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Memorial Scholarship for Cheatham County Sheriff benefits three APSU students

April 29, 2002

The legacy of the late Cheatham County Sheriff Dorris Weakley lives on at Austin Peay through the Dorris Weakley Memorial Scholarship.

Weakley served as sheriff of Cheatham County from 1970-1972 and from 1974-1990. During that time, he organized a fish fry to raise money for equipment for the sheriff's office. The money remaining after the equipment was purchased was placed in a college fund.

Weakley decided if he could help deserving students go to college, he wanted to do so. As a result, he continued the annual fish fry to raise money for college scholarships until his death in November 1990.

After Weakley's death, his family met with Dr. Oscar Page, then president of APSU, and decided the University should become administrator of the scholarship.

Weakley's widow, Erma Weakley, and children, Vivian Weakley Milom, Alice Weakley Lindahl, Garry Weakley and Walter Weakley, established the endowed scholarship in his memory.

"The generosity of the Weakley family has given financial assistance to many exceptional students from the high schools in Cheatham County," said Amy Deaton, assistant director of APSU's Office of Admissions.

"It has allowed APSU to recruit quality students, and these students have excelled academically as well as becoming student leaders on our campus. We appreciate the willingness of the Weakley family to help these students."

The endowment has grown to more than $80,000, and interest from the endowment currently provides scholarships for three APSU students, all Cheatham County residents.

Maranda Cripps, a senior psychology major, is the daughter of James and Sandra Cripps, Ashland City, and a 1999 graduate of Cheatham County Central High School.

Jacqueline Heath, the daughter of Terrenda Duncan, Smyrna, is a junior business major and a 2000 graduate of Harpeth High School.
" Gina Ray, a sophomore business major, is the daughter of Harold and Beth Ray, Chapmansboro, and a 2000 graduate of Cheatham County Central High School.

It didn't matter if the student was an 'A' student or a 'C' student as long as he or she was a good student. The need was important. He wanted to help them go to college because they might not have the opportunity otherwise," said Milom.

The students all have been very appreciative and at the top of their class. All of the past recipients have graduated from college. We're really proud of them and glad that, in some small way, we could help them accomplish that."

Applicants must be graduates of a high school in Cheatham County. The awards are based on financial need, high school GPA, ACT scores and high school activities.

Although the family no longer sponsors the fish fry, people can continue to donate to the scholarship fund.

For more information, telephone APSU's Office of University Advancement at 7227.