Friday, February 18, 2011
The University of West Georgia recently established the Dr. Donald R. Wagner Endowed Scholarship to honor Wagner for his advocacy in education over the past 36 years at UWG. The scholarship will benefit UWG Advanced Academy students.
“The main reason for this is that the Academy kids are not eligible for any federal funding, like Stafford loans or Pell grants,” said Wagner. “They don’t have the options that other students have.”
Wagner is a professor of political science and dean of the Honors College, Extended Degree Programs and the University System of Georgia E-Core. He also helped initiate UWG’s Advanced Academy, one of the few programs nationwide that features a residential dual-enrollment program for high-school students. Under Wagner’s tenure as dean, the Georgia Board of Regents bestowed recognition on UWG for establishing the state’s only Honor’s College.
UWG alumnus Dr. Fred Richards said that Wagner has also left an indefinable mark on thousands of students’ lives that he has touched through his teaching, personal championing and advisement.
“I have sent students in to see Don over the years, who are troubled […],” said Richards. “I really believe that at the time, if Don had not been there, they might have had a difficult time. Don has a wonderful spirit. He says, ‘I know you’re smart. I know you can do it. And I’ll help you out.’”
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a UWG student by a scholarship committee within the Honors College. Recipients must be a student enrolled in the Advanced Academy of Georgia, must be academically eligible for a Presidential Scholarship and must demonstrate financial need as screened through UWG’s financial aid office.