Supporting young people has always been important to Garry W. Bridgeman, who serves as a trustee on the UGA Foundation board. He and his wife, Sandra, do not have children of their own, and they feel compelled to help those in their community. “It’s always been a priority for us to help children do well academically and then move into being a productive part of society, ” Bridgeman explained. “For us, that’s always been important.”

Bridgeman wants to make sure children in urban centers get the opportunity to attend the University of Georgia regardless of their financial situation, so he created a need-based endowed scholarship through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program. He established the scholarship in an effort to help those who qualify academically but would not otherwise be able to afford the full cost of attendance. “The hope is they will have the ability to focus more on academics and less on the anxiety of making ends meet, ” Bridgeman said.

The Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, announced in January 2017, is designed to grow the number of need-based scholarships awarded to UGA students. Through the program, the UGA Foundation matches individual donations to double the impact of endowed need-based scholarships.

“By serving as a trustee, I’ve had a lot of insight into how the University functions. It puts you in a position of knowing that your dollars will be used wisely and will serve very important purposes.”

Since 2005, Bridgeman has served several terms as a trustee. He attributes his time spent on the board to giving him great visibility into the interworking of the University. “By serving as a trustee, I’ve had a lot of insight into how the University functions, ” Bridgeman said. “It puts you in a position of knowing that your dollars will be used wisely and will serve very important purposes.” His appreciation of the University community also has grown during his time as a trustee. “I’ve been impressed with how great of an academic center it is for students, but also just the warmth and community it provides: UGA really is a family.”

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