BC Foundation welcomes new leaders, scholarships

Published 8:00 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

With the ribbon cut to open the Bainbridge College (BC) Student Wellness Center Oct. 26, the BC Foundation Inc. held its annual meeting in the center’s tiered classroom and heard from scholarship recipients, witnessed the official passing of the gavel to the new Foundation chair, and learned of six new scholarships.

One of the scholarships include the Wilkerson-Whittington Family Scholarship created by President Tom Wilkerson and his wife, Angela. The Wilkersons announced the endowment of the scholarship that is named for their families to assist students pursuing careers in special education or students with special needs.

Dewey Robinson of the Foundation’s executive committee and chairman of the Founder’s Campaign announced that scholarships have been created to honor the contributions of three Foundation members, who reacted with surprise to the unexpected honor.

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Scholarships were created in the names of BC’s founding president, President Emeritus Ed Mobley, who serves on the Foundation, and his wife, Martha, and of Bruce and Cass Kirbo, who have supported the college and worked on its behalf since its founding.

Robinson also announced the creation of a scholarship honoring Angela and Tom Wilkerson for their service in Bainbridge.

New scholarships, such as the Ponder Brothers Scholarship created this fall by BC Foundation member Dan Ponder and his brother, Earnest Ponder of Donalsonville, bring the Foundation’s dream of $1 million in endowed scholarships closer to reality.

The Ponders officially signed the paperwork to establish their scholarship Oct. 27.

BC students Zach Powell of Brinson, Michelle Reynolds of Climax and April Tillery of Bainbridge, who are in the Associate of Science in Nursing program, and Student Government Association President Jana Simmons of Cairo, who cut the ribbon on the new facility and has her eye on a pre-med degree, told the Foundation members about the positive impact their scholarships have on their educational pursuits.

Each student expressed heartfelt gratitude for the scholarships and told how they help with many different expenses. Chief among those expenses is the price of textbooks.

After the students spoke, Chairman Erwin Harrell of Bainbridge passed the gavel to Bill Burke of Donalsonville.

President Wilkerson presented a plaque to Harrell in appreciation of his two years of service as chairman.

Development Director Emory Smith announced that Dean and Marlene Free have accepted the challenge to serve as the Foundation’s champions for a new initiative to create a scholarship for study abroad and other international educational opportunities.

Mrs. Free, who also serves as a BC Ambassador, spoke briefly about the value of international education and how much such a scholarship can do for the individual and for the college’s efforts to attract students.