While two Bainbridge State College students expounded on how scholarships have helped them with their higher education, the College’s Foundation announced it exceeded $1 million in assets for the first time.

Dewey Robinson, chair of the Foundation’s scholarship committee, said during the Foundation’s recent annual meeting that assets for the Foundation topped more than $1 million, of which more than $835,000 was secured for future scholarships.

Hoping to increase the amount of money secured for future scholarships to $1 million, Robinson said, “We have laid the groundwork, and we feel we can do this.”

Normally, money donated for scholarships are held in interest-bearing accounts, and the interests from those pools of money are then given to students in the form of scholarships. These endowments ensure the money for the future will always be available. Contributors to the Foundation also donate to help cover the costs of graduation receptions for students and their family and friends, faculty enrichment grants and employee professional development.

The Foundation members heard from two students on how scholarships help them with their education, and further how higher education is bettering their lives.

April McNair of Bainbridge is an administrative assistant with the College’s Public Safety Department and the 2013-2014 Walter and Mary Cox Scholarship. She said she felt very privileged to receive an award that has allowed her to further her educational goals.

“There are many students who never complete their education and give up because of the lack of financial assistance,” said McNair, who is pursuing a degree in business administration. “Through your generosity, students like me are realizing their dreams of bettering themselves through higher education.”

McNair, who works full time and remains active in her family, church and community, is a member of three college honor societies and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

“I want to say thank you for investing in my future and the future of others who have benefited from Foundation scholarships. Your support changes lives for the better and those changed lives make our community a better place,” McNair said.

Elizabeth Stewart of Miller County is a recipient of the Whittington-Wilkerson Scholarship, and she said she wants to pursue a degree in English with the hopes of one day teaching American Sign Language or English as a Second Language.

“I am the grateful recipient of the Whittington-Wilkerson Scholarship for 2013-2014, and I am excited about what it has helped me achieve so far this academic year,” Stewart said.

One of her classes is Dr. Patrick Smith’s creative writing course.

“Dr. Smith is teaching me, and the other students in the class, to use words as tools of craft – as weapons in our arsenal as writers – to capture audience’s attention, causing them to keep pace with us as we communicate stories. Dr. Smith is just one of the excellent professors at Bainbridge State whom I am privileged to learn from.”

Stewart said the Whittington-Wilkerson Scholarship is assisting her in reaching her goal of one day inspiring students.

“Not only is the scholarship assisting me in reaching my future goals, it is also helping me today, allowing me to work on campus in the Academic Success Center, building my repertoire of practical experience for the world of teaching,” Stewart said.

Bainbridge State President Richard Carvajal updated the members on the College’s scheduled offering of its first-ever four-year degree in the Fall 2014. The new Bachelor in Business Administration degree will allow students to select from three concentrations: general management, supply-chain management and agribusiness.

Dr. Carvajal also introduced the results of a fund-raising feasibility study conducted over the summer. That study showed very strong support for the college’s mission, and college supporters who were interviewed for the study likewise expressed a strong willingness to provide further support for scholarships, improved facilities, and academic innovation and excellence.


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