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Class Scholarship Challenge Encourages Friendly Competition Among Alumni

August 2014

For Young Harris College alumnus Rudy Harrell, ’71, of Atlanta, the annual Class Scholarship Challenge is the perfect opportunity to contribute to the success of current and future YHC students, reconnect with his classmates, and engage in a little friendly competition. 

As a Class Coordinator, Harrell inspired his fellow alumni to participate in record numbers, earning the Class of 1971 bragging rights for having the most class participation in this year’s challenge.

“We are a great class with good communication,” said Harrell, who worked alongside Nancy Couch, ’71, and Ramona Fricks, ’71, to bolster their classmates’ support for the initiative. 

The trio sent each member of their class personal letters explaining the campaign and detailing the importance of their involvement. They followed up with emails and a special invitation to attend an event on campus during the Alumni Weekend festivities last year. 

“This is a great way for people to become involved with giving, no matter the size of their contribution,” explained Harrell, who is one of five children in his family to attend YHC. “Most are not aware of the importance of contributing to the College regardless of the amount. Many foundations take into consideration the percentage of alumni giving when deciding to give to an institution.”

This year, 56 classes participated in the challenge, and 27 surpassed the $1,000 goal. More than $89,000 was raised, representing an increase of more than $30,000 from the 2012-2013 challenge.

The Class of 1952 raised the most money for this year’s challenge, marking their third win in a row. The Class of 1947 and the Class of 1962 finished in second and third place, respectively.

“The funds given through the challenge go directly to scholarships—that is their sole purpose,” said Harrell, who also gives to the Thomas J. and Ruth E. Harrell Endowed Scholarship Fund established in his parents’ honor. 

Although he enjoyed reconnecting with his classmates and the competitive spirit of this initiative, it’s the chance to directly support YHC students that truly drives his enthusiasm for the challenge.

“YHC contributed greatly to my development, and I want to help other students have the same opportunity I had,” he said. “The Class Scholarship Challenge is just one of the ways I can give back.” 

The 2014-2015 Class Scholarship Challenge will kick off in Jan. 2015. 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.