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Governor and First Lady help USG Foundation raise more than $908,000 for need-based scholarships

Atlanta — February 26, 2020

The 16th annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala, hosted by the University System of Georgia (USG) Foundation, raised more than $908,000 from generous sponsors and a live auction to support and provide need-based scholarships for students at USG institutions across the state.

The annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala included Governor Brian P. Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp as well as individuals representing USG’s 26 institutions, supporters, donors, alumni and businesses. Among the attendees were state elected officials, members of the Board of Regents and presidents from USG’s colleges and universities.

The need-based scholarships funded by the gala will be awarded for the 2020-21 academic year. Each institution’s president selects scholarship recipients at their respective campuses. Over the 16 years it has held this annual event, the USG Foundation has awarded more than $16.5 million to support the scholarship program, faculty recognition and key USG initiatives.

“The generosity of our many donors opens the door to economic opportunities that many students otherwise would not have,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “I am especially grateful for Governor and First Lady Kemp’s support of our efforts. For many students, financial barriers can prevent them from completing a degree or participating in a range of experiences that can enrich their education. To put it simply, higher education can be life-changing and these donations do make a difference.”

“The gala offers an opportunity to celebrate excellence in many forms at the University System of Georgia,” said USG Foundation Chairman and Regent Neil L. Pruitt Jr. “The celebration is centered on our students and the positive impact their college experiences are making on their lives today and will continue to make on their future endeavors. For 16 years, the gala has supported USG’s mission by generating funds for need-based scholarships through the unwavering generosity of our donors who make this possible.”

The Regents’ Scholarship Gala honors faculty, alumni and an individual or couple who exemplify true leadership and support of higher education in Georgia.

Chairman Sachin Shailendra, Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Dr. Wayne Clough, Regent Neil Pruitt and Governor Brian Kemp.
Chairman Sachin Shailendra, Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Dr. Wayne Clough, Regent Neil Pruitt and Governor Brian Kemp.

Gov. Kemp presented the Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Wayne Clough, President Emeritus of Georgia Tech and former Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for his extraordinary leadership and service to public higher education. This is the highest honor the USG Foundation bestows.

The Foundation also recognized the following recipients of the Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni and Distinguished Friends Award. This award is presented to outstanding alumni and friends for their dedicated service and support to a USG institution:

  • John G. Alston, Sr., nominated by University of Georgia
  • James A. Bishop, nominated by College of Coastal Georgia
  • Dorothy Hubbard, nominated by Albany State University
  • Stuart Parker, nominated by Valdosta State University
  • C. Lamar Wright and the late Ann Wright, nominated by Dalton State College

Six USG faculty members were honored as the 2020 recipients of the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award. This prestigious teaching award recognizes faculty’s important contributions to their schools and fields of study and for their strong commitment to teaching and student success. The awardees were:

  • Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Georgia College and State University
  • Dr. Marina G. Smitherman, chair and professor, Department of Life Sciences, Dalton State College
  • Dr. Donald R. Webster, Karen and John Huff Chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dr. David Glassmeyer, associate professor, Department of Secondary & Middle Grades Education, Kennesaw State University
  • Dr. Ashok K. Goel, professor, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Kimberly Shaw, professor, Earth & Space Sciences, Columbus State University

Information about the awards and recipients can be viewed on the USG Foundation website.

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