UGA College of Engineering celebrates scholarship recipients and donors

A group gathers at the luncheonThe scholarship that University of Georgia College of Engineering student Anna Thurmond received not only helped pay the bills, it also served as recognition of her hard work.

“One thing that makes this scholarship so important to me is the high level of professionalism I see in my peers,” she said. “They are dedicated, intelligent students, and that’s what makes being a recipient of this scholarship incredibly meaningful.”

Thurmond, a senior agricultural engineering student, also conducts research into microwave sensing at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Center in Athens. It’s work she plans to continue following graduation.

“This scholarship has given me the opportunity to dream about the many ways I will get to use my degree one day,” she said.

Thurmond joined other scholarship recipients at the College of Engineering’s inaugural Scholarship Luncheon Oct. 18 at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. The event honors scholarship donors and recipients and provides an opportunity for donors to meet the students their gifts have helped.

► See a gallery of photos from the 2018 Scholarship Luncheon here.

For Carl Riden, a 1969 graduate of UGA with a degree in agricultural engineering, the luncheon was an opportunity to connect directly with five students who are benefitting from scholarships established in his name.

“It’s one of the thrills of my life to meet these students and learn about the things they are doing in the College of Engineering,” said Riden. “They’re smart, they study hard, and they work hard.”

The College of Engineering provided 35 scholarships to more than 50 undergraduate and graduate students this year thanks to the generous support of scholarship donors.

Nettie Brown, a 2018 UGA graduate with a degree in biochemical engineering, said the scholarship she received her senior year meant she could work fewer hours at her part-time job and devote more time and energy to her research and school work.

“To all of the donors in the room, you are the extended village for me and other students at UGA,” she said. “Thank you for your time and your donations. To say they are greatly appreciated would be an understatement.”

Brown is now working toward her doctorate in a joint biomedical program offered by Georgia Tech and the Emory University School of Medicine.

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all of our donors for making these scholarships possible,” said Donald Leo, dean of the College of Engineering. “Your generosity is positively impacting the lives of our students. It’s giving them opportunities to study engineering and fulfill their professional aspirations at a great institution like the University of Georgia.”

MORE: For information about providing scholarships or similar support to engineering students at the University of Georgia, contact Jan Blaine, Senior Director of Development at

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