Nashville, TENN – Local community leader and businessman Jerry L Maynard II recently established a scholarship to Tennessee State University (TSU). The Shirley Ann Coates Student Government Association (SGA) Scholarship Fund will be presented to students in need, chosen by the SGA leadership.
The total endowment is $50,000 with $10,000 available a full academic year for the next five years. It is designed to provide direct financial help for students, with the SGA making the decision in the students who receive the scholarship each semester. “We want the students to control where that money goes,” Maynard explained. “So we want to put in the hands of the SGA because students know their colleagues better than I do.”
Maynard named the scholarship to honor his late mother Shirley Ann Coates, who was known for her social and community activism, as well as being a champion for women’s rights.
On February 22, 2021, in the Commuter Lounge on TSU campus, Maynard had the opportunity to present the scholarship to the Associate VP and Dean of Student Rev. Frank Stevenson, Naton Smith, Jr., Mr. TSU, Mariah Rhodes, Miss TSU, and SGA Executive President Dominique Davis, as well as a number of students and faculty.
Open remarks were given by Rev. Stevenson who was first introduced by Mr. TSU and Miss TSU. “In the Division of Student Affairs we have a unique role of touching students everyday in different capacities, our responsibilities is to make sure their walk is better each and every day,” Rev. Stevenson said. “We are excited that a local community businessman who decided he wanted to honor his mother, has done so by announcing a gift to TSU in the hands of our SGA to help find the students who will benefit by $5,000 per semester.”
The current TSU SGA President expressed appreciation for the Shirley Ann Coates endowment, which will allow them to continue to develop new opportunities for current and future TSU students. “I would like to give a very special thank you to our generous donor Mr. Jerry Maynard, many students will reap the benefits of your labor over the next five years,” said SGA President Davis. “Tennessee State University does not take this act of kindness lightly and neither does the trailblazing 80th administration of the Student Government Association.”
Speaking at the reception Maynard expressed his desire to one day increase the amount of the endowment. “I wish i could give you more than 50,000 dollars, hopefully God will continue to bless me more. We will put another zero behind that and we can celebrate again.”
Information about the current administration of the TSU SGA can be found by visiting: https://www.tnstate.edu/campus_life/sga.aspx.