Clayton State University students and donors gathered together earlier this week to celebrate at the annual Scholarship Recognition Luncheon, held in the Harry S. Downs Center.
An event that celebrates both the donors of scholarships, and the recipients of those scholarships, the Scholarship Recognition Luncheon has been a regular event for the Clayton State University Foundation for several years. This year’s event was sponsored by Freeman, Mathis & Gary LLP, and featured speakers from the Clayton State administration, the Foundation, scholarship donors, and scholarship recipients. The entire group was greeted at the start of the program by Clayton State President Dr. Thomas J. Hynes.
“These students justify our faith in them,” he said of the scholarship recipients. “They represent a great investment in this area and the state’s future.”
Also among the speakers was Clayton State Emeritus Professor of History Dr. Eugene Hatfield, representing the scholarship donors in his capacity as the president of the Clayton State Retirees Association (CSRA), which has funded an endowed scholarship for Clayton State graduate students.
“When I see these students, I see a long line of other students who earned scholarships at Clayton State,” he remarked. Hatfield has a particularly good perspective on scholarship students, since he was also to first director of the Clayton State Honors Program, starting in 1996.
Three scholarship recipients were featured speakers among the students attending the luncheon. They were: Khalid Rajahn of Jonesboro, a freshman math major who is also in the Honors Program and who has earned the Michael Edmondson Scholarship; Adelene Panlilio, also of Jonesboro and the Honors Program, who is a nursing major with the Alice J. Smith Scholarship; and Jacob Caldwell of McDonough. Caldwell, a music major, is one of the 2011/2012 Presidential Scholars, and spoke memorably, noting that his high school choir sang at Spivey Hall when he was in ninth grade.
“Music is my passion, I’ve loved it all my life,” he said. “I fell in love with Spivey Hall. I love doing what I’m doing and the music program at Clayton State is excellent. Time well spent is more valuable than anything else.”
Following Caldwell on the program was Leonard Moreland, chair of the Clayton State Foundation, who picked up on Caldwell’s passion.
“It’s on a campus like this that dreams occur,” he said. “As we go through life dreams evolve into reality. One of the roles of the Foundation is to make dreams become reality.”