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Sisterhood, Service, Scholarship


Reaping the bounty of White's giving, Lauren Lowery was able to pursue additional middle school educational courses to round out her early childhood education degree, while Paige Delvendahl was able to pursue a marketing internship in China over the summer. Photos: Adam Brimer

She cried when her name was called. There should have been only one name called, but this year Paige Delvendahl joined Lauren Lowery at the podium to receive the Kim Hudson White Endowed Leadership Scholarship.

"The tears just came," says Paige, "knowing that I was receiving something so special."

"We had watched other girls in our sorority receive it, so everyone knows what a big deal it is," says Lauren. "It was a big deal financially, and it was a big deal because it is given to us by one of us. She cared enough to reach back and lift us up."

"Everybody in the community, and definitely in Chi Omega, knows who Kim White is," they both said laughing.

A hometown celebrity and the worker bee behind much of the revitalization of downtown Chattanooga as president and CEO of River City, Kim White (Chattanooga '82) created a "hand up" at her alma mater. The academic leadership scholarship came to be in 2009 to pay homage to Kim's sorority days and the future of fellow Delta Alpha Chapter of the Chi Omega sorority sisters.

Creating a legacy of active kindness "that I could see while I was living" was all the push White needed to connect the ambition and ability of students with their own potential for success.

"I get the privilege," she says, "of seeing the benefit of the scholarship."

With their Tennessee HOPE Scholarships dwindling, Paige and Lauren were in need of a financial bridge to carry them through one more semester.

The leadership scholarship was the boost Paige needed to be all-in for an integrated marketing internship in China, while Lauren could pursue extra hours of middle school social studies and English to round out her early childhood education degree. Both will graduate in December. Paige will likely head off to graduate school; Lauren is student teaching in an inner city elementary school in Chattanooga.


Build it and they will come: An economic driver and advocate of downtown Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Kim White, center, created a leadership scholarship at her alma mater to spur on the academic achievements of fellow Chi Omega sorority sisters like Lauren Lowery, left, and Paige Delvendahl, who will graduate in December. Photo: Adam Brimer

"Their tenacity, their energy energizes me," says Kim.

"No matter how many times I walk through the heart of this campus," she adds, "I still feel a sense of pride welling up inside me because of its beauty and tradition. Our future is in good hands."

After trying on various majors for size while a student at UTC, Kim found the Cinderella-fit in liberal arts.

"The most important thing I learned at UTC wasn't about mixing colors and expressing myself on canvas," she says. "It was about how I could express myself through campus involvement. It was a great foundation for learning about the responsibility and obligation of leadership. I learned the importance of networking, of getting involved and working to make a difference."

After receiving her degree, the Chattanooga native left and never looked back, at least for 20 years.

Twelve years ago, Chattanooga made it to her and her husband's short list. Closing the chapter on a 16-year career at a Fortune 500 communications company, Kim was ready to come back to familiar stomping ground.

"The city was calling me back," says Kim, who served as president and CEO of the Corker Group as well as Luken Holdings, managing and leasing over 2 million square feet of real estate, before taking the helm at River City.

Never losing her passion for her alma mater, Kim easily commits to a litany of UTC organizations, including the Chancellor's Roundtable, UC Foundation and the UTC Alumni Board. The former UTC Alumni Board President is also a fixture within the community on the boards of the Enterprise Center, Chattanooga Design Studio and Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

"Being involved in the community I call home is just as valuable as thinking outside of the box to create a way for revitalization and growth within the city," she says. "It takes vision."

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