Lee News

Walker Receives 2020 F.J. Lee Award


Lee University recently recognized Ashley Walker as the recipient of the 2020 F.J. Lee Award.

This annual award was established in 1968 in honor of the second president of Lee University. It is presented to the Lee senior with the overall most outstanding record of student achievement. Award winners demonstrate high standards of integrity, leadership, service, broad campus involvement, and academic excellence. Each department may nominate one student for the award and, from these nominees, a winner is selected by a faculty vote.

“I am honored to receive this award, and I am beyond grateful for the people who have shaped me during my time at Lee,” said Walker. “The professors, staff, and students I've met at Lee have impacted the way I think about learning, look at the world, and interact with people and ideas.”

Ashley Walker
Ashley Walker

During her time at Lee, Walker received the Centennial Scholarship and the Colonel Lee B. Ledford Scholarship, which is a scholarship given by the Appalachian College Association to students conducting summer research. She is a member of two honor societies, Sigma Tau Delta and Alpha Chi, along with serving as the vice president of scholarship in the university honors program, Kairos.

Walker presented her research paper, “The Beatific and the Scientific: Dantean Theme and Structure in Frankenstein,” at the Sigma Tau Delta 2019 International Convention and “Fitzgerald’s American Epic: Echoes of Homer in Gatsby,” at the 2018 convention. In 2018, she also presented “The Book of Diverse Heresies: A Study in the Christian Heresy Catalogue” at the Appalachian College Association’s annual summit conference.

“She is a student for whom I have the greatest admiration and upon whom I have come to rely in and out of the class as an exemplary student, assistant, peer leader, and human being,” said Dr. Aaron Johnson, associate professor of humanities at Lee. “Such an assessment arises from her reliability, intellectual acuity, and exemplary philological sensibilities.”

Walker’s essay, “‘It Drives Me Crazy’: Childhood and Madness in The Catcher in the Rye,” won the award for best paper in the annual Sims Colloquium 2018-2019, which showcases student research in Lee’s Department of History, Humanities, and Political Science. She also received the Lee University Humanities Latin Award 2018-2019, which is given to the best Latin student in the department.

While at Lee, Walker served as a tutor in Lee’s Writing Center and actively took part in Urban Outreach, an event organized by the university to serve the community by providing supplies, helping in after-school programs, and more. She volunteered with Lee’s history department in the Annual Fort Hill Cemetery Tour and continues serving as a volunteer at the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library.

“Lee has given me a unique experience of what a university is and does, and I believe this unique experience will influence me well into the next stages of my life,” said Walker.

Walker graduated this May with a double major in English Literature and Classics. She was nominated by both the Department of History, Political Science and Humanities and the Department of Language and Literature.

This fall, Walker will begin the graduate program in classics at the University of Notre Dame, along with working as a graduate assistant. She plans to continue in graduate school for her doctorate and eventually teach at the university level.

Lee University has rescheduled its spring commencement exercises to take place this summer, at which time Walker will be recognized for this honor.

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