Amy Elizabeth Spain Memorial Scholarship

Amy Elizabeth Spain Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was created in memory of a remarkable scholar, lawyer and beautiful human being: Amy Spain. Amy grew up in Jackson, TN and was educated in the Jackson public school system and at Old Hickory Academy. At Old Hickory she not only excelled in academics, but also in school-related activities. She was vice-president of the Student Government Association, editor of Senior Annual, staff member of the school newspaper and a member and officer of the Beta Club. Amy was one of five students from her class selected by the faculty for Who?s Who designation. She was selected by Congressman Ed Jones to attend Presidential Classroom in Washington, D.C.
Amy became an accounting major at Middle Tennessee State University, ultimately graduating magna cum laude. During her years at MTSU she served as a student ambassador from 1984 through 1986 and in 1986 she was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior award. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and was active in the MTSU student government association, serving two years as judge on the traffic court.
With impressive law school acceptances to the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt and the University of Memphis, Amy made the UofM her choice to pursue a law degree.
At the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law she was a Herbert Herff Scholar. She received an American Jurisprudence award and served as comments editor for the University of Memphis Law Review. In addition she was a regional finalist on the National Mock Trial Team, secretary of the Student Bar Association and a member of the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.
Following her law school graduation, Amy became a law clerk for U.S. District Judge James D. Todd. For five years during her clerkship, she taught legal writing and research as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis School of Law.
In 1990 she became assistant U.S. Attorney, a position she held until her untimely death in 1995. While serving on the staff of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Amy became active in civic, charitable and professional activities in Memphis. She was active on the board of directors of the Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association. She was selected to serve as a member of the Memphis chapter of the American Inns of Court.
In April 1995, Amy was awarded the Longstreet Heiskell Best Participant Award at the Memphis Bar Association’s Bench-Bar Conference. Amy was on the board of directors of the Fogelman Downtown YMCA and served as board secretary in 1995. She volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house where she served as activities chairman and was chairman of the Speaker’s Bureau from 1994 until her death.
Through Christ United Methodist Church, Amy became involved in the Mediation and Restitution/Reconciliation Services, a mediation program designed as an alternative for first and second time juvenile offenders. Veronica Coleman, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, said, “I was especially proud to have recommended Amy for Leadership Memphis and was elated that the diverse screening committee agreed with me that her track record as a young leader was a clear indication of the heights she would reach as a community leader. She will forever be a member of the class of 1996.”
Following her death, her parents and brother were invited to Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno who presented them a posthumous award for exemplary service by Amy in the Judge David Lanier Case on which appeal she was working the day of her death. She left the office a little early on Friday, June 30, 1995, to go to Jackson, TN, to pick up a new car when she encountered a torrential downpour of rain causing her car to hydroplane and cross the median into the path of an eighteen-wheeler. She took her legal profession seriously. A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent possibly said it best, “She goes after them just like a buzz saw.”
In her short life, Amy Spain touched many lives.

Impact

I am honored to be the recipient of the Amy Elizabeth Spain Memorial Scholarship. Law school is expensive and this scholarship eases my debt burden, which I am especially grateful for.
Tyler Glenn Tollison, 2015 Scholarship recipient

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