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Knox County students receive VU Foundation’s Grabbe-Utley Scholarship

August 11, 2017 / Knox County students receive VU Foundation’s Grabbe-Utley Scholarship

LINK to photos, click HERE

VINCENNES, Ind. - The Grabbe-Utley Scholarship Committee of the Vincennes University Foundation has announced the six recipients of its prestigious Grabbe-Utley Scholarship for the 2017-18 academic year.  The recipients are Kinzie Clinkenbeard and Michael R. Summers of Bicknell; Brian S. Downen of Monroe City; and Austin McCallister, Jonah G. Ritz, and Kyndra Smith of Vincennes.

Kinzie Clinkenbeard (Bicknell), daughter of Steve and Mindy Clinkenbeard, will major in elementary education.  While at North Knox High School, Clinkenbeard was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Student Council, cheerleading, Shop with a Cop, and Santa’s Workshop.  She is employed at Mackey’s in Bicknell.

Michael Summers (Bicknell), son of Jason Summers, will major in agribusiness.  While attending North Knox High School, Summers participated in basketball, baseball, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Summers is employed at Summers Farms, Inc.

Brian “Sam” Downen (Monroe City), son of Brian and Kim Downen, will major in agribusiness.  As a student at South Knox High School, Downen was involved in National Honor Society, basketball, and Knox County 4-H.  He is employed with Downen Farms and the Knox County Fair.

Austin McCallister (Vincennes), son of Camron and Caryn McCallister, will major in beneral studies.  McCallister is a graduate of South Knox High School where he was involved in National Honor Society, baseball, basketball, soccer, choir, Spanish Club, and Twin Rivers Health Science Education Program. He is employed by Kohl’s and South Knox Athletics.

Jonah G. Ritz (Vincennes), son of Monica Murphy and Kevin Ritz, attended Vincennes Lincoln High School.  At VU he will major in business administration.  While in high school Ritz participated in National Honor Society, football (captain), wrestling, Mr. Alice Pageant, Shop with a Cop, Interact Club, and yearbook.  He is employed with Pea-Fections. 

Kyndra Smith (Vincennes), daughter of Karla and Lamont Smith, will major in nursing.  While a student at Vincennes Lincoln High School, Smith participated in softball, volleyball, Interact Club, Youth Leadership Knox County, LAVA Volleyball Academy, LHS Volleyball Summer Camps, and Cheer Block. Smith spends her time volunteering with Loaves and Fishes, PACE, Pet Port, and Good Samaritan Hospital.


The scholarships were made possible through a bequest from the late Carl and Kathryn Utley Grabbe, former owners of Wabash Parts, Inc., of Vincennes.  They assure each recipient of funds for college tuition, fees, and books for higher education studies for two years at Vincennes University.  Upon successful completion of those two years, the student will receive a scholarship for two additional years at VU or another baccalaureate college or university of his/her choice.  Mr. and Mrs. Grabbe believed education is the key to personal strength and a higher quality of life and that the best way they could return their good fortune to the community was by endowing the scholarship.

In advancing the University’s missions of higher education and community service, the VU Foundation, through the generosity of its donors, administers endorsements and contributions established by corporate and individual gifts as designated.  During the 2017-18 school year the Foundation will award more than $1.4 million dollars in scholarship funds.

Additional information regarding the Grabbe-Utley Scholarship is available by contacting the VU Foundation, 812-888-4510, or at


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