An anonymous donor seeded with a $50,000 pledge a financial assistance fund for both undergraduate and graduate students at Brenau University to honor the institution’s long-time executive vice president and CFO Wayne W. Dempsey, who died in 2014 following a lengthy battle with cancer. Called the Wayne W. Dempsey Endowed Scholarship Fund, the gift by benefactor’s specification is available to any students at any level “who are pursuing a degree, completing their studies or seeking to achieve better lives through a Brenau University education.” However, preference will be accorded to those enrolled in either the College of Education or the College of Health Sciences. Dempsey, a life-long educator, began his career as a high school biology teacher.
The fund will receive gifts of $10,000 per year for five years. When the fund accumulates $50,000, earnings from fund investments will be disbursed annually to select students – ironically on a formula that Dempsey championed as Brenau’s top financial executive to help maintain endowment solvency in hard times. However, the fund is also something of a “challenge grant.” Friends of Dempsey and others who want to honor him may contribute to the quasi-endowment pool of funds that the institution can draw from immediately to begin awarding Dempsey scholarships, or they can contribute to the endowment, thereby helping attain the $50,000 threshold quicker.