While Joe Evans (IM 1971) was volunteering a few years ago to reach out to top high school seniors who'd narrowly missed out on President's Scholarships, he had an idea for another program that would still draw these students to Georgia Tech and specifically, the College of Management.
"The President's Scholarships attract an incredibly talented pool of applicants, with final cuts often splitting hairs," says Evans, the immediate past chairman of Tech's Alumni Association Board of Trustees. "Those near-misses are students that we would still very much like to attend Georgia Tech."
So Evans, chairman-elect of the College's Advisory Board, talked to Dean Steve Salbu about creating an alternative, and the Dean's Scholarship Program was born in 2009. Initially, the program involved the establishment of 20 term scholarships, each requiring gifts of $30,000. This has enabled the College to award 10 Dean's Scholarships (averaging $7,500 for annual for four years) to entering freshmen in both 2010 and 2011.
Because the funding for these scholarships expires after four years, the College has been working to endow a minimum of 40 permanent scholarships, requiring gifts of $200,000. The matching funds provided by the Challenge Gift have greatly accelerated this initiative. As of October 2010, 15 endowed scholarships had been created.
Evans and his wife, Raena, again played a leading role in the process, with the endowment of three Raena W. and Joseph W. Evans Dean's Scholarships (a total of $300,000 in investment). The couple had previously funded the College's first expendable term scholarhip.
Evans says his education provided great preparation for his success in this 30-year career in banking. "Georgia Tech has just opened incredible doors in my career and provided me with a lifelong group of friends," says Evans, who is chairman and CEO of State Bank and Trust. "I feel tremendous gratitude to Georgia Tech."