JFWA at LMU establishes new scholarship

Published 4:43 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

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The J. Frank White Academy is establishing the Craig E. Robertson Memorial Scholarship to pay tribute to a longtime friend, coach and supportive parent who died last November.

The J. Frank White Academy is a private, college preparatory K-12 day school located on the LMU campus. JFWA is fully accredited and STEM certified by Cognia, which is the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) schools and programs, signaling the growing emphasis on STEM education by educators, politicians and business leaders around the world.

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“We are honored to see the legacy of our father preserved and carried forward through this scholarship, and hope that it serves as a means of bettering and furthering the education of its recipient,” said Dr. Dakota Robertson, JFWA Class of 2011. “Our dad loved the institution, and our family looks forward to a continued relationship with both Lincoln Memorial University and the J. Frank White Academy.”

For more than a decade, Robertson served JFWA in a number of roles including head coach for boys and girls basketball, as well as baseball. During that time, he influenced many lives both on and off the court and field of play. He never missed an opportunity to donate his time, efforts, and resources. Robertson entrusted the Academy with the education of his own, seeing four of his five children graduate between 2001 and 2011.

“I spent many years at the Academy working alongside Craig Robertson and was so appreciative of the time and energy he gave to help us be successful,” said Principal Bobby Lockhart. “For him it was truly a labor of love, and a scholarship to benefit student athletes is a fitting memorial. Craig will not be forgotten.”

Robertson served as Chairman of the Board of Commercial Bank from 2014 until his death. He was a lifelong farmer who had a love for Angus cattle and was a well-respected businessman throughout East Tennessee and the Tri-State Area. He was awarded the 2005 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from LMU, given to those who “demonstrate noble character and act as humble servants, placing service to others before self-interest.” Robertson was a faithful member of Hensley Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. He was a beloved coach, friend, and helper to many, but above all else he was a loving father and grandfather.