Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill was the keynote speaker at the Annual BRTC Foundation Scholarship Luncheon held April 5 in the Randolph County Development Center. The luncheon is held each year to honor scholarship donors for their generosity in giving and scholarship recipients for their continued efforts working to complete their college degrees. Gaskill acknowledged the donors for the opportunities they provide to the students and he praised the students for pursuing a college degree, even if through difficult times. He also encouraged them to model the spirit of giving to future students when they have completed their degrees and are financially able to do so.
BRTC students Brittany Hembrey, Hunter Utnage and Angela Emmett served as student spokespersons on behalf of all scholarship recipients, and each expressed their gratitude towards the donors for assisting in their educational pursuits. Each student shared his or her personal experiences. These ranged from the struggles of balancing time for studies and the need to work, the necessity of multiple jobs, and the difficulties of single parenting while being a student.
Ruth Ann Ellis, BRTC Foundation Chair, welcomed the guests who then enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by students in BRTC’s Dietetics program. Scott Trammel, Foundation Board member, gave the invocation. Dr. Jan Ziegler, Vice President for Development, introduced the Kimbrough Choir that entertained the audience with four songs under the direction of Joniece Trammel, Director, and accompaniment by Glenda Blasini. Members of the President’s Leadership Club assisted at the event.
Dr. Wayne Hatcher, BRTC President, introduced special guests, including members of the Foundation Board and Board of Trustees. He, along with Ziegler, introduced the scholarship donors that include those who contribute through the Annual “Growing Strong” Campaign, the Annual IBERIABANK/BRTC Foundation Golf Tournament, and many privately funded scholarships. This includes many faculty and staff who give through the payroll deduction option. Support is also given to the Mary Sallee Single Parent Scholarship Fund including contributions from Entergy and Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s Single Parent Scholarship Fund.
Anyone interested in making a donation to the BRTC Foundation Scholarship Fund may contact Dina Hufstedler, Office of Development, at 870-248-4000, ext. 4187.