Gordon State College Hosts Annual Scholarship Luncheon

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

Gordon State College hosted its annual Scholarship Luncheon in-person on April 28, at the GSC Collaborative Learning Center in the Nursing, Health, and Natural Sciences (NAHS) building.

Montrese Adger Fuller, GSC vice president for advancement, external relations, and marketing opened the event with a welcome and gave special thanks to the scholarship donors for their support for GSC and its students.

Sixteen scholarship donors and/or representatives and 17 student recipients attended the special occasion. This year’s celebration surpassed 2022 Scholarship Luncheon attendance comprised of 11 donors and 14 students. Conversations were had over an Italian-style lunch with a few dessert options. Afterwards, the Hightower Family Scholarship donor, George Hightower, Jr. shared a few remarks.

“College is such an important part of anyone’s journey in this world, and Gordon State College is a beautiful place that has a significant impact on our area in Georgia. It offers students a wonderful education for a better future and employs a great amount of adults,” Hightower, Jr. said. “Gordon State College is supported by the Foundation in large part for the meaningful things we do such as supporting athletic programs, building auditoriums, or financial assistance for certain disciplines. We try to do anything we can to provide a better experience for our students, and as a donor, it’s a great privilege of mine.”

Elijah Clemmons, GSC senior and recipient of the Kelli Hammond Memorial Pike County Kiwanis Club Scholarship presented next on the impact the scholarship had on him.

“As a young man, I was destined for great things,” Clemmons said. “This scholarship allowed me to grow in my communication and leadership skills through GSC Toastmasters, AAMI, and BCM [Baptist Collegiate Ministry]. But, I was able to continue to learn and master those skills outside of school by networking with individuals in Lamar County and providing mentorship.”

Tamiyah Nealy, GSC freshman and recipient of the David Bishop Scholarship spoke after Clemmons on the impact scholarships have on those with financial hardships.

“With your generosity, students are able to drive onto campus without the worry of dropping courses due to nonpayment or the lack of materials needed to continue,” Nealy said. “A small amount goes a long way in helping those students reach their goals, and for some, fulfilling their dream of attaining a higher education.”

Colby Camps, GSC freshman and recipient of the Brad Edwards Memorial Scholarship was the last to speak on the impact his scholarship had on attending GSC and the opportunities it provided.

“I have an opportunity to play the game [GSC baseball] I love and pursue my dream of being a D1 baseball player. Attending Gordon State College has been a humbling and grounding experience in that I’ve met people who helped me to grow in my faith as a person without the distractions that a larger institution comes with. The scholarship gives me the financial support in having a busy but fulfilling schedule,” Camps said.

GSC President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks concluded the event and said the focus of this celebration was more so to encourage individual conversation and “to inspire a personal bond between a donor and their scholarship recipient(s).”

The following are scholarship donors and GSC student recipients present at the event:

Pat and Michelle Edwards with the Brad Edwards Memorial Scholarship and J. Joel Edwards Scholarship

o Recipient Colby Camps

Teresa and Robert Betkowski with the Jennifer Kressaty Memorial Nursing Scholarship

o Recipient Jonelle Castillo

Mark Henley with the 40 & 8 Voiture Locale 1635 Nursing Scholarship

o Recipient Jamila Kellem


Additional scholarship representatives included Amanda and Dr. Aaron Buice with the Ray and Margie Brinkley Education Scholarship, Ike English with the W.A. Buster Duke Memorial Daughtry Foundation Scholarship, Deborah Johnston with the W. Pierce May Memorial Scholarship, David Jones with the Griffin Rotary Club Scholarship, Jeff Kelly with the Mike Kelly Memorial Scholarship, Larry and Wanda Pope with the Wanda M. Pope Scholarship, Johnathan Swatts with the Rotary Club of Barnesville Scholarship, and Dan White with the Bill and Doris White Scholarship.


Other GSC scholarship student recipients present include:

· Amy Balty—Florence B. Thomas Scholarship

· Kylie Canavan—Selwyn Walker Foundation Nursing Scholarship

· James Cosby—Tyler Garland Scholarship

· Kaylah Grammer and Annie Sheppard—Miss Marion Bush Scholarship

· Sarah Jones—Aldora Scholarship

· Imon Kendall—Chad Colquitt Memorial Scholarship

· Zach Thompson—David Bishop Scholarship

· Carolan Reid—Larry and Glenna Waller Scholarship

· Charlie Sheppard—Jesse E. Rogers, Sr. Memorial West Central Georgia Bank Scholarship

· Christian Strickland—Evelyn G. Bush Nursing Scholarship

· Jessica Sumner—Shi Gray and Martha Dimon Holmes and Robert and Nell Gray Holmes Scholarship


“Without students, we have nothing,” Hightower, Jr. said. “They are our future in improving the quality of life for everyone. The Foundation is one of the key factors in helping get potential students a great opportunity that they might not have otherwise.”