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2017 President’s GALA

2017 President’s GALA


(Nick Evans) Beth and I have a wonderful and long history and connection with the Augusta University. (Beth Evans) Between our two families
collectively, they gave over a hundred years of employment to MCG. (Nick Evans) My dad got the best love and care at Talmadge Hospital in the last days of his life and for those that don’t know Talmadge Hospital was the name of the hospital at MCG back in those days. (Beth Evans) Nick and I worked on campus and received scholarships that helped us graduate from Augusta College and although we started together somehow I managed to graduate a little bit sooner than he did. [Laughter] (Nick Evans) That’s the truth and I was lucky enough and fortunate enough to get one of the first golf scholarships at Augusta College along with my dear friend Bobby Drussel. That scholarship meant everything to me and my family and it came at a time of need and it gave me a sense of pride and motivation to work hard on the course and in the classroom. (Beth Evans) Augusta University gave us hope and prepared us for the future and now it’s time for us to give back. (Nick Evans) Thank you for giving back and thank you for your continued support of Augusta University. (Dr. Keel) To me a college education, a university education, is so much more than just what a student gets in a classroom. The university provides so many other opportunities for a student to learn, to grow, to mature and I think the social aspects of a college education in many cases is every bit as
important as the academic opportunities that a student has a chance to see. The athletic events provide a student spirit, I think a great way to describe it, it’s about student life. That’s well beyond what the
classroom provides and that’s what a comprehensive university is supposed to
provide. (Clint Bryant) I look at athletics kind of like fine arts. People become more well-rounded if they’re involved in fine arts. People become more well-rounded if their job involved athletics. They become better people because they learn to get along. You know race and gender and those types of things, we’re all in the same boat and
I think we get to understand that in athletics. (Carter Newman) The thing about athletics is that it really brings people together. It provides a community where they can learn about each other, they can grow as
individuals and as professionals and so I think that Augusta University is a great place to do that. (Dr. Keel) You know I have such a credible respect and admiration for student athletes for all kind of reasons. You know that a lot of our students work full time, we know that, but these folks have two full-time jobs. Being a student-athlete is a full-time job. (Keshun Sherrill) I would say I’m a very
organized person. You have to do that when it comes to being a student-athlete.
You have to say, okay this is what I have to do before practice and when I get done with practice, this is what I also have to do. In order for me to perform on a basketball court, I have to perform in the classroom as well. (Jessica Haigwood) Being a student-athlete as well as working at Forest Hills and Pro Shop, on top of that
being an intern at the Augusta University Health Communication and
Marketing Department, it has been a handful but it’s also been educational and has helped me mature a lot. (Clint Bryant) Because athletes have to manage their time, their studying, their practicing, their participating and playing, competing but yet they keep good grades and I think that speaks volumes to what they’re made of. (Dr. Keel) It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there like that. When you’ve got thousands of fans in the stands and you’re on display. Those students are also
under incredible pressure because they are the face of the university. They are a representative of the university in very very special ways. That’s a tremendous amount of pressure for an 18 or 19 or 20 year old. (Clint Bryant) Augusta University athletics is much bigger than athletic fields or courts that we plan on. It’s about the development of young people. (Jessica Haigwood) Well ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of being on the LPGA. Seeing myself actually playing with the best players in the world has always been one of my dreams. (Patrick Oliveira) When I graduate, I plan to do my MBA here too and maybe become an assistant coach. (Keshun Sherrill) One day the basketball is going to stop bouncing and I have that degree in my back pocket. I want to become a coach, a basketball coach and maybe a mentor to young kids. If I can reach one kid that’s my goal in life. (Dr. Harrison) When you graduate from
college, 15 years down the road, you’re going to remember your classes, but you’re going to remember your teammates in your competition. You’re gonna remember
those much much more. (Melissa Brocato) When the student-athletes come here and they’re part of a team, it’s like an instant family for them. It makes their transition
into college so much easier, I think because it’s instant friends even if they don’t necessarily always get along, but it’s your instant family. (Keshun Sherrill) A lot of people don’t realize that basketball is a family. When I came to college I gained 9 to 10 brothers. You know just them being real positive in my life, telling me I can get through it, that’s how I really overcame obstacles. (Ben Allen) There’s nothing you will do in life by yourself. You need people to support you. That’s what athletics teaches. That life is a team sport. (Patrick Oliveira) So I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My parents didn’t have a lot of money growing up. Everything that I have today, I worked and I had a lot of people help me. I’m really grateful to Augusta University opening the doors here for me. It’s really changing my life to have a scholarship to attend, so I can study and have a degree and everything. (Jessica Haigwood) Receiving the Dressel Evans Scholarship definitely means a lot to me, especially knowing Mr. Evans and his wife as well. It means a lot because they’re great people and having that scholarship has helped my family tremendously. (Keshun Sherrill) I received a full basketball scholarship to come here. A lot of people don’t realize that that’s a big stress reliever for myself and my family. (Dr. Harrison) I started a scholarship in my name, for the purpose that we wanted to help athletes and
students in the future. It’s important you know the scholarship is just an
important fact and I’m proud of the fact that I had them and I just want to help
other people get them too. (Jack O’Keefe) Our facilities are as good as anybody’s in the country. The J. Fleming Norvell golf house that we’re in right now has our coaches offices, our team locker rooms, a study area, everything that we need to help these kids get better in the classroom and on the golf course. (Dr. Keel) The reliance on philanthropy is becoming more and more critical every single day and this is especially true for athletics. (Clint Bryant) We do a good job of our kids giving back. They’re very involved with community service. We had over 1700 hours this year. (Dip Metress) We’re involved the mentoring program at a local middle school in Richmond County. It’s a great role model for them. You know one of the
great things we put on is education game here, which has all the fifth graders in Richmond County. I think we’re going to year four now and kids are looking forward to it. (Keshun Sherrill) I just love seeing the smiling faces of the fans. I’m sure not only me but my teammates and other people, if they see a lot of smiling faces and their fans, that really motivated us to go out there and give it our all every single night. (Dr. Keel) Student-athletes feed off of that excitement. When the stands are full of
fans, it helps them win, there’s no question about that. That’s why that’s
the home-field advantage people talk about so much. (Carter Newman) We could have never
achieved the things that we were able to achieve without the support of Nick Evans, of Fleming Norvell community faculty and staff. (Lenny Carlson) There’s a variety of ways that the people in the community can give to our program. They can either
assist us with financial aid, they can assist us by attending our our events and enthusiastically supporting our athletes, or they can volunteer their time. (Paige Usry) Since I was a cheerleader, I want the community to come to games and support. It’s very important. (Brad Usry) You know any college you need sports, you need athletics to connect the student to the University and I think that’s the sleeping giant at Augusta university is the athletic program. (Nick Evans) Augusta University is mighty lucky to have Dr. Keel and his support of athletics. His support of the whole university. He’s got his eyes on everything but his support of athletics is immeasurable. (Beth Evans) We love how he says “Go Jags!” at the end of every speech that he gives. (Nick Evans) Yes, we do. Go Jags! (Dr. Keel) This is a college, it’s a university, you’re supposed to be excited about your university and athletics brings that sort of excitement to it. I don’t talk about Jaguar Nation just because I’m supposed to. That’s a real thing, it’s an entity, it’s a concept but it’s a whole part of what this university is and it’s what students expect to see, it’s what students want to see, it’s what I love
and I really want to see too. The consolidation had brought together two very distinct entities, that are now molding into one unique university. One
that we all have an opportunity to change as we move forward and as we do
move forward we want to make sure that that change is done together, that we all
come together under one banner and one umbrella and I can’t think of a better way to do that, a better way to put all that stuff together, than to end every
single thing I say with…Go Jags! (Narrator) Every generation has its time. A moment when discovery and everything we work hard for and with the pinnacle of our
achievement as scholars, as athletes and as individuals, converge. Here, here and
here, this is where we fight for our future. One play, one game, one day at a time. Thanks to you, we achieve it all in the place we call home…Augusta University. Where professors and coaches are our mentors, where peers and teammates are our family. These are our days and our nights. Our hometown, our
home away from home. Our home where dreams are made. From the field of study
to the field of dreams. This is Augusta University and together… We are Jaguar Nation!

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