Alumni Report

Swinging for Scholarships


GolfBYU alumni in Tennessee have found that the names LaVell Edwards and Ty Detmer can build enthusiasm for more than just football. Both Edwards (EdD ’78) and Detmer (BS ’92) have made guest appearances at an annual golf tournament that raises money for BYU scholarships.

Run by the BYU Alumni Association Tennessee Chattanooga Chapter, the golf tournament funds the chapter’s replenishment grant program. The grants support nearly two dozen scholarships for BYU and BYU–Idaho students from the region. The 2007 tournament raised about $30,000, matching last year’s contributions and adding to years of generous giving.

“For seven consecutive years the Chattanooga chapter has raised funds for student scholarships,” says Roy A. Brinkerhoff (MFA ’84), assistant director of alumni activities at BYU.

Charles E. (Gene) Owens (’78) initiated the golf tournament and later became chair of the Chattanooga chapter. He invites the special guests—such as this year’s Glen C. Tuckett (MS ’62), former BYU baseball coach and athletic director—and secures sponsors for the golf tournament, many from his own profession.

“I have been a dentist for 22 years. I asked dental suppliers, oral surgeons, and orthodontists to participate—and they did,” Owens says. He recruited several corporate sponsors, including one that donated $10,000. “We found out the Spirit of the Y exists here,” he says, “whether it be donations for scholarships or participating in chapter activities—all we had to do was ask.”

Many students from the Chattanooga area have benefitted from the replenishment grants. “Because of this scholarship, it has been easier to reach my goals,” says Laurel Pehrson (’10), a linguistics major from Chattanooga suburb Ringgold, Ga., who plans to teach English in Japan someday. “I am grateful to those who funded my scholarship.”