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Art scholarship endowed in honor of former professor

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Self-portrait rendering provided by Michael Alvis.

(Nov. 26, 2019) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Upperclassmen in Carson-Newman University’s Art Department may now benefit from additional scholarship funds to assist in their creative pursuits thanks to a recent endowment.

Rex Huber, a 1978 alumnus, of Baltimore, Maryland, donated $35,000 to endow an art scholarship in honor of former professor and 1977 C-N alumnus Michael Alvis.

Alvis, who also holds a Master of Fine Arts in studio art from Florida State University, taught various classes within the Carson-Newman Art Department and maintained the department’s computer lab for a number of years. He spent several years living in Japan, where he taught English and corporate and private classes, in addition to a year living in Atlanta, where he managed the Ichiyo Art Center. He currently resides in Rogersville.

“Honoring Michael in this way is a deserving recognition of his service to the University over the years,” said Professor Julie Rabun, chair of the Art Department. “Michael is a valued friend and colleague of the Art Department, and a regular supporter of our efforts to serve our students and contribute to the liberal arts tradition, which is enriched by the disciplines within the creative arts. The fact that art and photography students will be the beneficiaries of the Michael Alvis Scholarship is a fitting act of gratitude to Michael’s commitment and belief in the importance of art, design and photography as scholarly pursuits.

Rabun said that the Art Department will select deserving art, photography or graphic design rising junior and senior students to receive the scholarship, which will be awarded annually based on financial need and demonstrated excellence in art classes and portfolio reviews.

“I count my time as a student and instructor at Carson-Newman as a wonderful experience that brought me into contact with many interesting classmates, students and colleagues from around the world,” Alvis said. “I am positive that the Michael Alvis Art Department Scholarship will give valuable assistance to deserving art students in the coming years.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and has over 2,700 students. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

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