October 2, 2017
President Ed Presnell (still riding the crest of the Clemson Tigers) called the meeting to order. Jeff Flowers called for a time of silent prayer for those who were lost and who suffer from the tragic shooting spree in Las Vegas. Clay Jolly introduced our visiting guests and Rotarians, including two students from the Richmond Academy Interact Club. CART raised $125.64 last week with inside challenger Clay Jolly and outside challenger Billy Franke. This week the challengers are Bobby Gagnon, inside, and American Family Life, outside challenger. On what was otherwise a beautiful and sunny day, Brad Means brought the “Sunshine” report. He offered sobering reflections on the Las Vegas tragedy and led a prayer for the victims and for the country as a whole.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND INTRODUCTIONS
- On a happier note, Jeff Simless gave the Football Follies Report. Forty-eight members participated this past week. Eleven got 9 out of 10 projections correct, but Ridge Whitehurst got them all and won the door prize.
- Jennifer Pennington introduced a district-wide Rotary program to strengthen each Club and a means by which Clubs and members can be recognized at the annual district meeting. More to follow.
- Chris McKinney presented new member Dr. Will Hatcher. Will is the Program Director for the Master of Public Administration degree program at Augusta University.
- Jeremy Wilson, a member of the Columbia County Rotary Club, announced that the Columbia County Club will be hosting its second annual golf tournament at Gordon Lakes on October 20 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Teams from each Club are encouraged to participate. Proceeds will benefit medical services to underprivileged parts of the world.
- Phil Wahl, Butch Whiddon and Charles Stewart came forward to receive their Paul Harris PLUS recognition pins that were announced last week.
- Last week’s speaker was DG Dr. Hamsa Thota from St. Simons. In honor of his visit, the Club donated $1,600 to End Polio Now. Following last week’s meeting, our Board voted to make an additional $2,000 donation to MAP International to provide relief supplies in Puerto Rico.
Dr. Angela Pringle introduced our speaker for the day - Dr. Jerry Hardee, the President of Paine College. Dr. Hardee is a lifelong educator who began his career as a teacher in Waycross, GA, and over the years has held significant leadership positions at Georgia Board of Regents institutions throughout Georgia, and has served as President of private higher education institutions. The Board of Paine College was able to persuade Dr. Hardee to leave well-earned retirement to become the new leader of Paine College.
Dr. Hardee stated that Paine is well on the way to satisfying the remaining SACS requirement for financial stability. Dr. Hardee plans for Paine to increase its enrollment from 400 students currently to 800 students. This increase would add a $60 million economic impact to Augusta. And to meet this new demand, Dr. Hardee stated that the College has plans to build three 250 room residential housing units to both replace and expand current on-campus hiring.
Dr, Hardee is a strong advocate for historically black colleges and universities which educate some 3 million students each year. While these represent only 20% of African-American students, these colleges product 49% of the African-American graduates.
Dr. Hardee also spoke about efforts that are underway to collaborate with other area institutions of higher education to seek foundation funding. He has also instituted a program to improve the buildings and grounds of Paine.
In closing, Dr. Hardee emphasized the life-changing difference Paine can make when he spoke of a young woman who came to Paine from a dysfunctional home but was on the verge of being suspended for having engaged in a fight on campus. Dr. Hardee required the young woman to meet with him and explain why she violated one of the cardinal rules at Paine: no drugs, no alcohol, no fighting and no weapons. Dr. Hardee learned that the young woman’s entire life had been spent “fighting” to protect herself and her siblings, and she begged for a second chance. She stated that if she left Paine, she would not return home and did not know where she would go. Dr. Hardee granted her a second chance but with an admonition that there would be no third opportunity. The young woman asked to do part of her public service in the office of the President, and even more stirring, the right to sit next to the President at Paine’s weekly chapel service. She has done so, and when the prayers are invoked, she holds the hand of the President. Her grades have been exemplary and she dreams now of one day being a physician.
Dr. Hardee is a dynamic leader and an inspirational advocate for Paine and for higher education in general.
There will be no meeting on October 9 - Columbus Day holiday. When we meet next on October 16, Ann Catherine Murray will present the program on the Miller Theater and the Symphony Orchestra of Augusta.
Easy links to pages on our website
Rotary schedule of meeting dates and speakers
Member Proposal Form
Online directory - Find a member or update your information
Bulletins - Weekly bulletins from 2014-current
Save the Date:
Inside Challenger: Bobby Gagnon
Outside Challenger: American Family Insurance
Dr. Jerry Hardee
Richmond Academy Interact Club
Augusta Tech Rotaract Club
Faye Hargrove 10-2-17 Rotary Board of Directors Meeting
Scott Williams 10-2-17 Rotary Board of Directors Meeting
Dustin Young 10-2-17 Rotary Board of Directors Meeting
Ray Walters 9-25-17 Augusta West Rotary Club
Bill Kemp 9-25-17 Augusta West Rotary Club
Stacie Adkins 9-18-17 Online Make up