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Scholarship Endowed in Honor of George and Ernestine Barrett


The Barrett family has endowed a scholarship in honor of George and Ernestine Barrett to assist a student who is a graduate of the Lamar County public school system and attends Gordon State College.

The Barretts were both born and raised in Barnesville and were active members of West Mount Sinai Baptist Church for more than 60 years. They were high school sweethearts and graduated from Barnesville Comprehensive High School. 

George served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War later attending what was then known as Fort Valley State College. He worked at Robins Air Force Base for almost 40 years.

The couple played a significant role in the integration of schools in Lamar County in the 1960s and ‘70s, notably Gordon.

Throughout his life, George served in the community pursuing opportunities for disadvantaged youth to improve themselves. They lived their lives by a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote,

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

The couple passed on the value of equal opportunity for education to their children whom all attended Gordon Grammar, Gordon Military High School, or Gordon Junior College before continuing their education at other institutions. They lived to see many of their grandchildren graduate from various colleges and universities.

Sadly, George died in 2015.

“We are so grateful to the Barrett family for the scholarship and their dedication to education,” said Rhonda Toon, executive director of the Gordon State College Foundation. “Their legacy will live on through the students who receive their scholarship.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to the scholarship may send a check to the Gordon State College Foundation, 419 College Drive, Barnesville designated for the George and Ernestine Barrett Scholarship.

Gifts are tax-deductible.