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Union alum's design chosen for Tennessee commemorative quarter

JACKSON, Tenn.May 11, 2001 – A design by Shawn Stookey, a 1991 Union University graduate and Waverly, Tenn. native, has been chosen by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts for the Tennessee commemorative quarter, scheduled to go into circulation in 2002.

Featuring a musical heritage theme, the image on the coin includes a trumpet representing W.C. Handy and the blues music of Memphis, a guitar for the country music of Nashville, and a fiddle for the folk and bluegrass music of East Tenn.

Three stars in the background portray the state's three divisions. The artwork Stookey submitted had a drawing of the state, not stars, but those submitting entries agreed that their designs could be changed.

Stookey said the coin's design must first be approved by Tennessee's treasurer and governor before the design becomes official, but he is excited that his design was chosen for consideration. Stookey wasn't aware of his design's selection until a Memphis paper contacted him for an interview.

An art teacher to kindergarten through eighth-grade students at Lakeview Elementary in New Johnsonville, Tenn., Stookey made the contest for designing Tennessee's quarter a student project and turned in his own drawing as well as those of several students.

"We did it as an art project," said Stookey, explaining that the design he created was originally intended as an example for his students. "Most of them wanted to color them [the designs] in, but I had to explain to them that you don't color in coins."

Stookey was not aware of any prize that comes with winning, but said it didn't matter.

"Just the fact that I know it's mine is reward enough," said Stookey.

Media contact: Sara B. Horn, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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