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Bethel Undergraduate Office of Admissions announces Hendrix Scholarship Award Winners

Karlee Willis

by Bethel University

Karlee Willis

MCKENZIE, TN – Bethel University Undergraduate Admissions Office has announced the winners of the prestigious Hendrix Scholarship.

Karlee Willis from Huron, Tennessee, a student of Lexington High School is the winner of the 2020 Hendrix Scholarship Competition. The daughter of Jeff and Carla Willis, Karlee will receive full tuition, room, and board at Bethel University. She will major in Bio-Chemistry at Bethel this fall and participate in Renaissance Theatre.

Hendrix Scholarship Runner-up is Blaine O’Donnell from Moscow, Tennessee, a student at Fayette Academy in Somerville, Tennessee. The son of Lindsay O’Donnell of Lake Cherokee, Texas, Larry O’Donnell of Memphis, Tennessee & Liz O’Donnell of Moscow, Tennessee, Blaine plans to major in Business Administration at Bethel and to be on the Shooting Team. Blaine received a full tuition scholarship at Bethel.

The winners were chosen following a rigorous two-day academic competition with 22 participants at the university February 21-22. Director of Admissions Tina Hodges stated, “The Hendrix Scholarship Competition is a very exciting event here at Bethel. Our 22 participants were amazingly accomplished students from three different states. We were honored to have them seeking the Hendrix Scholarship and Bethel as their University home.”

Bethel President Walter Butler surprised Karlee Willis at on Friday, February 28th at Lexington High School to present her scholarship valued at over $100,000. “We are thrilled to have Karlee as our 2020 Hendrix Scholarship Award winner. Karlee encompasses the excellence that this award represents. We are honored to have her join us in Fall 2020 at Bethel.”

Established in 1988, the Hendrix Scholarship Competition is named in honor of Nashville businessman Willard R. Hendrix, who dreamed of connecting qualified and dedicated faculty with outstanding and deserving students. As the grandson of former Bethel University President W.W. Hendrix, the younger Hendrix also wanted to pay tribute to his grandfather, an outstanding educator who reopened the school on a new McKenzie, TN campus after the Civil War. Willard Hendrix established the trust just two months before his death in August 1988. Worthy students have competed for – and benefitted from -- the prestigious award ever since.

Bethel University is a private institution affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Founded in 1842, the school is located in McKenzie, TN. To learn more, go to