Go West for A Day Begins at UWG

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

For much of his time as a student at the University of West Georgia, local businessman Steve Harrison worked two — and sometimes three — jobs.

For much of his time as a student at the University of West Georgia, local businessman Steve Harrison worked two — and sometimes three — jobs.He worked as a bank teller and a maintenance man. He made pallets and mowed grass. He was a cook and a lifeguard. As an undergraduate his on-campus jobs included managing intramurals and coaching soccer. Harrison coached cheerleaders when he was a graduate student.

Harrison, district manager for H&R Block and a Realtor for RE/MAX United in Carrollton, would like today’s UWG students to worry less about money and spend more time on their studies. “There needs to be more scholarships available to people so they can concentrate on their studies,” said Harrison, who graduated in 1984 with B.B.A. in marketing and in 1993 with an M.B.A

He is chairman of UWG’s Go West for a Day, the university’s scholarship campaign, which is currently underway. The campaign’s first event in Bowdon, where Harrison spoke to alumni and community leaders, raised $10,000. On Thursday, the campaign’s leadership will host a kickoff event at the Dangle Theatre in the Townsend Center for the Performing Arts. The annual Run for UWG — with a tot trot, 1-mile walk/run and a 5K run and relay — will be on Oct. 4.

This is the 30th year the campaign. All of the money raised goes into the UWG Annual Fund, which has a $604,000 goal, said Frank Pritchett, the director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. The pace of fundraising has not kept up the rise in student enrollment, Pritchett said. “There are a lot of unmet needs. We ask that people give what they can afford. Every dollar of it goes to students and no gift is too small.”

The scholarships are priceless, said Donna Armstrong-Lackey, the vice chair of Go West for A Day. “Carroll County and the university have been good to me, as far as molding me for my career,” said Armstrong-Lackey, who graduated in 1985 with a master’s in public administration.

She is the vice president of business development at Carroll Tomorrow and the executive director of The Burson Center, the business incubator. Her on-campus jobs, funded through the university’s Annual Fund, included time working as a graduate assistant for Dr. Don Wells, who was then chairman of the Department of Political Science and Planning. The jobs sharpened her skills, introduced her to many people and led to other opportunities. “There has been a great partnership between the Carroll County community and the university,” she said. “It’s just natural to give back.”

For more information on Go West for a Day call 678-839-6582 or go to: http://www.westga.edu/alumni/index_17342.php