It’s been several years since Casino Night was held in Grady County; however, this year’s event reminded the community not only of the importance in raising scholarship funds, but the fun that can be had in providing scholarship opportunities to local students. Grady County is home to one of the largest groups of Thomas University alumni, as well as students, so hosting an event there is the perfect opportunity for involvement, bringing together community, alumni, and businesses.
The event was held on Oct. 16 and was a huge success, with those in attendance gambling and bidding the night away, resulting in substantial scholarship opportunities for students. TU alums Chelsie Cosby, Todd Butler, Jeremy Jones and Alyssa Blakley helped make the night possible along with community and university volunteers. Together they were able to raise over $11,500 toward scholarships for Grady County students attending Thomas University.
From Fundraising to Preservation – More Work in Grady County
Thomas University was active in the Grady County community this fall! In November current TU art students, along with Richard Curtis, Associate Professor of Art, took some time to recreate a missing museum sculpture located at Popes Museum, a historic piece of Grady County history that was recently added to the National Registry of Historic Places. Together they restored a life-sized statue known as the “Gold Star Mother,” a sculpture of a mother representative of military service members who lost their lives and the families they left behind.
The sculpture was originally created in the 1940s by the late Laura Pope Forester, who owned and maintained the property prior to her death in 1953. The property, frequently serving as a museum, changed hands many times and the statue was removed sometime between 2015 and 2017. In 2017, current owners Michelle and Dan Dean purchased the property and have been working on restoration efforts ever since with the community and volunteers. Pope’s Museum welcomes visitors often, especially during the holiday season. f you find yourself in the Grady County area, be sure to check it out and see our students’ hard work in person!
Alumnus Spotlight: Leo Alvarez
Leo Alvarez came to Thomas University to earn a bachelor's degree and play on the Night Hawks Men's Soccer Team. At first he wasn't sure about his major or career direction. During his sophomore year, a family tragedy turned out to be a life-changing event that gave Leo the direction he needed.
Originally from Live Oak, Florida, Alvarez remembers having a conversation with Professor Robin DePaola when he was trying to decide on a major. At first he considered becoming a high school Spanish teacher and a soccer coach. Then everything in his world changed.
When Alvarez was a sophomore at TU, several members of his immediate family were involved in a car accident that claimed the life of his 3-month-old sister. In addition to dealing with the grief of losing his sister, Alvarez also saw how the loss affected his other family members. The experience made him realize the importance of mental health. The oldest child in his family, Alvarez returned to TU inspired to finish his degree in memory of his late sister. READ MORE»
A Season for Giving
With the holiday season upon us, it’s a great time to consider how we can support others. If you enjoyed your time at Thomas University, consider supporting another student in their goals of continuing education as a donor or volunteer. For information on how impactful donors can be, download a Thomas University annual report. You can also reach out to the Office of Institutional Advancement for information on how you can support current students through volunteering. To reach out to the advancement office, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To view annual reports, click here: https://www.thomasu.edu/alumni-friends/institutional-advancement/annual-report/.
Message from the ABOG President
As a Grady County resident, I get excited reading about the great things the university is doing for my community. However, I know that Thomas University, students and alumni are making great things happen throughout the world, and I want to hear about it! Whether you’re interested in getting more involved in our alumni community, or you just want to update us on your successes, I’d love to hear from you! I can be reached by email at email@example.com, and our friends at the Advancement Office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, Thomas University has experienced a great year, and 2022 is looking even brighter. I wish everyone a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. As we look forward at this next year, I encourage you to stay informed on the growth our university is experiencing and consider being a part of it yourself. Whether it’s through donations, volunteering or serving on the alumni board, we have an opportunity that would be a great – and rewarding – fit for you. Happy Holidays!