The University of West Georgia has remained a constant presence in H. Franklin “Frank” Pritchett Jr.’s life for almost 40 years – first as a student, then alumnus and employee, and today a retiree. As a manifestation of this multifaceted relationship, Pritchett recently confirmed his legacy gifts of three scholarships.
“UWG provided a solid academic experience and changed my life trajectory in immeasurable ways,” said Pritchett ’88 ’92. “My planned gifts reflect my gratitude to my alma mater and the importance of giving.”
In 1984, Pritchett arrived at then-West Georgia College as a first-generation college student. He described the experience as life-changing. What would be even more impactful were those he came into contact with – people Pritchett calls “angels.”
“I’ve had angels throughout my life: people who encouraged me and showed me this was the place I belonged,” he shared. “They told me I could do more than what I was doing and I could achieve more than what I thought I could.”
One such person was Jim Dahl, an English professor, and one of Pritchett’s scholarships honors the teacher and will benefit students majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.
“Jim Dahl left a legacy within our English program that Frank is graciously recognizing and rewarding,” said Dr. Pauline Gagnon, dean of the UWG College of Arts, Culture and Scientific Inquiry. “We are grateful to him for choosing to support our creative writing students in English who will absolutely benefit from this generous scholarship.”
Pritchett honors another influential professor with a second scholarship to provide opportunities to travel abroad for students who might need financial assistance.
“Dr. Dottie Joiner – one of the many angels who helped create my destiny – spoke to me about study abroad programs during my junior year,” said Pritchett, who minored in French. “I had never seen the inside of an airport and obviously had never flown, but I was able to study in France in 1987. To know that my gifts can replicate these opportunities for future generations is so humbling and empowering.”
Dr. Anne Gaquere-Parker, director of UWG’s Office of Education Abroad, said the scholarship will help enhance students’ cross-cultural understanding.
“In today’s global environment, it is critical that our students have opportunities to interact with and learn about the cultures, economies and inclusiveness of other nations,” she explained. “The intercultural perspective students gain from these interactions abroad will be crucial to their success in an increasingly interconnected world.”
The third scholarship is earmarked for mass communications students. Pritchett, who covered races at Dixie Speedway for Racing News before coming to UWG, earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 1988. This led to a long career that placed him in different positions from newspaper reporting to public relations to alumni relations.
The dean of UWG’s School of Communication, Film and Media (SCFM), Dr. Brad Yates, said students will benefit from his devotion to UWG and celebrate his giving spirit.
“Frank knows the impact a scholarship can have on a student who is in financial need, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to award the H. Franklin Pritchett Scholarship to a deserving SCFM major,” Yates said. “He has always given back to our students, and a scholarship in his name ensures his legacy of supporting students lives on for years to come.”
For Pritchett, the impact of the gift is what it’s all about and represents a legacy that’s a culmination of all of his experiences and everything UWG has given him.
“Since 1984, UWG will always be how I identify myself,” he concluded. “There’s power and reward in knowing that whatever I’m able to leave for the university will benefit students. I hope my gifts help change the recipients’ trajectory, launching them to even greater experiences. If the student experience is elevated, perhaps it’s a planted seed that produces a more inspired student body and future giving graduates.”
For more information about how you can make an impact by supporting UWG through an endowment, scholarship, or legacy/planned giving, please visit the UWG Give West page.