February 25, 2014

Dalton State, FSG team up to offer athletic scholarship

Devin Golden

— FSG Bank president and CEO Michael Kramer wanted to leave a stamp on the business’ hometown college.

The stamp is worth $10,000 each year.

Dalton State College athletic director Derek Waugh announced Tuesday at the Roadrunners’ final men’s basketball game the school has partnered with FSG Bank, which started 15 years ago in Dalton, to begin the FSG Bank Corporate Scholarship. The grant begins next school year with $10,000 divided among one athlete from each of the nine sports at the school.

Dalton State relaunched athletics for the 2013-2014 school year and concluded the men’s basketball season with a 26-4 record. Along with that win came a new grant for student-athletes. Men’s basketball joined women’s volleyball, competitive cheerleading, and men’s and women’s cross country, golf and tennis as the sports for this season.

“It’ll be divided up to the player on each team that best represents leadership, academics and community service,” Waugh said at the game, noting the school’s grants are all privately funded.

Waugh added the team’s coach and a representative from FSG Bank will decide who receives the scholarship each season.

FSG Bank has grown since opening its first branch in Dalton in 1999 and now stretches as far north as Knoxville, Tenn.

“This is really our hometown,” Kramer said. “Our home will always be in Dalton.”

Kevin Brunson, FSG Bank’s local president, said the business approached Dalton State with the scholarship idea.

“We went to Derek and said we wanted to support the college,” Brunson said. “We asked, ‘What would most benefit you as a college?’ We came up with a scholarship and will divide it to several of the athletes.”

Brunson and Kramer both said stressing academic success was a priority in designing the regimen.

“Derek said, ‘It’s easy to reward the kid with the great stats, but who recognizes a kid who has great character, great academics and is a great player?’” Brunson recalled.

The grants will be presented to the chosen athletes at Dalton State’s end-of-year banquet.

“We are blessed to have so much support in the community,” Waugh stated in a press release. “FSG is doing a great thing that will not only affect the lives but also reward the intangibles that go into being a human being as well as an athlete. When you talk to many former student-athletes, they list their most valuable accomplishment as being presented a ‘Coach’s Award.’ FSG was creative enough and generous enough to tie this type of award to a scholarship.”