May 1, 2016 Cayce Davis Named Torchbearer, University’s Highest Student Honor

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During the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet on April 19, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek named Cayce Davis, a 5th-year Architecture student, as a Torchbearer.  The Torchbearer Award is the highest honor given to a student at UT in recognition of academic achievement, leadership and service to others.

In addition to excelling academically in the School of Architecture, Davis is a UT Haslam Scholar, a Fulbright semifinalist and a cancer survivor.  Davis’s initiative, perseverance and remarkable tenacity have made him, in the words on his nominator, “a humble superstar [who] never rests on his laurels.”

Davis has taken full advantage of the opportunities presented by the Haslam Scholar program.  Of his own initiative, he pursued an independent research project on architecture built during ages of tremendous social upheavals.  This work was done outside of his normal coursework.  It wasn’t for college credit.  Yet, the work has earned him a number of scholarships and awards.

Davis, who is from Roland, Arkansas, was recently selected as a Fulbright Scholar semifinalist and will focus his Fulbright research project on new ways post-Holocaust Poland can move forward socially and economically.

His personal battle with brain cancer, now in remission, has given him a strong commitment to improve the lives of children.  As an active participant in the H

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aslam Scholars Science Saturday Program, Davis leads hands-on science experiments at Pond Gap Elementary School.  He volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Mid-South chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In the words of one of his nominators, “Cayce has a strong sense of community.  His kindness knows no bounds.  He understands the value and transformative nature of service for both those who serve, as well as those who receive the benefits of service.  The strength of Cayce’s Torchbearer candidacy is his ability to think independently while working for the greater good.”

Torchbearers are seniors who have served their alma mater with overall excellence.  The award is given for academic achievement and outstanding commitment to others as demonstrated by the student’s various activities and significant contribution to the university and the community.  Students chosen for this award embody the Volunteer spirit, and recognition as a Torchbearer reminds all students that those who bear the Torch of Enlightenment shadow themselves to give light to others.  In all, seven students received the 2016 Torchbearer Award.

During the April 19 awards banquet, other students in the College of Architecture and Design receiving recognition include these:

Undergraduate Academic Achievement

  • David Berry, Architecture
  • Erin Collins, Interior Design

Extraordinary Professional Promise

  • Geneva Frank, Interior Design
  • Rebecca Gillogly, Graduate Architecture
  • Alexis Porten, Undergraduate Architecture
  • Andrew Tarsi, Landscape Architecture

Top Collegiate Scholars

  • David Berry, Architecture

Congratulations to all students.