. “Their academic potential is just unlimited.”

Talley, son of Judi and Bill Talley, said he plans to go into aerospace engineering after completing his education. He graduated from Austin-East High School.

Hohne, daughter of Linda and Alex Hohne, is a member of the TTU marching band’s color guard. She graduated from Tullahoma High School.

The National Merit Scholarship Program began in 1955. The program focuses on high school students who enter by taking a preliminary test. The test contains a mixture of questions that evaluate students in a number of areas from critical reading to math to writing skills.

Finalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout their high school careers and be recommended by their high school principals. Finalists are students who are high achievers both academically and in their schools and communities.

The National Merit Scholarship Program operates without government assistance. Scholarships are funded by 450 business organizations that share the goal of honoring scholastic champions.