Cumberland University


Allyson Agee: Testing Her Limits

Rick Brown

by Shauna Lynn Photography

For Allyson Agee, the passion to achieve great things has never been hard to come by. A fiercely competitive English and Criminal Justice major, the budding golf player has always sought to improve her game on and off the green.

Yet the aspiring criminal defense attorney’s greatest interest may lie in helping others to excel.


“The fire that I have, I wish I could instill in others,” said Agee. “Cumberland has been an excellent venue for testing my limits, and I’d like to raise the bar here for other people as well.”

Agee has tried to do just that as Vice President of the Student Government Association, a distinction she balances 

with frequent contributions to The Cumberland Chronicle and a number of Cumberland’s theatrical productions.

Agee arrived at Cumberland in the fall of 2009, having been recruited as a golf player. Originally from Dyersburg in West Tennessee, Agee came from a “family of lawyers.” She credits that upbringing for giving her the ability to see things in academics—and in life—from all angles.

“I love reading what other people have written and adapting it to myself. I can see any side to an issue and argue for it, and I use that to my advantage,” said Agee.

At Cumberland, Agee has used that talent to excel both at golf and academics, recently presenting a paper on Ralph Waldo Emerson at a conference at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

At the dawn of her junior year, however, Agee is quick to credit not only her own drive, but also the support she receives as a Cumberland student. When she first arrived at Cumberland in 2009, Agee found not so much a campus as a family, particularly on the golf team.

“How can you say what being a golf player for Cumberland is in one word? Fun. The team is a family, and we’re all really close,” said Agee. “They’re all great, and Scott Wilkerson, our Head Coach is phenomenal. I know that if I need to call him to talk at two in the morning, he’ll be there for me.”

That support has driven Agee to new heights athletically, earning her the honor of becoming Transouth Athletic 

Conference’s Golf Player of the Week—an achievement she recently complemented by becoming the organization’s second best in conference.

Agee has also found mentors in the English and Criminal Justice classrooms, whether in literature studies with Instructor Nathaniel “Buck” Smith or legal discussions with Professor Russ Cheatham.


“Buck Smith is the reason I’m an English major; he’s so engaging. My mind has grown in his classes, and I’ve taken him every semester because of it,” said Agee. “Dr. Cheatham has also had a major impact on my competitiveness. He wants you to go beyond.”

Agee has striven to meet those expectations in her time at Cumberland, an effort for which she was recognized last year as Cumberland’s Social Science Student of the Year.

Agee’s drive to excel may find its fullest expression in her eventual goal, however—to become a criminal defense attorney and to help the justice system “see the value in everyone.”

Having pushed her own capabilities with the help of Cumberland, it won’t likely be long before Agee begins testing—and bettering—those of the criminal justice system.