Perspective Online

A Summer Soirée

by Eric Nauert

On a pleasant evening in May, beneath the canopy outside the Campus Center Ballroom, a group gathered at the behest of University of West Georgia President Dr. Kyle Marrero for a “Summer Soiree.”

Known as the President’s Circle, this group is made up of faithful UWG supporters who offer donations of $1,000 or more to the university foundation. Also attending the event were members of the 1906 Society and the McIntosh Society. Dine West, UWG’s newly formed in-house catering service, provided a light, but elegant dinner in the recently renovated outdoor space.

The soiree provided an opportunity for the president to extend his thanks in person to each contributor and offer details about some of the ways the donations will serve the ongoing progress of the university. On hand was J. Thomas “Tommy” Vance, chair of the UWG Foundation Board of Trustees, who extended his gratitude as well and spoke to the group about some of the good work that has been accomplished thanks to their contributions.

“Your generous gifts,” Vance explained, “have provided financial aid that has allowed countless UWG students to stay in school and graduate, afforded faculty the opportunity to conduct important research, and provided programming for students and the community that enrich all our lives. You have also contributed to the success of our student athletes on and off the field and granted students the life-changing opportunity to study abroad and conduct important research with tenured faculty.”

About $140,000 is dedicated to gap funding measures each year, which bridges the gap between financial aid and what students are able to afford out-of-pocket. Last fall, some 92 students were assisted thanks to this initiative. Contributions from the President’s Circle and other philanthropic organizations also help the UWG Study Abroad program, which recently provided overseas experience to several students from the School of Nursing and other colleges. Students have also benefited from the fact that these donations pay for research assistantships, enabling them to gain one-of-a-kind experiences in their chosen field.

After Vance spoke, Dr. Marrero offered his own brief, heartfelt message to the esteemed circle.

“Thanks to you,” Marrero said, “our students are not just learning—they are innovating, leading, creating, exploring, and inspiring.”


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Posted: June 7, 2016

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