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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Ronda Thomas Schrimsher receives Wharton Scholarship from Motlow College Foundation

December 5, 2013

In 2006 Charles and Julie Wharton saw the opportunity to help change lives by starting a scholarship fund to benefit a Franklin County Drug Court graduate. The recipient for the 2013-2014 academic year is Ronda Thomas Schrimsher. Ms. Schrimsher plans to graduate from Motlow College in May 2014 and continue her education at Liberty University and specialize in Christian counseling.

Ronda Thomas Schrimsher, a Motlow College sophomore from Franklin County, recently received the Wharton Scholarship. Ronda is a Franklin County Drug Court graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the Motlow College honors program. Pictured with Ronda is Charles Wharton. The Wharton Scholarship funds fees and tuition for up to 12 credit hours per semester, plus additional help with the expense of textbooks.
"I want to be an alcohol and drug counselor and work within the judicial system. Currently I am working on obtaining certification as a Peer Recovery Specialist and want to work with the Franklin County Drug Court after graduation," said Ms. Schrimsher. "I plan to use my education to give direction to others. God has brought me through numerous experiences in my life which I can now share with others and help guide them along a very difficult path."

Ronda is currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA and is in the honors program at Motlow, as well as holding membership in Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society for college students. Dr. Scott Cook, honors program coordinator at Motlow, said the following in recommending Ronda for the scholarship.

"I first came to know Ms. Schrimsher in 2013 when she enrolled in my summer section of American History II, and I was so impressed with her work and her abilities to analyze and synthesize academically rigorous material that I recruited her to join the honors program. Since becoming an honors scholar, she has distinguished herself as a motivated and talented learner, admired by the honors faculty and her peers alike. Ms. Schrimsher wishes to work with others to make the community, and the world, a better place."

Julie Wharton was a founding member of the Alliance of Women Philanthropists at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and served as a longtime member of the UT College of Veterinary Medicine Board of Advisors. Julie passed away in August 2008. Charles Wharton, who earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering at UT and a master of business administration from the University of Chicago, is a member of the University of Tennessee Board Of Trustees and in 2012 was awarded the Alumni Service Award. He also serves on the University of Tennessee Foundation Board, Development Council, Agricultural Development Board, and the UTSI Support Council. In 2009 the Whartons were honored with the Development Council Service Award as recognition of their philanthropic leadership service. Currently, Charles lives in Winchester, where he is president and CEO of Poplar Creek Farms.

"We are very fortunate to have such a generous donor who is willing to help our students work toward a better life," said Jan Casey Rogers, director of advancement at Motlow College. "The Wharton Scholarship funds fees and tuition for up to 12 credit hours per semester, plus additional help with the expense of textbooks. This is truly life-changing help for Ronda as she works various part-time jobs while attending college.

"I am reminded of the story of the child on the beach where hundreds of starfish were washing onto shore," Rogers continued. "As the child frantically threw them back into the ocean, a man came by and pointed out that the child's efforts were futile as there were too many starfish to help. Wise beyond his years, the child pointed out as he threw another starfish into the water, 'I will make a difference to this one.'"

Anyone wishing to make a difference in the lives of students should contact Ms. Rogers at the Motlow College Foundation, a 501c3, by phone at 931-393-1692 or by email at