Mountain Lion Legacy highlights alumni and friends of Young Harris College and the unique ways they support YHC.
Friends of the Arts Play Leading Role at Young Harris College
Young Harris College Friends of the Arts (FOTA) platinum member Rev. Richard Hoibraten, of Young Harris, believes in the arts and recognizes how programs like FOTA help students develop into responsible adults with artistic individuality.
“Music, theatre and art touch everyone and promote unity in the human race,” explained Rev. Hoibraten. “I encourage everyone to become involved in the arts at local colleges and share in the experience. These students are phenomenal.”
Rev. Hoibraten has attended music and theatre performances and art gallery exhibitions on the YHC campus for five years. His support for FOTA enables YHC’s Division of Fine Arts to continue to offer quality programming that benefits student development and enhances the local cultural landscape.
This year, a portion of all 2013-2014 gifts to FOTA will be used to offset student costs for the YHC London Theatre Tour, a one-of-a-kind study abroad experience, May 12-19.
“Any time someone has the opportunity to travel and learn about other cultures, they should take advantage,” said Rev. Hoibraten, “and when someone has the means to give back and help a student experience something new, they should.”
Students attending the London trip will learn about the many facets of theatre and musical theatre while exploring one of the world’s most enchanting and spectacular cultural centers. The trip will include immersive behind-the-scenes tours of the Globe Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Royal National Theatre complex. Students will also have the opportunity to attend performances on London’s famed West End and visit other sites of historical and cultural significance.
“I'm really looking forward to seeing the difference in the popular Broadway hits of the U.S. and London’s West End theatre productions,” said Gina Dropp, a junior theatre major from Kennesaw, who will attend the excursion. “After studying these aspects, it will be exciting to see everything firsthand.”
Rev. Hoibraten has seen YHC’s fine arts students grow through experiences such as the London Theatre Tour and performing for the community on stage.
“The arts are all about bridging the generation gap by sharing something special with students at YHC,” said Rev. Hoibraten. “If we don’t support the arts through initiatives like FOTA, the programs won’t grow—and they need to. I give because I love what the arts at YHC do for our area and what the programs do for students.”
To find out more information about FOTA, visit yhc.edu/fota or contact Director of Development and Planned Giving Jennifer McAfee at (706) 379-5318 or email@example.com.
The Grapevine to Headline Young Harris College's Big Dance
Annual concert to benefit Local Scholarship Campaign
Young Harris College’s Board of Associates will present the fourth annual Big Dance featuring The Grapevine live in concert on Saturday, March 15, in the YHC Recreation and Fitness Center. This enjoyable evening of live music and fun fellowship for a great cause benefits YHC’s Local Scholarship Campaign.
Guests will dance the night away while raising scholarship funds for more than 200 local students from Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Rabun, Towns and Union counties in Georgia and Cherokee and Clay counties in North Carolina.
“I am truly blessed to live in a community that is willing to help me further my education,” said Samantha Loudermilk, a junior English major from Murphy, N.C. “Receiving a scholarship has allowed me to attend this wonderful College. YHC is committed to helping students reach their full potential in order to have a successful future.”
YHC is committed to providing scholarships for local students. For the 2013-2014 academic year, more than $3.3 million was awarded to students from nearby counties.
During last year’s Big Dance, around 600 guests helped raise more than $11,000 in scholarship funds. YHC’s Board of Associates, a group of local business and civic leaders established in 1991, present the event. The Board serves as a sounding board for the surrounding regions and meets regularly with YHC President Cathy Cox and other administrators to discuss areas of mutual concern and interest.
“I have always considered it an honor and a privilege to act as an ambassador for the College in the community,” said Big Dance Committee Chair Don Schneider, a civic leader in Hiawassee. “We are fortunate to live in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia and western North Carolina, and are even more fortunate to have YHC as our neighbor. Being on the Board is my way of giving something back to the College.”
At the start of each academic year, the Board hears from YHC students who benefit from the Local Scholarship Campaign. Students often mention that without the scholarships provided, they may not have been able to attend YHC.
“Listening to these testimonials has made me a firm believer in this campaign,” said Schneider. “I strongly believe that the efforts of the Board to raise scholarship dollars are for a truly worthy cause. We are literally helping a student through school.”
The College will welcome a new band to the Big Dance this year. Since 1987, The Grapevine has electrified audiences across Georgia. Based in Macon, the band has a diverse repertoire with styles that include Motown, beach music, pop, soft rock and more. They are previous recipients of the prestigious “Band of the Year” title awarded by the Atlanta Society of Entertainers.
“If you like to dance, chances are that by the end of the event, you will probably need to have your shoes resoled from burning too much leather on the dance floor,” said Schneider. “Joking aside, everyone knows that the Big Dance is for a great purpose. Where else can someone have a good time, get some exercise on the dance floor and contribute to a great cause at the same time?”
The event is sponsored by Piedmont Heart Institute, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, The Copper Door, Fieldstone Resort, Holiday Inn Express Hiawassee, Britt McAfee Law Firm, Mountain Realty, Georgia Mountain Laurel, Union General Hospital, Mountain Graphics and Wal-Mart in Blairsville.
Patrons may bring their own food and beverage, or pre-order from a variety of dining packages by The Copper Door. All attendees are encouraged to participate in a free table decorating contest, and winners will receive a complimentary table at next year’s Big Dance.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and music begins at 7:30 p.m. Tables for eight are available for $225, and individual tickets are available for $40. To register for the event, visit yhc.edu/bigdance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (706) 379-5173.
Check out a live performace of The Grapevine here.
Class Scholarship Challenge Benefits Future Generations of YHC Students
Young Harris College’s Class Scholarship Challenge, which kicks off on Friday, Jan. 31, is an easy and effective way for alumni to contribute to the success of current and future YHC students—while also engaging in a little friendly competition.
Alumni from across the generations rally together to help deserving students attend their alma mater during this annual push to raise funds for student scholarships. YHC alumna Leslie DeMore Frierson, ’99, of Gainesville, first heard of the challenge in 2012, and immediately knew she wanted to participate.
“I’ve worked in the education field for the past 20 years, so many of my former students are currently making plans for college,” said Frierson. “I know the availability of scholarships and financial aid weighs heavily on a student’s college choice. Giving to the Class Scholarship Challenge is a way to ensure my gifts directly assist a student with academic expenses.”
Last year, 60 classes participated in the challenge, and 15 surpassed the $1,000 goal. More than $56,000 was raised, representing an increase of more than $20,000 from the inaugural challenge held in 2011-2012.
YHC Alumni Board member and Class Coordinator Ben Persons, ’94, of Marietta, pointed out that the percentage of class participation is almost more important than the amount of funds raised.
“Many prospective students and parents look to various college ranking guides when choosing a school,” Persons explained. “One of the factors these guides use to rank institutions is the percentage of alumni giving. The more alumni we can convince to make even a modest gift, the better YHC will do on these ranking guide lists.”
Additionally, a high level of support indicates to outside donors that alumni are supportive of what the institution is doing, what it stands for, and where it is headed and consider themselves a part of its growth and success.
Persons has organized a group from the Class of 1994 who plan to reach out to their classmates in hopes of bolstering support for the challenge.
“My time at the College had a huge impact on my life,” said Persons. “I love this school and I want to see it succeed. Participating in the Class Scholarship Challenge is one of many ways I can give back to YHC and its students.”
Frierson’s class has encouraged participation through social media and letter campaigns, but it is the chance to directly support YHC students that drives her enthusiasm for the challenge.
“As time goes by, you start to reflect on the important influences in your life,” said Frierson. “YHC is a special place to many people. I've enjoyed visiting the campus and seeing the development of new buildings and programs of study. It's exciting to see that with all the growth, YHC is still the warm, beautiful, inspiring place it has always been. It’s important for me to find ways to support my first home away from home.”
Alumni interested in participating can make a gift now marked for the Class Scholarship Challenge, make a gift online or call the Office of Advancement at (800) 241-3754 or (706) 379-5173.