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Alexia and Charley Poe Establish New CCI Endowed Scholarship

Alexia and Charley PoeAlexia (BS/JEM ’95) and Charley (BS/Poli Sc ’96; MS/C&I ’98) Poe recently established the Alexia and Charley Poe Endowed Scholarship in the UT College of Communication and Information. The scholarship is for undergraduate CCI students with financial need who graduated from a rural area East Tennessee high school. 

The Poes, who are funding the scholarship with a gift of $35,000, offered this message to future recipients of their scholarship. “Congratulations on receiving this scholarship! Study hard, and take advantage of all that your college experience has to offer.  As you go on to do great things in this world, we hope you’ll think about how you can create opportunities for others. We are excited for you and hope you enjoy your time at the University of Tennessee!”

Alexia Poe (BS/JEM ’95) graduated magna cum laude from UT. She currently serves as principal of Poe Consulting, a communications consulting firm in Nashville. She began her career as a morning anchor and reporter in Northeast Tennessee before moving to Nashville to work for Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist. She became the second female and youngest person in the state’s history to serve as press secretary to a governor.  From there she went to Washington, DC where she worked for First Lady Laura Bush and US Senator Lamar Alexander. She moved to the private sector in 2005 when she returned to Nashville to work for Gaylord Entertainment as director of public affairs. She then served as the director of economic and community development under Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and most recently as director of communications for Governor Bill Haslam.  She was the recipient of CCI’s 2012 Donald G. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award.

Charley Poe, director of Government Relations for Eastman Chemical Company, has served on the Tennessee Business Roundtable, on the board of Renewal House and on the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce. After graduation, he worked on a state senate campaign in Middle Tennessee. Following the election, he went to work for the State of Tennessee as a legislative liaison for the Department of Human Services.  He then moved to the Governor’s Office where he served as an assistant to Governor Don Sundquist. From the Governor’s Office, he went to the Department of Economic and Community Development, serving as Assistant Commissioner for Existing Business until he joined Eastman in 2002.

“The Alexia and Charley Poe Endowed Scholarship helps fill an important gap in CCI’s available scholarships,” said Dean Mike Wirth. “This funding will help us attract and keep bright students from areas of East Tennessee that might not otherwise be able to attend UT. We are very grateful to the Poes for their generous gift!”

Alexia and Charley Poe live in Nashville with their two children.