“Giving to GGC is very personal to us,” said Ethel Andersen. “We both benefitted from scholarships ourselves. Scholarships are life-changing and affect the way a person sees the world. They allow students to pursue their dreams.”
The fund provides scholarship support to full-time students with financial need and at least a 2.5 GGC grade point average. Preference is given to entering freshmen with a high school grade point average of at least 2.8, who represent the first generation in their family to attend college, and who have a history of participation and ongoing interest in service activities.
While the overall intent is to provide resources for students to attend GGC who otherwise would not be able to enter college, the Andersens hope to encourage and support students who share their commitment to community.
“College graduates can make 75 percent more money than non-college graduates and have stable lives and relationships,” Tom Andersen said. “They are more likely to be well-rounded citizens who are engaged with their communities.”
The Andersens explained during the GGC Foundation’s spring scholarship reception that they established their scholarship fund in recognition that levels of state support have decreased for higher education. They also cited the fact that many GGC students are the first generation of their families to go to college, but because the college is new, it does not have a large alumni base from which to obtain private support.
“We believe in the idea of education,” Tom Andersen said. “We believe in the mission of GGC. We want to help break the cycle of stopping at high school and start the cycle of going to college. We want to make a lasting difference.”
About the Andersens
Tom Andersen has served as Board President for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Council for Quality Growth and the Gwinnett County Children’s Shelter. He has been or is currently an active board member/trustee of many other organizations, including the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation, the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation and the Regional Business Coalition. He has received the Public Service Award from the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Distinguished Service Award from the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation and the Sam Walton Business Leader Award. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” and Georgia Super Lawyers for the current and prior years.
Ethel Andersen has served as Board President for the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia and for the Gwinnett Council for the Arts. She currently serves as a Trustee and officer for Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, Inc. She has been or is currently an active board member/trustee of other organizations including the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, the Hudgens Center for the Arts, the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services and the Northeast Georgia District of the United Methodist Church. She is a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and was the 2012 recipient of the Anna Shackelford Legacy Award given by the Gwinnett Chapter of the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way.
Both received law degrees from Emory University School of Law, and both have been recognized by their peers with the prestigious Martindale Hubble rating of “AV preeminent.” They have two grown sons who live in Atlanta.