Scholarship Luncheon Brings Together Donors and Students at Wesleyan

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Every year, donors who have established scholarships at Wesleyan are invited to campus to meet the students who are benefiting from their generosity. Scholarship donors get the chance to hear first-hand about the hopes and dreams of the students affected by their gifts. In turn, students learn the stories of their scholarships’ namesakes and have the opportunity to thank their donors in person.

This year's luncheon, held on Valentine's Day, was attended by more than 130 donors, students, trustees, faculty, and staff. Rachel Solomon '20, a Louise Frederick Hayes Scholarship recipient majoring in advertising, marketing, and communication, and Melissa Rey '20, a Munroe Scholar, majoring in chemistry, both spoke at the luncheon.

"As the recipient of the Louise Frederick Hays Scholarship, I have had the freedom to enjoy a full college experience, thanks to the generosity of Dr. Anne Gaston and Dr. Harper Gaston. The scholarship aid I’ve received has made possible the opportunity to become a Wesleyan Woman, one who is proud, strong, intelligent, and confident. I am especially inspired by just such a Wesleyan alumna – my grandmother – Dyleane Tolbert Taylor. As one of Wesleyan’s “First Five,” the first black women to attend and graduate from Wesleyan, Class of 1972, my grandmother was instrumental in breaking down barriers to ensure all women have equal opportunity for a higher education," Solomon said.

Louise Frederick Hays, Class of 1900, was Dr. Harper Gaston’s grandmother. In 1923, Hayes founded Women’s Institutes at the University of Georgia and in 1937 she was appointed director of the Georgia Department of Archives and History. In 2004, Hays was inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement's Hall of Fame.

"To every trustee present today, but especially the Munroe trustees that have generously funded my scholarship, thank you. You have given me the opportunity to attend the Oldest and Best college, and in doing so, you gave me the tools I need to be a strong, self-assured woman capable of taking on the world. I will carry this gift with me for the rest of my life, and I will pass it on by becoming a role model to other women, inspiring the next generation of scientists," vowed Rey.

Mrs. Julia M. Woodward, Mrs. Margaret Munroe Thrower, and Mrs. Mary Gray Cobey founded the Munroe Scholars Program for students who demonstrate particular promise in scientific inquiry or research.

Wesleyan College is committed to making it financially feasible for any admitted student to attend. In addition to named scholarships, the Annual Fund allows the College to provide students with more than $4 million in scholarships each year.