Wiregrass dedicates atrium, wing to longtime supporters

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Aug. 4—VALDOSTA — Wiregrass Georgia Technical College dedicated an atrium and wing to longtime supporters in the health sciences building.

Last week, Wiregrass unveiled the South Georgia Medical Center Atrium with the Ben and LaVonne Copeland Wing in the Edward and Rhonda Mark Health Sciences Building.

Wiregrass President DeAnnia Clements thanked the Copelands for more than 35 years of support and SGMC for more than 50 years of support to the technical college.

"Both have a vey long history here and a history that will continue long after I'm gone because they care about the community and providing quality health care students to the hospital," Clements said. "We thank all of you for supporting the dreams of our students."

The Copelands have given generously to the technical college, college officials added, and they established a scholarship for students enrolled in the licensed practical nurses to registered nurse Bridge Program.

The first instillation of the scholarship was presented to the eight students in their final semester of their program.

Future students enrolled in the program will receive $1,000 their first and second semesters and the third semester they will receive $3,000.

Angie Pleasant, one of the recipients of the scholarship, spoke at the ceremony.

She has been a licensed practical nurse for 12 years and will be an RN in cardiac intensive care unit at SGMC upon competition of her program.

Clements said in August 2023 the program will be increasing the number of students to 30; in addition, paramedic students will be eligible to enroll in the Bridge Program.

"We are grateful to be a part of Wiregrass," said Ronnie Dean, SGMC president and chief executive officer. "There are people in our community, like Ben and LaVonne, that make it even easier for nurses and students to advance their careers, contribute to families and community.

"Thinking about the impact on the lives we serve. We are here to touch the lives of others like Angie. It's more than a job, it's a calling"

The 2022 Ben and LaVonne Copeland Bridge Program Scholarship recipients are Jennifer Blair, Alexis Carter, Mechelle Peary, Angie Pleasant, Susana Rojas, Elizabeth Shields, Morgan West and Melissa Wood.