Georgia agricultural leaders are starting a University of Georgia scholarship honoring the late Sen. Paul Coverdell. It will be awarded annually to a student in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
"This scholarship is being established in Sen. Coverdell's name by the agricultural associations and industries in Georgia," said Gary Black, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council. "It's a unified effort to recognize all that the senator did for agriculture in the state."
Honoring a Truly Great Statesman
Gale Buchanan, dean and director of UGA CAES, said the scholarship "honors a truly great statesman, who was a friend and supporter of agriculture. Sen. Coverdell understood and appreciated the importance and role that research, extension and teaching programs play in support of that industry."
The scholarship was announced, appropriately, at the National Symposium on the Future of American Agriculture Aug. 10-11 in Athens. Coverdell, who served on the Senate agricultural committee, began the symposium in 1999.
In a moving tribute to the late senator, UGA Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Holbrook said, "Sen. Coverdell's investment in establishing this symposium is just one of his contributions to the industry. He was also a tireless advocate for agricultural research funding."
Secured Research Funds to Fight TSWV
Among other contributions, Coverdell helped get research funding that led to a formula for containing tomato spotted wilt virus, a disease that cost Georgia farmers $28 million in 1999 for peanut growers alone.
"He was an extremely kind and thoughtful individual who always worked quietly to get things done," said Buchanan of the late senator. "A scholarship would be an excellent way to preserve the legacy of this great man and great friend of agriculture."
To create an endowed scholarship at UGA, a minimum of $25,000 is needed. More than $10,000 was raised in the first two days. Contributions may be made to the University of Georgia Foundation and designated to the Coverdell Scholarship.
Mail contributions to Louise Hill, Office of Development, Four Towers, Athens, GA 30602. To learn more about the scholarship, call Hill at (706) 542-3390.
(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)