To celebrate the memory of the university’s long-time executive Vice President and CFO Wayne Dempsey, Brenau University will host its inaugural Dempsey Dash 5K on Saturday, March 11. Dempsey died May 2, 2014.
The race will begin at 9 a.m. March 11 at Brenau Amphitheatre at 102 Prior St. in Gainesville. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and costs $25 per person at RunSignUp.
Proceeds benefit the Wayne W. Dempsey Endowed Scholarship Fund, which was established to provide assistance for students seeking a better life through a Brenau education in the College of Education or College of Health Sciences.
Dempsey was born and raised in Rome where he met his wife Marsha. He came to Brenau in 2005 with the university’s new president, Ed Schrader, his former boss at Shorter University in his hometown. Although he was a science teacher early in his career, Dempsey’s forte became institutional management. Schrader credits Dempsey for putting Brenau’s financial house in order.
Dempsey’s focus on decreased spending, cash flow and a developed endowment formula allowed the Women’s College enrollment to skyrocket despite the challenging financial times. The financial stability he afforded Brenau allowed the university to expand its Augusta and North Atlanta campuses and to open a new campus in Fairburn in 2009. It also grew its footprint in Gainesville with Brenau East Campus at Featherbone Communiversity and the Brenau Downtown Center.
However, Dempsey’s legacy at Brenau is greater even than the campuses he left behind. His cheerfulness, even to the end, is remembered.
So, too, is his passion for fried chicken. He rarely missed a “Fried Chicken Wednesday” in the campus dining hall.
His great love of music — expressed by using his polished singing voice and talent with orchestral instruments — led him to create the ongoing All-Steinway program, an endeavor to raise money to replace Brenau’s aged collection of pianos with fine Steinways.
His friends at Brenau aspire to honor Dempsey with the annual Dempsey Dash 5K. All proceeds will go toward the scholarship fund created in his memory.