Helping students fulfill their potential

President Dr. Bonita Jacobs
President Dr. Bonita Jacobs
“Our students have earned in excess of $1.2 million in nationally competitive scholarships, and the number of awards this year is at an all-time high.”
Six years ago, we began a systematic effort to identify and mentor students with potential to receive national competitive scholarships that range from small travel stipends to as much as $165,000. These awards are invaluable to students as they complete their studies and sometimes enter graduate school.

Since then, our students have earned in excess of $1.2 million in nationally competitive scholarships, and the number of awards this year is at an all-time high. We have been a national top producer for Fulbright Awards for two years and added four additional Fulbright Awards this year. Additional awards this academic year include:

  • 15 Gilman Awards
  • 4 Critical Language Scholarships
  • 2 Boren Awards
  • 1 Japanese Exchange Teaching Fellowship
  • 1 Rangel Scholar

Three students became the first-ever from UNG to win these highly competitive and prestigious scholarships:

  • Harry S. Truman Scholar – John Blessing
  • Goldwater Scholar – Shea Barfield
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship – Caroline Brown

John’s story is particularly inspiring. A first-generation college student, John almost did not go to college. Today, he is double-majoring in history and political science at UNG’s Gainesville Campus, and he has earned one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive scholarships and plans to go to law school.

We have also cheered on other students this spring, including our Ranger Challenge team, which won third place and the ROTC Cup in the international Sandhurst Competition, and a pair of entrepreneurs from the Mike Cottrell College of Business who made it to the finals of the Georgia InVenture Prize Competition.

As educators, we delight in the proverbial “lightbulb” moments when students suddenly understand challenging concepts, when they experience opportunities that lead to new knowledge and skills, and, most importantly, when they are able to fulfill their potential.

More than 2,500 students graduated from UNG this year. Along their journeys, they were mentored by incredibly dedicated faculty and staff who provided encouragement and guidance to help them achieve their goals. As alumni and friends of UNG, you, too, provide vital support to ensure that our students have an exceptional educational experience and that they are prepared to serve and lead locally and globally. Thank you for sharing our commitment to education, leadership development, and student success.


Bonita C. Jacobs, Ph.D.