Spencer Strei

"I was surprised that no other UT student had won the award, and I set my sights to be the first."

- Student

The R. Gene and Nancy D. Richter Foundation and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) have selected Spencer Strei, a supply chain management major with a collateral in international business and minor in statistics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, to receive the 2020 R. Gene Richter Scholarship. 

Strei, a rising senior from Franklin, Tenn., is one of only six students chosen for the honor nationally. He is the first winner from UT in the scholarship’s 16-year history.

“When I first learned of the scholarship, I was surprised that no other UT student had won the award, and I set my sights to be the first,” Strei said. “I am most excited to share what this award represents with other students at Tennessee, to help them find their passion within supply chain and to grow the number of recipients from our college.”

The prestigious scholarship provides the winners with tuition assistance, executive mentoring, peer mentoring and networking opportunities. The recipients were determined based on submitted essays, cumulative grade point average, demonstrated leadership, extracurricular involvement and overall achievements.

Strei has been active in Haslam’s student chapter of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, where he currently serves as the group’s president. He is a member of the college’s Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars honors program and represents Haslam in UT’s Ambassador program. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Traffic Club of Pittsburgh Scholarship, a merit-based grant for outstanding students majoring in supply chain management or related fields of study.

“What I appreciate most about Spencer is his insightful participation in class discussions, his passion for the supply chain discipline and his engagement outside of class,” said Jon Holztrager, director of supply chain partnerships at Haslam, who taught Strei in an honors class last fall. “I fully expect him to quickly rise to be an industry leader and that we’ll see the title chief supply chain officer beside his name someday.”

Established in 2004 in memory of R. Gene Richter, a recognized leader in the procurement field, the R. Gene Richter Scholarship is presented annually to the top supply management undergraduate students in the United States. In 2008, the R. Gene and Nancy D. Richter Foundation partnered with ISM to expand the program into the nation’s largest supply management scholarship program.