Athens State University welcomed donors, alumni and friends of the University for the ATHENS FOREVER Gala on Saturday, February 25, to celebrate the record-breaking results of the ATHENS FOREVER Bicentennial Campaign.
Athens State celebrated its Bicentennial in 2022. In honor of this historic achievement, the University launched the silent phase of a five-year capital campaign on August 5, 2017, that concluded after a year-long Bicentennial celebration at the end of 2022. More than $25 million was raised, which surpassed the campaign’s goal of $20 million. The funds raised will endow scholarships, establish Learning Labs, and improve campus infrastructure for generations to come.
“We are honored to have each of you here tonight,” stated Dr. Keith Ferguson, Vice President for University Advancement, as he welcomed everyone to the Gala. “Thank you for investing in the University, which allows us to make a positive impact on our students and community.”
The Carter Gymnasium was transformed with extravagant draping, linens, florals, lighting and a photo booth which set the tone for a night meant to celebrate and say “thank you!” to everyone involved in the ATHENS FOREVER campaign. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour to kick start the evening, followed by opening remarks by Dr. Catherine Wehlburg, Interim President.
“Not only are we Athens Forever, but we are Ever Ascending through the rigorous work done by our faculty, staff and donors,” stated Dr. Wehlburg. “Tonight marks the success of the past and bright future of tomorrow.”
Guests enjoyed a plated meal and surprise entertainment by The Three Waiters, a singing waiters act involving three amazing opera singers posed as real “waiters” for the gala. Following this surprise was a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the ATHENS FOREVER Campaign, led by Dr. Keith Ferguson. Ms. Donna Coleman, president of the Athens State University Foundation Board, shared a personal testimony and call to action for continued support of the University. The celebration concluded with a toast to ATHENS FOREVER and everyone that moves the University forward. Guests enjoyed live music, dancing and time together.
“Athens State is a unique university that fills a unique gap by providing an excellent education that is accessible to students in all walks of life,” said Coleman.
The funds raised throughout the campaign will provide the cornerstone upon which the foundation for Athens State’s future will be built and help the University support its commitment to students as it enters its third century as an institution of higher learning.