By Jordan Beach

Reinhardt University’s generous donors visited campus to join students for the Scholarship Recognition Celebration, an opportunity for scholarship recipients to meet and show gratitude towards those contributing to their education at Reinhardt University.

The luncheon celebration was hosted by the Office of Advancement on Tuesday, Jan. 28 in the Hoke O’Kelley Auditorium. All in attendance enjoyed performances from Hannah Reich ’22 and Jeff Unger ’22, vocal performance majors who sang selections from “The Sound of Music,” accompanied by Brian Osborne, assistant professor of music.

President Kina S. Mallard addressed the scholarship donors to share the University’s gratitude for their giving.

“It is incredible, the generosity that is in this room in your willingness to give back,” said Mallard, “I’m aware that there are many reasons that you made that decision to support Reinhardt. Some of you made that decision because you’re honoring parents or maybe even grandparents. Some of you made that decision because you’re honoring a spouse. There’s even some of you that have established scholarships honoring a child. Some of you in this room come from foundations, and while that’s your job to give away money, it’s your responsibility to know that that money goes to deserving students and that you’re giving to an institution that educates students to go out as change agents in the world—and you are.”

Jon Baesman, vice president for advancement, then passed the microphone to the students around the room so they could share their sentiments with those who enable them to pursue their education at Reinhardt University, several of who expressed they would be unable to attend Reinhardt without the help of scholarship donations.

Paolino de Francesco ’23 studies Communications & Media Studies. He traveled to Georgia from Valencia, Venezuela to attend Reinhardt and play soccer, and found a home-away-from-home in the process.

“The thing that I like about Reinhardt the most is the family feeling. Whenever I thought about college, I thought I was going to be all by myself and that no one was going to help me, but that wasn’t the case at Reinhardt. I’m really thankful for this university,” said de Francesco.

Nursing major Ashlyn Tuttle ’21, of McDonough, Georgia, felt unsure about a small campus when choosing a college to attend, but her time at RU changed her mind.

“What I like most about Reinhardt is the close-knit family. I didn’t think I would like a smaller college, but it turns out, I really do,” Tuttle said. “Thank you to all the donors who are here today and are a part of the community. Reinhardt is such a special experience, and I’m glad to be here.”