By Jordan Beach 

The Pickens Scholars program enables many students at Reinhardt University to not only pursue an education, but also their dreams. 

Since its inception in 2017, the Pickens Scholars program has raised more than $80,000 for student scholarships through generous donations and the annual .5K Shamrock Stroll held St. Patrick’s Day weekend in downtown Jasper.  

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Nick DiPuma performing at a luncheon.

Sophomore Nick DiPuma spends his time on campus in music lessons and rehearsals, the typical life of a musical theatre major. His first interaction with Reinhardt’s School of Performing Arts took place during lessons with faculty and the Musical Theatre Intensive, a two-week summer program offered to potential students.  

The Jasper resident’s work with Reinhardt’s esteemed faculty and talented students could have been cut short had it not been for the Pickens Scholars program.

“The Pickens Scholars scholarship is one of the many reasons I am able to attend Reinhardt and receive an education that I have found to be truly invaluable,” DiPuma said. “I have nothing but gratitude for the opportunity to receive the benefits of those who are willing to give of their time and money in the interest of supporting students in their pursuit of higher education.”

Two more Jasper residents who benefit from the resources provided by those supporting the Pickens Scholars program are Megan Pruett ‘20 and Joe Logan ‘20. Pruett is pursuing a degree in Secondary English Education with minors in International Relations and Business Management while commuting to Waleska from her hometown. 

“I love being able to live off campus in my hometown while attending such a great college,” said Pruett. “I have also been rewarded with chances of a lifetime like studying abroad, which is fueling my dreams of being involved with international education.” 

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Megan Pruett in Ireland.

The study abroad experience allowed Pruett to travel to Ireland during the summer of 2018. During the school year, she stays involved and has taken on leadership opportunities such as the Student Government Association Executive Board and the Reinhardt Women’s Leadership Program. 

“Pickens County is welcoming and always willing to help those in need, which is exactly what I’ve realized about the Reinhardt community as well,” she continued. 

Logan studies business with a focus in marketing and transferred to Reinhardt after his first year of college. He appreciates the ability to remain local while earning his degree. 

“Reinhardt was very welcoming and has given me the experience of going to college while being close to my family,” said Logan. “This scholarship helps to fund my education while allowing me to live in the small town that I love.” 

As Reinhardt University continues to grow, it enables its students’ dreams to grow alongside them. With the addition of the Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences, sophomore Greta Nichols is able to work towards becoming a nurse.  

“Receiving the Pickens Scholars scholarship gives me a piece of encouragement to work harder towards my dreams. It’s a constant reminder that there are people who want to see you succeed and who are willing to help you along the way,” said Nichols. “I could not be more grateful for this scholarship and this program for their support in ensuring and securing a brighter future for me.” 

If you are interested in enabling local students to achieve their dreams at Reinhardt, contact Dale Morrissey, senior director of constituent engagement, at 770-720-5506 or DSM1@Reinhardt.edu