News and Updates

SGSC Announces First-Ever Comprehensive Campaign Focused On SGSC Students

Posted on Mar 06, 2024

History was made at South Georgia State College Tuesday, March 5 when the college announced the public phase of its first-ever comprehensive campaign. The announcement was made at kickoff events on SGSC’s Douglas and Waycross Campuses.

“The Heart of South Georgia,” developed through conversations with faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders, focuses on two important areas that will have a direct impact on SGSC students – scholarships and out-of-classroom experiences.

“This campaign will have a transformative impact on SGSC students and on this region,” said SGSC Interim President Dr. Greg Tanner. “We are excited about the lives that will be changed as we seek the continued support of our community partners, the south Georgia region, and friends from all across the state.”

The college seeks to raise a total of $2 million by fall 2025, with 69 percent of the funds already raised through the campaign’s silent phase.

“SGSC has never had a concerted effort like this to raise funds for its students, so setting a $2 million goal might seem very ambitious,” said Taylor Hereford, director of advancement and SGSC’s Waycross Campus. “We have already witnessed strong support from our friends and partners during the campaign’s silent phase. We are confident that we will reach this goal, and there’s a challenge in front of us to exceed it. Everything we do with this campaign is for the betterment of our students.”

SGSC and its students are supported through the work of two foundations – the SGSC Foundation and the James M. Dye Foundation. The primary mission of both Foundations is to provide scholarship and grant assistance to students. The Foundations have realized a significant increase in student scholarship applications, with over $245,000 awarded so far during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Students have shared heartbreaking stories with Hereford and Assistant Director of Advancement Cathy Hand about the difficulty of paying for college.

“Some of these students reach their final semester only to find out they and/or their family members are not able to secure the funding that’s needed to finish their coursework and graduate,” said Hand. “When I let these students know about Foundation scholarship and grant opportunities, those heartbreaking stories literally turn into tears of joy and gratefulness.”

SGSC hosts undergraduate research symposiums each semester, where students can present research findings with support and guidance from SGSC faculty. Internships with local companies and organizations have also proved to be valuable student experiences. Students have completed internships at Elixir Extrusions in Douglas, the Okefenokee Swamp Park in Waycross, and many others.

Dr. Tanner said he wants more students to have these opportunities, and this campaign is an important way to make that happen.

“We work very hard to provide our students with relevant experiences both inside and outside of the classroom,” he said. “This campaign seeks to provide even more of these opportunities so that more students have a chance to share in these types of experiences.”

Hereford said he has witnessed how SGSC has changed lives for the better during his time on campus, and he knows this campaign will allow SGSC to continue this work for many years to come.

“Our students are the heart of SGSC,” he said. “Let’s come together and do everything we can to get them ready for the world that awaits them.”

More information about “The Heart of South Georgia” campaign can be found on the college’s website (www.sgsc.edu/alumni-and-friends/foundations) and through social media channels. Those interested in learning more about how to support the campaign can contact Hereford (taylor.hereford@sgsc.edu) or Hand (cathy.hand@sgsc.edu).

Watch the campaign video below: