SGSC Foundation Hosts Annual Scholarship Reception

By: Walda Kight
Vice President for External Affairs

On October 2, 2015, the South Georgia State College (SGSC) Foundation hosted its annual scholarship reception for scholarship donors and current recipients in Engram Hall. Mr. Brian McNeill, SGSC Foundation President, welcomed all guests and expressed gratitude to the donors. McNeill stated, “Through your support and generosity, we are helping prepare for the future with these academically talented young people.  Thank you for your commitment to helping our college and our region grow and prosper.”

McNeill announced two new scholarship endowments and recognized the donors and first-time recipients. The Horace McSwain, Jr. Scholarship was created by SGSC President Dr. Virginia Carson and her family to honor her father, a Registered Professional Land Surveyor. This year’s recipient is Charles Kyle (Ky) Meeks, a 2015 honor graduate of Coffee High School.  Meeks is the son of Kyle and Leia Meeks of West Green.  He was a three-year member of the Trojan football team and a two-year member of the golf team. He was also active in the National Honor Society, Student Council, and FFA during his high school years. Meeks plans to major in biology and is considering becoming a veterinarian because of his love for animals.

Douglas National Bank (DNB) was recognized for its creation of a scholarship fund in memory of a colleague and friend, Mr. Gene Chambers. Chambers was a well-respected businessman and established MarCraft in 1977. Stuart Smith, DNB president and CEO, stated, “When DNB began a decade ago, Chambers was one of the first names considered for the Board of Directors. He was always enthusiastic and positive. He was the kind of director you wanted to have. He lived his life through the prism of knowledge. What better way to remember him than with this scholarship?” The first recipient of the DNB- Gene Chamber Scholarship was announced as Mr. Jason Miller, a 2015 honor graduate of Coffee High School. During high school, Miller was involved in work based learning and was a member of the Trojan varsity golf team. He plans to pursue a degree in business and will attend Valdosta State University after finishing at SGSC.

Dr. Carson spoke and expressed her appreciation to all the supporters of the College. “We are very fortunate to have the time and support from our donors and the SGSC Foundation Board. So many of our students would not be able to attend without the dollars the Foundation helps to raise and serve as good stewards over.”

Dr. Carson announced that over $97,000 in awards have been made to 86 students for the 2015-2016 academic year. She added, “This is such a powerful statement of what our future holds.” Next, Dr. Carson asked the recipients to stand and be recognized. They were Kevin Andre, Austin Bennett, Jordan Bernard, Summer Brannigan, Dominicque Carver, Kailyn Carver, Shelly Chancey, Dylan Churchwell, Ethan Comer, Chase Cothern, Savanna Cotsenmoyer, Jared Crews, Cody Crews, Stephan Cruver, Abigail Cuneo, Bailey Davis, Lauren Day, Rebecca Douglas, Nathan Dukes, Matthew Dykes, Megan Farmer, Mikal Flores, Erika Franco, Rachel Fussell, Kimberly Gentry, Ana Gomez, Mitchell Graham, Catelyn Rylee Green, Conner Grizzle, Mariana Guerrero, Charla Harris, Cayden Hatcher, James Haymond, Matthew Herndon, Sydney Herrington, Casey Hitch, Melissa Holt, Steve Huston, Tiffany Jackson, Jasper Johns, Brittney Keith, Kenarin Kellogg, Jacob Kirkland, Robert Kobee, Taylor Lane, Cheyenne Lee, Jade Lee, Jasmine Leggett, Damali Levine, Tyler Lott, Hope Mancil, Christopher McBee, Joshua McClendon, Erica Medders, Caitlyn Meece, Ky Meeks, Christopher Merritt, William Miller, Jason Miller, Amber Marie Moore, Nikki Moorman, Tiffany Morgan, Chandler Mullis, Whitney Oliver, Laura Parsley, Wyatt Petrey, Cassandra Ray, Chandler Rentz, Caitlyn Riggins, Ana Rivas, Mary Jon Roberson, Erika Rojas, Brikki Ross, Lacey Smith, Stephen Smith, Tanner Solomon, Darian Strickland, Danielle Sumner, Sydney Sweat, Caroline Temple, Sukari Thomas, Lakesiya Thomas, Erika Torres, Alice E. Vickers, Dylan Villhauer, and Demarcus Wallace.

Dr. Carson paid special tribute to an alumni group known as SOBU, who were students from 1973-1976. The group has donated over the past six years to help a current student who has a strong academic record from high school and who is actively involved in community or campus life organizations and causes. 

Next, Dr. Carson recognized the completion of the Dayne Purvis Leadership Award. Spearheaded by his daughter, Nichole Purvis Whitley, along with her mother Pat, the Dayne Purvis Leadership Award has been created over the past two years to help a deserving student at SGSC. Mr. Purvis passed away in September 2012, and this award has been established by his family and friends to honor his integrity, work ethic, and love of community. Purvis was a long-time resident of Coffee County; he graduated from Coffee High School and South Georgia College, receiving a degree in business administration.  He began working at Douglas Electric and Plumbing in 1968 and became a partner in the growing business in 1972.  His work ethic and leadership abilities helped make the business strong and gained him the love and respect of his employees. As a true servant leader, Purvis gave generously of his time and treasures to help others, many of whom never knew he was the one who gave to them.

Incorporated in 1971, the SGSC Foundation’s mission is to help transform and enhance the lives of SGSC’s diverse student population by providing educational opportunities, financial support, and advocacy for students. The Foundation supports efforts that enhance the quality of programs by funding scholarships, new academic initiatives, technology, endowments, faculty/staff development, athletic programs, and capital projects at SGSC.

All contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. For more information about the SGSC Foundation or to make a donation, please call (912) 260-74274 or email Walda.Kight@sgsc.edu.

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FIRST PHOTO: (L-R) SGSC President Dr. Virginia Carson and Ky Meeks, the Horace McSwain, Jr. Scholarship recipient.

SECOND PHOTO: The SOBU Alumni Group presents their 2015-2016 scholarship to recipient Brittney Keith from Macon, Ga.

THIRD PHOTO: (L-R) Mr. Chris Tuten (SGSC Foundation Treasurer and Raymond James Financial Advisor); Ms. Marsha Kirkland (Jason’s mother and DNB employee); Jason Miller (DNB/Gene Chambers Memorial Scholarship recipient); and Mr. Brian McNeill, SGSC Foundation President.

FOURTH PHOTO: (L-R) SGSC President Dr. Virginia Carson, Pat Purvis, and Nichole Whitley and her daughters Braylin and Ryleigh Dayne celebrate the completion of the Dane Purvis Leadership Award endowment.