news-category: Tucker Scholarship

Lily Streeton of High Point, N.C., Receives Gardner-Webb’s Prestigious Tucker Scholarship

Winner Recognized for her Strong Character, Community Service, Leadership and Academics

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Lily Streeton, of High Point, N.C., is the 2024 recipient of Gardner-Webb University’s highest honor for incoming undergraduate students, the Tucker Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength Scholarship. She is the fifth student in the history of the scholarship to be recognized with this honor. Established in 2019 by Carolyn and Robert Tucker, the award includes full-tuition, room and board for eight semesters.

The Tuckers created the scholarship to annually recognize a high school senior who exemplifies the principles and values representative of the Gardner-Webb community. The qualifications are based on the Tucker family’s life verse, Mark 12:29-31. In this passage, Jesus gives the two most important commandments: “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Streeton was one of 227 high school seniors who applied for the scholarship and among 49 finalists invited to campus for interviews. Applicants represented 19 states—from the Carolinas to California and as far away as Hawaii.

“Everyone on the selection committee was profoundly impressed by Lily,” shared GWU President Dr. William Downs. “She’s bright, articulate, academically accomplished, and broadly engaged in her community. What really shone through was her strong character, her clear foundation of solid values and principles, and her demonstrated dedication to a life in service to God and to humanity. In our view, Lily Streeton is a perfect fit for Gardner-Webb and a perfect match for the Tucker Scholarship.”

The Tuckers are the founders of Shoe Show Inc. in Concord, N.C. In 2010, they gave the University $5.5 million to help build the Tucker Student Center. Their daughter, Lisa, is a 1989 alumna and former volleyball player for Gardner-Webb. She has remained actively engaged with the University for over three decades and currently serves on the Board of Trustees and the Tucker Scholarship Selection Committee. She also serves as president of the family’s business.

Lily Streeton and her mom, Olivia

Streeton is an honor student at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point and volunteers with multiple community organizations that serve young people. She is the assistant worship leader at her church, Hope River in Gibsonville, N.C. She plays clarinet with the school orchestra and taught herself how to play tenor saxophone for the school’s production of “Annie.” She also has four part-time jobs.

“This scholarship is an amazing opportunity for me,” Streeton affirmed. “It’s a huge honor. I am so beyond blessed and thankful for this. It’s an answer to prayers.”

When she came for the scholarship interview, she decided then that even if she didn’t receive the Tucker Scholarship, she was coming to Gardner-Webb. “I can see how everyone cares about each other, and they put God first as well,” Streeton asserted. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people, having new experiences, seeing other communities that I can get involved in, and finding some additional family.”

She plans to major in business management to follow in her mother Olivia’s footsteps. “My mom is an entrepreneur,” Streeton explained. “She has two businesses—Vanity Resource, a furniture company, and Arcadia Home Delivery—which she started because she needed someone to carry the vanities to people’s homes. She does such good work there. I see the people that she impacts, too. She calls it her missions’ field. The people that she hires have difficult pasts—like alcoholism, drug abuse or they’ve been convicted felons—and I see that she gives them a second chance. She has a ton of people that she pours into and mentors. I would love to be able to do something like that.”

In her scholarship essay, Streeton explained what Mark 12:29-31 meant to her. “I strive to live each and every day of my life for my God,” she asserted. “In compassion, in selfless service, and in empathy, I live to love like Him. I will make an excellent addition to the life and ministry of Gardner-Webb University because I am confident—not in my own ability to live out Mark 12:30—but by my choice each and every day to give up my life as a living sacrifice to Him so that He may work through me for His glory and His honor.”

The first step in the application process is to be nominated for the Tucker Scholarship by a minister, teacher, guidance counselor or community leader who is unrelated to the student. Streeton was nominated by her school’s director of college admissions, Michelle Ledbetter. She recognized Streeton’s desire to grow in her faith, her work in the community and her academic achievements.   

Applicants also submit letters of recommendation. In his letter, Kevin Peele, Streeton’s sophomore science teacher, described her strong intellect, attention to detail, cooperative attitude and inquisitive nature. Peele also wrote, “I will also remember her willingness to assist other students with their studies. I was especially impressed with the manner in which she was able to provide instruction to such students—her accurate explanations, given in a clear and soft-spoken manner were well received.”

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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