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Savannah State University President Kimberly Ballard-Washington and Interim Executive Director for University Advancement and Director for Advancement Services Sheri Rouse Mainor accept a $250,000 check from an anonymous donor to provide tuition assistance for students in need.

November 23, 2021 - During this season of giving and thanksgiving, Savannah State University (SSU) celebrates the generous financial contributions of its alumni, faculty, and staff who have donated $629,000 to support deserving students in need of tuition assistance to obtain a college degree. Made possible by Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the university will receive matching funds for five of those scholarships, dollar-for-dollar, bringing the total to more than $810,000 to impact student success. Title III is a federally funded program designed to support the infrastructure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Multiple check presentations recently took place inside T.A. Wright Stadium to commemorate these bountiful gifts.

The donations included Savannah State University’s National Alumni Association (SSUNAA) Class of 1971, which established an endowment in honor of their 50th Class Reunion. Additionally, attorney and alumna Nefertara Clark, Class of 2004, whose parents John and Mary Clark graduated from SSU, established an endowment to surprise her parents. 

“Many individuals give to the causes they believe in, but I am consistently impressed and humbled by the generosity and the hearts of our Tigers,” said Kimberly Ballard-Washington, J.D., the 14th President of SSU. “Our alumni give back because they acknowledge that the value of the education they received from Savannah State University has truly changed the trajectory of their lives; they give so that new generations can experience the same opportunities. Our faculty and staff give back because they believe in the work we are doing and they know it creates productive members of society who will go on to impact our city, state, nation and the world. We are so grateful for their support and could not be successful without them.”

The donations received included five new endowments, additions to four existing endowments, one anonymous gift of $250,000, and two annual campaigns:

  • Nettie Johnson Merritt Endowed Scholarship
  • Dr. Sule Salami College of Science and Technology Endowed Scholarship
  • Percy Sr., Estella Mack and Elizabeth Walker Endowed Scholarship
  • John and Mary Clark Endowed Scholarship
  • SSUNAA Class of 1971 Endowment
  • Washington Family Endowment
  • SSUNAA Savannah Chapter Endowment
  • SSUNAA Class of 1976 Chapter Endowment
  • Dr. Kenneth Taylor Endowed Scholarship
  • Annual SSUNAA Campaign
  • Annual Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign    

“There is a growing culture of philanthropy on our campus and among our alumni and friends that is exciting to both witness and be an active part of,” said Sheri Rouse Mainor, interim executive director for University Advancement and director for Advancement Services. “We appreciate the support we are receiving, especially right now as we have a unique opportunity to have newly established endowments 100 percent matched. The donations provide scholarship dollars for current use, and endowment dollars to invest, generating scholarship dollars into perpetuity for the university.” 

The Savannah State University Foundation is a Georgia non-profit corporation with the purpose of receiving, investing and administering the private support of SSU by encouraging charitable gifts from alumni and friends, leading to academic programs of excellence. These gifts allow the university to build upon a growing reputation of quality and value beyond the traditional resources provided by state appropriations or student tuition and fees. If you would be interested in financially supporting the university, contact University Advancement by calling 912-358-3059 or visit give.savannahstate.edu.

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