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USG Foundation Raises More Than $1.3 million for Need-Based Scholarships

Atlanta — May 2, 2016

The 12th annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala, held on Friday, April 29, successfully raised more than $1.3 million to promote, support, and provide need-based scholarships for students at the University System of Georgia’s twenty-nine institutions.

Through the leadership and direction of University System of Georgia Foundation Chair, Regent Sachin Shailendra and Vice Chair, Regent Hull, the annual gala supporting need-based aid surpassed previous amounts raised and achieved a record-breaking year.

“When we all come together, we are able to make a significant investment in Georgia’s future,” said Regent Shailendra. “Together, we are intent on moving the needle on increasing need-based scholarships and it speaks to the reason we are here tonight, the students.”

The gala honors faculty, alumni and one individual who exemplify true leadership and support of higher education in Georgia.

Each year, the USG Foundation presents the Regent Elridge McMillan Award to an individual who has demonstrated a long and significant record of commitment and accomplishment on behalf of public higher education in Georgia. This is the highest honor the University System of Georgia Foundation bestows on someone who has made a difference in higher education. The 2016 Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Mr. Bill Turner.

Gov. Nathan Deal presented the award to Mr. John Martin, the grandson of Mr. William B. Turner.

“In keeping with Elridge McMillan’s legacy of service and the strong tradition of the University System Foundation, it is my great privilege to honor Mr. William B. Turner,” said Deal. “Mr. Turner is not only a business, civic, and philanthropic leader, but he also exemplifies strong character, and has truly made a difference for students and higher education in Georgia.”

Six University System of Georgia faculty members were honored as the 2016 recipients of the Felton Jenkins Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award, including:

Margaret Baldwin, Kennesaw State University

Richard Deaner, Augusta University

Mei Zhang, Georgia Gwinnett College

Sarah Kuck, Darton State College

Bonnie Ferri, Georgia Institute of Technology

Vanessa Slinger-Friedman, Kennesaw State University

The Foundation also recognized three recipients of the Regents Hall of Fame Alumni and Distinguished Friends Award, including:

Dan Amos, nominated by University of Georgia

Allan Vigil, nominated by Clayton State University

Joel Wernick, nominated by Darton State College

Photos and information about the awards and recipients can be viewed on the University System of Georgia Foundation website at:

The annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala included individuals from the USG’s 29 institutions, as well as supporters, donors, alumni and businesses.

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