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Meet Our Donors

Our donors are philanthropists in the finest sense of the word. Through their help, we’ve been making the world a better place for Georgia State students for decades. The influence these gifts have in the lives of our students echoes beyond their time on campus.

Gifts to Georgia State reach well past the university and its students and faculty. Those directed to us also benefit our city, our state and other regions through resulting enrichment in the economy, arts and culture, and health care. Please browse the stories below to learn how donors are leaving a lasting legacy at Georgia State.

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Gifts Honor Former Student and Others’ Future Success

James L. Pate retired from Georgia State University more than two decades ago. He remains committed to advancing his field—and students’ aspirations—by making tax-wise IRA gifts to a scholarship fund that’s dear to his heart.

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Giving From the Heart

“Anything I have done—and anything I will do in the future—for Georgia State is simply my way of giving back a small part of all that the university has given me,” says Georgia State alumnus J. Allen Poole (B.B.A. ’68)

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Gift Helps Empower Young Leaders

Karen Linhart (BBA ’67) understands the challenges of going to school while working to pay for a college education. Her gift to Georgia State will help students just like her to get ahead in their lives and careers

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Making a Lasting Impact at Georgia State

Alumnus Brad Ferrer and his wife, Patty, have long been supporters of Georgia State. See what inspired him to form an even deeper connection to the University and how he’s making a lasting impact on our students.

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Panther Profile: Tiffany Harvey

When psychology major Tiffany Harvey began her freshman year at Georgia State, she found herself balancing more than a demanding course load. She'd made two groups of friends—one more studious and the other more social—and tried to make both a priority.

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Adversity Leads to Opportunity

Kevin Vettickatt didn't let a career-ending sports injury derail his future. Instead, he turned to other activities. Now, he's hoping to take on the world's concerns by studying a field he's passionate about

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Outdoor Enthusiast Turned City Slicker

When it came time to select a college, Matthew Molini didn't have to choose between his love of the outdoors and the opportunities a large city offers. At Georgia State, he can pursue all his passions.

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On the Road to Graduation

Atlanta native Aaron Lewis visited multiple campuses before deciding that Georgia State was the place for him. Donor support is making it possible for him to pursue his education here.

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First-Generation Student Azhia Brown:

Geographically, Azhia Brown hasn’t traveled far—she grew up in Atlanta, went to school at Georgia State, and has now started her career in Atlanta. In terms of personal development, though, she’s gone further than she ever imagined.

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Supporters Phil and Jeanne Oneacre Commit $1 Million to Georgia State

The Phil and Jeanne Oneacre family has committed a $1 million planned gift to Georgia State University to support the Honors College, the Department of Athletics and J. Mack Robinson College of Business.

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One Journey Ends, While Another Begins

Every great student needs a great mentor. Johnny Truong says he was fortunate to have one relatively early on. "I had a really great high school chemistry teacher who thought I could do a lot more than what I was doing, so she sent me off to a summer program for chemistry students."

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Bill and Rita Loventhal: A Leap of Faith That Paid Off

When Bill Loventhal received advice from the director of the Kemper Foundation that he should transfer to Georgia State University, he was skeptical. He took that advice, however, and hasn't left Atlanta since

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Angela and Alan Giles Aren't Just Georgia State Donors—They're Fans

If you're sensing a little more Panther pride on Georgia State's campus these days, you owe some thanks to Alan and Angela Giles. Their generous annual gifts to a variety of activities, particularly athletics and cheerleading, have helped create programs the entire Georgia State community can rally around.

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Returning the Favor: Scholarship Gift Gives Back to Georgia State

It was the spring of 1964 and Bill White was staring at a dead end. Four years earlier, Bill had started what looked like a promising career at an Atlanta business magazine publishing company. He thought his engineering degree from Georgia Tech and experience as editor of the Tech weekly newspaper would help.

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Providing Hope for the Future

Georgia State has played a big part in Chris and Elanna Valley's past and present. She earned both her bachelor's degree and master's degree here, and they met while she was doing an internship. After more than three decades as a social worker, Chris is now an instructor in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

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Donna Brazzell Gives Back to Georgia State

Donna Brazzell found a new career—and a new outlook on life—after taking a chance and going back to school in a different field. Now, she is enjoying her job as executive director of the DeKalb Library Foundation, and she wants to give back through her estate. Why? Georgia State, she says, gave her a gift first.

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Mescon Family Establishes Scholarship in Daughter's Memory

In 2011, a family tragedy encouraged Michael and Enid Mescon to create a scholarship in their daughter's honor. They believe Georgia State students have the power to stop tragic eating disorders from affecting other families.

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Law Students Thankful for Help from Hugh Welborn

As a member of the charter class at the Georgia State University College of Law, Hugh Welborn worked his way through law school by juggling jobs. His recent gift ensures current law students won’t face that same struggle.

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The Debianne and Robert Peterman Scholarship: Paying It Forward

Debianne Peterman says she owes her career to Georgia State University and the support she received through scholarship funding. Now, Debianne and her husband, Robert, want to provide that same support to future health care students.

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Alumni Honor Impact of GSU Education With Successful Challenge Grants

Two GSU alumni extended a challenge to their fellow alumni: give back and we will match your gifts. GSU Panthers have responded to the challenge, and more than $30,000 has been raised so far.

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The Passions of Alumnus J. Allen Pool

Sports fan and alumnus J. Allen Poole believes in supporting the things important to him. For Allen, that includes Georgia State University Athletics and a scholarship to help Georgia State accounting students. 

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Tony Holcombe's Love of History Leads to Planned Gift for Scholarships

The success story of Tony G. Holcombe ('77) begins on the printed page, as a first-generation college student at Georgia State University who loved reading about world history.

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Margaret Andersen Makes Diversity Her Life's Work

Margaret "Maggie" Andersen '70 remembers when female students at Georgia State University were forbidden to wear slacks to class. Today, Andersen is helping this generation challenge social barriers. 

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Janet S. and Ronald J. Henry: Banishing a Barrier to Student Access

Former GSU provost Ronald and wife Janet Henry's careers in higher education hinged on receiving financial aid as undergraduates. Their experiences led them to fund a university-wide scholarship at GSU, to address "one of the greatest unmet needs in the country for higher education," Ron says.

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Leaving His Mark on GSU

Barely two years since 103-year-old photography student Ernest G. Welch passed away, his multimillion dollar bequest has forever influenced the future of GSU.

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Academic Justice, Scholarship Link GSU Law Donor and Student

Rebecca White juggles full-time work and classes while pursuing a law degree at GSU, a difficult concept Hugh Welborn is quite familiar with, which led to Rebecca earning the first Hugh W. Welborn Scholarship in Law.

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Florence Kopleff

"Georgia State has been a large part of my life and a main priority of my giving. I am happy to do anything I can to help the University and the School of Music. When I learned of the advantages of the gift annuity and the return it would pay, it was obvious this was a great way for me to give back to Georgia State."

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Jim Adams

"The idea of a bequest occurred to me when I was settling my dad's estate. Finding some papers from Georgia State, I realized what a burden college would have been on my parents without a scholarship. My degree earned me a grad school fellowship and paved the way for a successful career. I decided I needed to give back to Georgia State. I encourage others to do the same. It is a decision you can feel good about."

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Don Gingrich

"For almost 20 years, the Music Program at Georgia State was an important part of my life. Now that I am retired, a charitable gift annuity provides me an ideal opportunity to continue my support for this program. At the same time, the gift annuity provides an additional source of income, which helps make possible a yearly trip to Aruba! Bravo to the charitable gift annuity!"

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Ralph Moor

"The desperate financial conditions of many people, bankruptcies, crime, homelessness, repossessions, have been matters of much concern to me in recent years. In an effort to teach how to avoid these circumstances I have encouraged the establishment of courses in personal economics."

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Fostering Equality and Opportunity in Atlanta—and Around the World

Angie Allen was one of the few women in the investment field in the late 1970s, and she knew that she needed additional skills to advance her career. Georgia State University's flexible schedule allowed her to earn her MBA while working full time, and now she and her husband, Sam, support several scholarship programs.

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Inspired by One Georgia State Success Story, Ed and Cecil Laird Are Creating More

The idea of real-world learning opportunities as a cornerstone of the Georgia State experience is hardly a new development. As far back as the 1960s, Ed Laird was taking classes that immersed him directly into the world of journalism.

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A World of Opportunities

Last year, Marlena Collins participated in a study-abroad trip to southern Europe, observing the European hospitality industry at work in France, Switzerland, and Monaco. This year she's headed to the other side of the Mediterranean to immerse herself in the tourism-driven economies of Morocco and Tunisia. Marlena's adventures were paid for entirely through scholarship support. They are just a couple of the opportunities that donors have helped make possible for Georgia State University students.

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Inside a Researcher's Mind

As a researcher pursuing a doctoral degree in neuroscience, Kate McCann knew she'd face challenges in the lab. But thanks to the support of the Kenneth and Georganne Honeycutt Fellowship, she has two cheerleaders in her corner who provide financial assistance and personal encouragement when she faces setbacks, allowing her to stay focused on her innovative research.

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Legendary Musician's Legacy Still Echoes at Georgia State

Melissa Joseph never met the woman who endowed the scholarship that is helping her follow her dream of becoming an opera singer. But thanks to the foresight of Florence Kopleff—Georgia State's first artist-in-residence—Melissa is part of Florence's enduring musical legacy

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Mark Biernath Provides Help for the Disabled—and a Legacy for Georgia State

Mark Biernath wasn’t even a lawyer the first time he stepped inside a courtroom, but the experience left an impression on him. He decided to attend Georgia State University College of Law and found his true calling. Today Mark practices special-needs and disability law in Atlanta and is providing the opportunity for future students to pursue their true calling through his estate gift to Georgia State.

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Sarah Agnew Hits the Beach—and the Books—in Downtown Atlanta

Sarah Agnew decided to take up beach volleyball because it was fun—and challenging. Thanks to donor support, she's been able to challenge herself in the classroom, too, as a scholar in Georgia State's Honors College and College of Education and Human Development.

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From the Gold Dome to Big Ben

Sam Hanks knew he wanted his college experience to include access to government. But he never imagined he'd have the opportunities that he's had at Georgia State to explore his interests—including internships in the Georgia capitol and British Parliament and a semester in France. And it's all because of the Presidential Scholarship.

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