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UNG raises $1 million for student scholarships

UNG President Bonita Jacobs and Bruce Howerton, interim vice president of advancement at UNG, reveal this year's fundraising total for the university's scholarship funds.

For the second consecutive year, the University of North Georgia (UNG) has raised more than $1 million for student scholarships. This year's total of $1,350,000 was announced at the university’s third annual Scholarship Ball, held March 21 in Dahlonega.

UNG President Bonita Jacobs has made increasing scholarship support for students one of her top priorities as president.

"This is an event that is very near and dear to my heart because it is our scholarship event. Nothing is more important in what we do than making sure our students graduate," she said. "UNG is stronger than ever and we're producing valuable graduates who serve as civic, professional and military leaders across the region and throughout the global community."

With college enrollment increasing and many families struggling to pay for college, more students across the nation are seeking financial assistance to pursue higher education. Most UNG students receive some type of financial aid, from scholarships and grants to student loans.

"We are here tonight to reaffirm a promise we have all made to the students of the University of North Georgia by supporting their efforts to receive the highest quality education and become productive leaders in society," said Rich White, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Georgia Foundation Inc. "This is accomplished by receiving world-class instruction provided by the UNG faculty and a supportive learning environment sustained by a dedicated staff. Through the extraordinary work of our trustees, we keep this promise by raising funds from generous donors and alumni to lessen the financial burden of attending college."

The first Scholarship Ball, held at UNG’s Gainesville Campus as Jacobs' inauguration in 2013, raised more than $212,000. The 2014 Scholarship Ball, held in Cumming, Georgia, raised $340,498. During the 2013-2014 academic year, UNG raised more than $1 million for student scholarships, marking a 56 percent increase over the previous year.

Gen. Mixon
Lt. Gen. Benjamin "Randy" Mixon accepts the 2015
Presidential Leadership Award.
This year’s ball, attended by more than 400 community members, business leaders, and UNG faculty and staff, was held in Dahlonega and raised $245,000. During the event, Jacobs presented the 2015 Presidential Leadership Award to retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin "Randy" Mixon, an alumnus who served nearly 36 years in the U.S. Army.

"For his outstanding service to our country and for his steadfast support of the University of North Georgia and our students, it my extreme and great honor to present the 2015 Presidential Leadership Award to Gen. Randy Mixon," Jacobs said.

Mixon earned a degree in political science and commissioned as a U.S. Army Infantry officer upon his graduation in 1975. Mixon served in combat three times and helped establish a new unit, the 3rd Ranger battalion. He retired in 2011 as a three-star general and commanding general of the U.S. Army, Pacific and holds master's degrees in public administration and military art and science. Today, Mixon is a vice president at General Dynamics Information Technology, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, where he supports U.S. Army training.

"I'm honored and humbled to accept this award and frankly I do so on behalf of all the mentors who invested time and guidance in my development as a leader. Like many of you in this room, it all started at this great institution and continued throughout my military career," he said. "My leadership development was forged right here at the University of North Georgia. When it comes to leadership development, the laboratory within the Corps of Cadets at the University of North Georgia is one of if not the best places in the world to develop leaders for the military or the corporate world."

Previous winners of the Presidential Leadership Award are Mike Cottrell, Paul Stringer, George Coleman and Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt.

With more than 16,000 students on four campuses, UNG is the sixth-largest public university in Georgia and is designated as The Military College of Georgia and a state leadership institution. UNG offers more than 100 programs of study ranging from associate degrees to graduate programs.

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