Scholarship helping Upperman Bees become Tech Golden Eagles

(Photo: Tennessee Tech)

COOKEVILLE – When Macy Wheeler graduated from Upperman High School in Baxter, staying close to home to earn her undergraduate degree was a priority. Located in her hometown and with plentiful scholarship opportunities, Wheeler found Tennessee Tech University an easy choice.

The transition from Upperman High School Bee to Tech Golden Eagle is made easier for UHS students thanks to the B.J. and Cleo Dennis Scholarship, which provides up to $65,000 annually for Upperman students attending Tech.

“Because of the scholarships I have received, I have been able to attend Tech currently with no debt which allows me to save money for grad school,” Wheeler said.

She is majoring in psychology with plans to work with adolescents and is one of 33 students assisted by the B.J. and Cleo Dennis Scholarship in its first year.

Addison Freeman is another Upperman graduate receiving the scholarship. The pre-vet major says she was familiar with Tech because it was close to home, but she also found it to be the right size. She sees the scholarships she has received as an opportunity to keep the cost of preparing for her career low.

Baxter is also computer science major Isaiah Brown’s hometown. He was already comfortable with Tech’s campus before he enrolled, but the scholarships be received provided an additional level of relief, knowing he’d have that financial assistance to pay for his course work.

Cleo Nash Dennis was born and raised in Baxter, and married B.J. Dennis of New York, New York, in 1951. For several years, they lived in Baxter and owned and operated the local H&N Campbell grocery store. The couple’s love for the Baxter area and Tennessee Tech led them to include the university in their estate plans. Now, the scholarship in their names will help generations of Upperman High School students pursue a college education.

To apply for this or other scholarships, prospective students should complete the scholarship application by Dec. 15. The application for fall 2022-spring 2023 is open now. Visit to learn more.

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