Bluefield University in the News

BLIND SIDE STAR COLLINS TUOHY KEYNOTES BC TIERNEY SCHOLARSHIP DINNER

by | Oct 19, 2010

We all watched Collins Tuohy help her adopted brother Michael Oher overcome the greatest of odds in the blockbuster movie The Blind Side.

She’ll share more about that famous bond with her brother and inspire others to overcome life’s obstacles when she serves as keynote speaker for Bluefield College’s Third Annual Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner, Thursday, November 11 at 6 p.m. at David’s at the Elks Club in Bluefield, West Virginia.

Designed to increase community responsiveness to the need for a strong scholarship program at Bluefield College, the Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner brings prominent speakers to the community each year with the hope that local residents will pay premium prices to hear the notable speakers and ultimately support the BC Fund for Scholarships.

That distinguished speaker this year: Collins Tuohy, sister to the National Football League’s Michael Oher, whose rise from the ghetto to the NFL was inspired in part by his sister and later chronicled in Michael Lewis’ New York Times best-seller, The Blind Side, and the award-winning Hollywood movie of the same name.

Tuohy shares a famously close bond with her adopted brother. That bond began shortly after they first met at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee, where she helped him adjust to both school and his new life with the Tuohy family.

When Tuohy became Briarcrest’s Homecoming Queen, Oher was her escort. When she won the Tennessee State Championship in the pole vault, he earned All-State honors in the discus and basketball.

After high school, Tuohy earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Mississippi. An exceptional student and influential role model on campus, she was the president of the Student Alumni Council and the Student Spirit Committee, an officer for Kappa Delta sorority, and an Ole Miss varsity cheerleader, supporting Oher, an Ole Miss scholarship football player, from the sidelines.

When Tuohy accompanied Oher to New York for the NFL Draft, just before he became a first-round selection for the Baltimore Ravens, she sounded like a typical protective sister, saying, “I’m a bit nervous. I really don’t want him trucking off to some faraway place.”

Today, she continues to support him, and their story continues to gain popularity as Tuohy shares their life experiences from the podium with audiences across the nation. As keynote speaker for Bluefield College’s Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner, she will take listeners through her journey with Oher from fellow student to close friend, and ultimately to adoptive sister.

“Their relationship is an inspiring story,” said Ruth Blankenship, vice president for advancement at Bluefield College. “Our hope is that it will inspire this community to support one another and to come together to overcome our odds. In addition, we hope it will inspire the community to support the Bluefield College Scholarship Fund to ensure that a Christ-centered, liberal arts college education can and will remain affordable and accessible to students of this region.”

The annual Scholarship Awareness Dinner is funded by the Katharine B. Tierney Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization in Bluefield, West Virginia, with a long history of supporting the community. In the spring of 2006, the Foundation offered a sizable gift to Bluefield College to support the BC Fund for Scholarships through the creation of an Annual Tierney Scholarship Awareness Dinner. Proceeds from the event go directly to the BC Fund for Scholarships.

The program will begin with a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and a book sell and autograph session to conclude the evening. Individual tickets for dinner and to hear Tuohy speak are $60.

Individuals who pay $100 may also participate in the meet-and-greet prior to dinner. A table of eight is $1,000 and includes dinner, the program, the meet-and-greet, and an autographed book by Tuohy for all eight guests. For reservations or for more information, e-mail your name, phone number, and ticket quantity and level request to the BC Public Relations Office.

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