Madison College Establishes the George Floyd Memorial
|Above: Dr. Jack Daniels III, president of Madison College
and his wife Kimila made the initial donations to establish
the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Left: Olivia
Dawson, a nursing major at Madison College who
volunteers extensively at the East Madison Community
Center is the first Floyd scholarship recipient.
By Jonathan Gramling
The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, three months ago, has had a
profound impact on politics on a global level. In many ways, his murder was a
wildfire set ablaze on the dry tinder of American and world-wide racism. To put it
into perspective, a Google search of news items for President Barack Obama
showed 48,200,000 entries and 13,900,000 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For
George Floyd, it was 32,000,000 in just three months.
At George Floyd’s funeral service, Dr. Scott Hagen of North Central University put
the challenge out to universities and colleges across the country to establish a
scholarship in George Floyd’s name.
“As I thought more about that and thought about establishing a scholarship in his
name at Madison College, I wanted to honor him, but at the same time, present a ”
legacy that could be a student scholarship for African American students,” said Dr. Jack Daniels III, president of Madison College. “That’s why I implemented or
instituted the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship.
In order to get things started in time to impact the fall 2020 semester, Daniels and his wife Kimila made the initial donation to the scholarship fund.
Daniels hopes the scholarship will be seen as the college’s commitment to returning African American students.
“The message is that we are going to provide as much resources as we possibly can so that you will be successful,” Daniels emphasized. “It is about successful
students and what they do with their lives post Madison College. They either go directly into the workforce or continue their education at a university. This is just
one scholarship for African American students, which I hope the scholarship will grow. I know that other folks are donating to the scholarship for that purpose.”
Daniels emphasized that the scholarship is for returning students.
“The scholarship is based on African Americans who are 25-years-old and older,” Daniels said. “One of the reasons for that is number one is the average age for
our students is 27-years-old. Number two, we have many other types of financial aid and scholarship programs for students who are newly coming from high
school. So many of our student population falls in that range who
are out-of-work or underemployed, they really need that type of
assistance. That’s why I wanted to focus on that population.”
Daniels also emphasized that this is just the beginning.
“In our initial year, we may talk about one scholarship,” Daniels
said. “But we are going to increase that as donations to that
scholarship fund also increase. People can donate to the fund
through the Madison College Foundation and they will hold the
scholarship there and all funds associated with it. People can
send a check or contribute online.”
The inaugural George Floyd Memorial Scholarship has been
granted to Olivia Dawson, a nursing student at Madison College.
In her spare time, Dawson enjoys volunteering at the East
Madison Community Center in their food pantry and received the
center’s Woody Carey Scholarship.