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Nashville’s largest law firm awards diversity scholarship to Maria Dalton;
Program established in 2011 to assist students exhibiting values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nashville, Tenn. – Waller, Nashville’s oldest and largest law firm, today announced that Maria Alejandra (Alé) Dalton is the third recipient of its Diversity Endowed Scholarship at the University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville College of Law. The cornerstone of Waller’s effort to support the law school’s diversity recruiting program, the scholarship is drawn from a $100,000 endowment fund established in 2011 to honor students whose lives have been guided by the examples of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I cannot think of a more appropriate time to honor Dr. King’s legacy as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights March on Washington and Dr. King’s historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” said Waller chairman John Tishler. “Dr. King dedicated his life to the principles of equality and justice. By supporting exemplary students like Alé, we hope to empower future generations to build upon his legacy.”
Originally from Colombia, Dalton and her family immigrated to the United States when she was in elementary school. She attended Lipscomb University, graduating magna cum laude in 2012 with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Political Science. At Lipscomb, she was awarded the Angie Greene Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship awarded to the most outstanding student in the History, Politics and Philosophy Department. She was the Student Government Academic Chair and served as a peer advisor in the Academic Advising Office. Dalton began classes at UT College of Law earlier this month. Waller will formally recognize her on January 16, 2014 at the firm’s annual celebration of Dr. King’s life.
The Diversity Endowed Scholarship program was created by Waller’s Diversity Committee, which is led by Tishler, himself a UT Law alumnus. A scholarship selection committee, which includes other community leaders like John Seigenthaler and Agenia Clark, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, reviews all candidates and determines the scholarship recipient.
The scholarship considers students' ethnic and cultural backgrounds, career goals, social and economic disadvantages, age, race and gender. Dalton will receive $5,000 for the Fall semester, a scholarship that is renewable each semester for the three years she attends UT College of Law. Previous scholarship recipients include Meesha Kaw in 2011 and Natalie Green in 2012.