Madison Lamon wins President’s Award, Roane State’s highest student honor

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

It was the perfect setting for a surprise announcement: surrounded by her teammates and coach at a team cookout.

Madison “Madi” Lamon watched on a YouTube livestream on Awards Night that she had been named the winner of Roane State Community College’s highest student honor – the President’s Award.

“I was very surprised,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Lamon, 19, a pitcher for the Roane State Raiders softball team, is the latest recipient of the award, and on an auspicious occasion – the 50th anniversary of the community college. The tradition of bestowing a President’s Award began in the 1978-79 academic year. Current Roane State President Dr. Chris Whaley won the award in the 1988-89 academic year.

“Madison is an exceptional scholar, student athlete and leader, and it has been our blessing to have her at Roane State,” Dr. Whaley said. “Her passion to serve others is remarkable, and I know she will succeed both professionally and personally. I’m so proud that she is such an incredible ambassador for RSCC.”

Lamon and her teammates were enjoying the cookout at the Baptist Campus Ministry near the college’s main campus when she learned she had won. “All my closest friends were around me, yelling and screaming” as the announcement was made, she said.

The Knoxville resident is the daughter of Mike and Christy Lamon and is a 2019 graduate of Karns High School, where she was the starting pitcher for the school’s softball team. Her senior year, she was named an All-District player and All-Tournament player for the district tournament.

She was offered an athletic scholarship after Jessie Hackworth, Roane State’s head softball coach, watched her play. After touring the college’s flagship campus in Roane County, “I knew that was where I was supposed to be,” Lamon said.

“I knew I was going to love it here. I was right. I made the right decision.”

Lamon compiled an impressive list of achievements at Roane State, both on the softball field and in the classroom. 

Academically, she’s been on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List as she racked up a 3.8 grade point average and graduated with honors.

She cites as her favorite instructor Associate Professor Jala Daniel, her teacher for biology and the two courses of anatomy and physiology. “She kept it interesting,” Lamon said of Daniel. “I feel like I learned a lot.”

Athletically, she is an Academic All-American on the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) and was the association’s Student Athlete Council’s female representative for Region 7.

“Madi embodies everything that Roane State represents: dedication to academics, service to her community, and engagement while representing Roane State Athletics,” Hackworth said.

Lamon is transferring to University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she plans to major in recreational therapy. She and her teammates volunteer at an assisted living facility and the Roane County Animal Shelter.

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