At the Ellis scholarship presentation are, from left, Erskine Oglesby, Omega Psi Phi fraternity president; Gena Ellis; Edward Ellis IV, scholarship recipient; the Rev. Edward Ellis III; Ronald Harris, vice president, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust.
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New chapter of nursing sorority chartered

The local Psi Chi Chi chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc. was chartered Aug. 6 by national and regional officers.

Chi Eta Phi is an organization for professional registered nurses founded at Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C. The organization has graduate and undergraduate chapters throughout the nation and the Virgin Islands.

The local chapter will work with area hospitals and healthcare facilities to help decrease childhood obesity and hypertension and to support adult and youth programs and mentorship for individuals who would like to enter the healthcare profession.

For more information about the Psi Chi Chi chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc., contact Tamara Grayson at or visit the website at

Ellis receives scholarship

Edward Ellis IV has received a $2,500 scholarship from The Pearl Group, the Kappa Iota chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust.

Funding for the scholarship was raised in May at Sundresses at Sunset, held at Hunter Museum of American Art.

The recipient is the son of Gena Ellis and the Rev. Edward Ellis III. He is a graduate of McCallie School, a participant in the Life Academy sponsored by 100 Black Men and in Jazzanooga.

He is attending Columbia University this fall, majoring in jazz and economics.

Rymer receives SouthEast scholarship

Savannah Rymer has received a scholarship from SouthEast Bank, valued at $28,000 over four years, to attend Tennessee Wesleyan University.

"To me, this scholarship means incentive for the future," Rymer said. "I am extremely honored that a prestigious organization such as SouthEast Bank has chosen to invest in my future. At TWU, I see the chance to make something out of my life, and this scholarship is the first step toward that."

Rymer's scholarship is one of dozens of scholarships totaling $225,500 that SouthEast Bank has funded at TWU.

The SouthEast Bank Scholars program is designed to identify and reward deserving students with a minimum grade-point average of 3.25. The scholarships assist in paying tuition and allow recipients to expand their education and leadership skills at participating colleges and universities, including TWU.

Upchurch receives osteopathic degree

Emily Upchurch of Crossville, Tenn., has received a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn. She is the daughter of Howard Upchurch and Vicki Upchurch of Crossville.

Upchurch received her undergraduate degree from Rhodes College. She will continue her medical training as an internal medicine resident at Northside Hospital and Heart Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. Upchurch is a member of the Sigma Sigma Phi honorary osteopathic service fraternity and of Alpha Chi honor society.

Sankofa Fund announces grant recipients

The Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement, a local philanthropic fund started by a group of 20 community-minded young black professionals, announces recipients of its Black Philanthropy Month grants.

World Smart Leaders Program and Calvin Donaldson Elementary School's library maker space will each receive $500.

World Smart Leaders Program provides opportunities for under-represented high school students to expand their horizons by studying abroad, with a goal of producing globally minded leaders.

Calvin Donaldson Elementary School library maker space supports a project-based learning model for students to build exhibits showing what they've learned each quarter. The Sankofa funding will purchase items appropriate for 4- to 10-year-old students, including Legos, puzzles, dress-up clothes, large picture frames, snap circuits and wooden train sets.

The Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement is housed at the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Sankofa members commit to making an annual gift to the fund, volunteering for various organizations and collectively making funding decisions.

To make a contribution to the Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement, visit To apply for Sankofa funding, visit The group's next $1,000 grant funding cycle will take place this winter.

— Compiled by staff