Submitted by Dalton State College
A $3 million scholarship fund that will benefit hundreds of Dalton State student-athletes over the next decade has been established by the John Willis Mashburn Charitable Trust.
Dalton State President John O. Schwenn announced that $300,000 in full and partial scholarships for student-athletes will be awarded annually each year for the next 10 years.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the college,” Schwenn said. “It is fantastic for athletics as they will be able to recruit outstanding athletes, and our academic programs will be enhanced with additional high quality students who otherwise may not have attended Dalton State.”
“Dalton State already offers one of the most economical education programs in the country,” he added. “The extraordinary generosity of the Mashburn Trust in creating this scholarship program just means that more students than ever will have the opportunity to receive a high quality, high value college education.”
The scholarships will be administered through the Dalton State Athletic Club Inc., a nonprofit organization supporting intercollegiate athletics at Dalton State, beginning in July 2013.
“This gift is a game changer both from a competitive standpoint and from a recruiting standpoint,” said Athletic Director Derek Waugh. “We will be able to privately fund scholarships with minimal usage of student fees. That puts us on par with the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech in terms of what we are able to do percentage-wise with private support.”
“It is March, we have not played one second of game competition, and we already have commitments from dozens of student-athletes from over 11 different states and nine foreign countries,” Waugh said. “Most of these future athletes are also amazing, and even award- winning, academic students and leaders. These kids would not have considered Dalton State but for athletics. This gift is not only important, but it will change the landscape of Dalton State from a geographic diversity and resident enrollment standpoint. The generosity of the Mashburn Trust to our young athletic department is prodigious.”
“The philanthropic support the Mashburn Trust has provided to Dalton State is both extraordinary and inspiring,” Schwenn said. In addition to athletic scholarships, the trust has pledged $2.5 million for athletic facilities, donated three vans for team travel, and $75,000 to build a new greenhouse on campus to replace the one that was demolished to make way for the new Science Building now under construction.
Investment in Dalton State College is the Mashburn Foundation’s strategy to boost economic development and higher education in the community and region, according to a foundation trustee. “We believe that infusing dollars into the fledgling intercollegiate program will help bring students to Dalton State to compete and to study; the hope is that some who come here will choose to stay here to live, work and raise families,” the trustee said.
“We want to shine a light on Dalton State and strengthen it as the University System of Georgia’s state college serving Northwest Georgia,” the trustee said. “Dalton State is a significant economic driver for Northwest Georgia. By supporting academics and athletics at the college, we hope to bring in more students and enhance the economic vitality of the region.”
John Willis Mashburn lived a quiet life with wife Catherine as a Dalton entrepreneur and philanthropist. He died in January 2009. The tenth of 12 children, Mr. Mashburn came of age during the Depression and always valued hard work and frugal living, according to the foundation. His charitable trust was formed to advance the endeavors he believed would develop and enhance the community in which he lived.