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T.E. Murdic Scholarship recipients Marvin Brown, Kennedy Meadors and Xavier Shaw. Not pictured, scholarship recipient Emma Steele.

The African American Heritage Society of Williamson County held their sixth annual T.E. Murdic Scholarship Prom Saturday where they awarded scholarships to four local students.

The $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Marvin Brown and Kennedy Meadors, both graduates of Brentwood High School who will attend Washington University and Howard University respectively, Xavier Shaw, a graduated of Battle Ground Academy who will attend Western Kentucky University, and Emma Steele, a graduate of Page High School who will attend the University of Tennessee. 

More than 100 community members gathered at Franklin's Embassy Suites to celebrate the successes and bright futures of the students, one year after the 2020 event was forced to be canceled due tot he ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year we had 10 recipients of the scholarship but could not have our annual event, so we were so happy to  be able to host it in-person this year," AAHS President Alma McLemore said in an email. "It was an amazing night and we heard from some awesome students."
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AAHS President Alma McLemore and AAHS Vice President Harvey Chrisman.

"We are so grateful to our community here, who understand the importance of education and how we must encourage and support our youth," McLemore continued. "A college education is very costly so if we can encourage the students with this scholarship from the community, lessons are taught, one being that others do care and want the best for them as they pursue their higher education. It also instills in them a level of appreciation for this support, many times from people they do not know, in hopes that they will continue to give back as they receive.”

The scholarship is named in memory of Franklin native and Thomas Murdic, who died March 6, 2015, and since 2015, the group has awarded $28,000 in scholarships to local students.

“[He] was a community leader and AAHS board president for many years,” McLemore said in an earlier press release. “In addition to monetary support to an individual each year, AAHS’s hope is that the scholarship will provide an opportunity to educate youth in the community on African American history in Franklin and Williamson County and hopefully get them involved and interested in the rich history here.”  

Application for the 2021-2022 scholarships will be open in October and will be due by March 1, 2022.

The event featured remarks from McLemore, AAHS Vice President Harvey Chrisman, Young Leaders Network President Sonya Johnson, Education Committee Members Deborah Murdic and Carolyn Wall, Shelby and Lori Mitchell, as well as previous scholarship recipients Charlye Williams and Kevin Townsel Jr.

Mr. Michelle Arnold, Director of Equity and Inclusion and Associate Director of Admissions at Battle Ground Academy, MC'd the event, while Brother Nathaniel L. Grimes offered the invocation.

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Attendees dance at the 2021 T.E. Murdic Scholarship Prom.

The event included dinner, a best dressed contest, a raffle drawing, photo booth, and of course, dancing, and was sponsored by Buerger, Moseley and Carson, Middle Tenn. Electric, Atmos Energy and BrandMETTLE. Media sponsors are Franklin/Brentwood Home Page, Williamson Herald, Your Williamson Magazine, The Tennessean, Southern Exposure Magazine, The Tennessee Tribune, PLA Media and WAKM Radio.

More information about the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County can be found here.

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