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The Niswonger Foundation conducted its annual Winter Leadership Training for their Niswonger Scholars on December 21-22, 2012.  The theme for this year’s training was “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There.”  The first session was held on Friday the 21st in the fellowship hall at Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  After the day’s session, the Scholars were invited to a holiday pajama party hosted by Foundation staff members, Dr. Nancy Dishner, Linda Irwin and Barbara Bates.  The Scholars had a casual dinner and then played festive games, ending with a visit from Santa (Scott Niswonger).  The second session was on Saturday the 22nd at General Morgan Inn.  Among those making presentations at the second session were Scott M. Niswonger, founder and benefactor of the Niswonger Foundation, alumni Scholars – Jessica Verran-Lingard, Matt Bible, Patrick Brown, Ian Sams, Trey Reliford and Katie Baker.


The current Niswonger Scholars are (FRESHMEN): Gage Armstrong, Afton, University of Tennessee; Trey Dodson, Jefferson City, Vanderbilt University; Ivory Shelton, Erwin, Wake Forest University; Matthew Sheppard, Kingsport, Clemson University; Richard Vradenburgh, Mohawk, Tennessee Technological University; (SOPHOMORES) Jordan Frye, Piney Flats, University of Tennessee; Lillie Seal, Sneedville, Lincoln Memorial University; Alex Smyth, Mosheim, East Tennessee State University; Christopher Steadman, Blountville, University of Tennessee; Francisco Ochoa-Vargas, Johnson City, Vanderbilt University; (JUNIORS) Alex Croghan, Limestone, Lipscomb University; Yaying Wang, Greeneville, Emory University; Scott White, Johnson City, University of Tennessee; (SENIORS) Will Brummett, Jefferson City, Elon University; James Durham, Greeneville, University of Notre Dame; Johneshia Good, Johnson City, Milligan College; Elizabeth Jones, Johnson City, Clemson University; Jason Light, Blountville, University of Tennessee; Kayla Williams, Russellville, University of Tennessee.


Niswonger Scholars participate in two formal leadership training experiences each year. Scholars are chosen primarily for their leadership potential, commitment to personal excellence and to service in their home communities. Their scholarship provides the opportunity to attend the college or university of choice. In exchange, the Scholars commit to returning to serve in their home communities. 

Established in 2001, the Niswonger Foundation was founded by Scott M. Niswonger, Greeneville businessman and philanthropist. The mission of the Foundation is: “To create opportunities for individual and community growth through education and other sustainable projects.”  Information regarding the work of the Niswonger Foundation may be found at

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