The Black Faculty and Staff Organization’s 16th annual Founders’ Award Scholarship Luncheon celebrated the achievements of six students and four staff members at the university.
Speaking at the event, UGA President Jere W. Morehead told those in attendance that students are what make the university special and that need-based scholarships fulfill an important role in helping some students realize their educational goals.
“We continue each and every year to admit classes of impressive students, and we owe it to these very bright individuals the ability to access this institution in an affordable manner,” Morehead said. “Scholarships, like the ones awarded at today’s luncheon, can truly make a difference in the ability of students to choose this institution and in the ability of those students to remain at this institution and to ultimately graduate from this great university.”
Keynote speaker Maurice Daniels, dean emeritus and professor emeritus of UGA’s School of Social Work, was a founding member of the BFSO.
He spoke about the beginning of the organization and the advocacy role it played in the creation and development of the department of Minority Services and Programs, the Institute for African American Studies, the African American Cultural Center, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Presidential Minority Advisory Committee and several university-wide initiatives to recruit and retain African American faculty, staff and students. Daniels said that there is more work to be done for equality.
“We are the beneficiaries of the struggles and sacrifices of the Hamilton Holmes, the Charlayne Hunters, the Mary Frances Earlys and the Donald Hollowells,” Daniels said. “It is our duty to try to build on the foundation that these pioneers so aptly laid before us.”
Proceeds from the luncheon, held Sept. 19 in Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center, go toward the BFSO scholarship fund and programming. At the luncheon, a total of $3,000 in scholarships was awarded to six students, according to Susan M. Williams, vice president of faculty for BFSO and chair for the scholarship committee.
Williams, a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine, said the student scholarship selection process included reviewing essays, extracurricular activities, honors and recognitions, GPA and letters of recommendation. Each awardee was presented with a $500 scholarship.
Camara Carter, a veterinary medicine student, received the Mark Dawkins Leadership Award. Amaja Andrews, a sophomore in applied virology technology and anthropology, received the Melanie A. Burden Community Arts Award. Magali Lapu, a fourth-year international affairs and French major, was awarded the Myron G. Burney Service Award. A Founders’ Award was presented to undergraduate Natalie Morean, a fourth-year human development and family sciences student; professional student Khalid Ziad in the College of Pharmacy; and graduate student Marques Dexter, a third-year doctoral student in sport management and policy.
The inaugural Ed Wilker Memorial Egalitarian Awards, which recognize occupational excellence, were presented to current UGA staff members Josh Cowart, Freddie Hardy and Teresa Lopes and recent retiree Charles Merritt.