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Class Notes: Anonymous donor gives $50,000 for Brenau scholarships
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An anonymous donor recently pledged $50,000 toward a new financial assistance fund for Brenau University undergraduate and graduate students.

At the donor’s specifications, the fund is named the Wayne W. Dempsey Endowed Scholarship Fund after the university’s longtime executive vice president, who died this year following a lengthy battle with cancer.

The fund also honors Dempsey’s wife, Marsha, who was a public school teacher. Scholarships will be available to any Brenau student, though preference will be given to those enrolled in the College of Education or the College of Health Sciences.

Over the next five years, the fund will receive gifts of $10,000 per year. Once the fund accumulates $50,000, investment earnings will be distributed to select students annually — a formula that Dempsey helped maintain as the university’s chief financial officer.

Those who want to honor Dempsey may contribute to the quasi-endowment pool of funds that can be immediately drawn from to award scholarships, or they can contribute to the endowment and help attain the $50,000 threshold.

“This gift is the perfect way to honor the memory of our great friend and colleague, Wayne Dempsey,” Brenau President Ed Schrader. “Wayne played an extremely important role in the development of Brenau’s 2025 Strategic Plan that we are now well underway toward implementing. A major thrust of that plan is a sharp focus on the development of broad health sciences programs, including doctoral degrees, and providing for the first time a deep pool of institutional financial assistance available to graduate students as well as undergraduates.”

American Proteins gives $9K to Lanier Tech foundation

American Proteins recently presented a check for $9,000 to the Lanier Technical College Foundation.

The donation will go toward the Bagwell Family Foundation Fund, provided annually for Lanier Tech students by Tommy and Chantal Bagwell.

“The friendship and support that Tommy and Chantal Bagwell show our college each year is extremely humbling,” Lanier Tech President Dr. Ray Perren said. “The lives of Lanier Technical College students they impact each year with their support and generosity is staggering. It is an honor to have the Bagwells and American Proteins as part of our family. At this time of Thanksgiving, we our Lanier Technical College faculty, staff and students are very thankful for Tommy and Chantal Bagwell.”

The Bagwell family has provided the fund for eight years, supporting more than 150 students, according to a release from the college.

The fund also supports workforce development, a mission of the college. Those who receive the Bagwell Family Foundation Fund are able to continue their educational pursuits and seek employment upon graduation.

This allows Lanier Tech to provide job training and preparation for the workforce to fill employers’ needs.

Writing test results show rise in student success rates

More 11th-graders met or exceeded standards on the Georgia High School Writing Test this year than last year, according to a release from the state Department of Education.

Of all 11th-graders taking the test for the first time, 96 percent met or exceeded standards, a 2 percent increase from 2013 and a 5 percent increase from 2009.

Approximately 95 percent of all test takers — first time and retakes — met or exceeded standards, a 3 percent increase since last year.

Special education students in the 11th grade across the state taking the test for the first time also saw an improvement since last year, with 79 percent meeting or exceeding the standard, a 9 percent increase since last year and an 18 percent increase since 2009.

All subgroups, including Asian, Hispanic, black and white students and English learners, saw increases in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards.

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:

koliver@gainesvilletimes.com

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