Optimist Club of the Beaches donates $20,000 for new TROY scholarship

Posted: Wednesday, 31 August 2011

PANAMA CITY, Fla.—A new scholarship agreement between Troy University and the Optimist Club of the Beaches will provide financial support to local students who wish to study at TROY's Panama City Site.

Members of the Optimist Club formally presented a $20,000 donation to University officials during a ceremony on Monday, Aug. 29, at the Panama City Site. The gift will provide initial funding for the new endowed scholarship program.

The scholarship will help local students pursue their educational goals, said TROY Panama City Site Director Lisa Kitto.

"Our students are traditionally working adult learners with jobs and families who often have many obstacles in their way toward achieving their goals of earning a degree," Kitto said. "This new scholarship will aid our students in their quest toward a career of which they might only have dreamed if not for the support of the members of the Optimist Club."

Optimist Club member Mark Graham, who also serves on the scholarship committee, said the club aims to increase the educational opportunities available to local residents by investing in scholarships.

"Through our scholarship program—which we have now 19 full scholarships between 3 colleges—we hope to help people who will return to Bay County and become an asset to the community," Graham said. "We created this scholarship at TROY to provide our scholarship applicants with a wider selection of colleges to chose from and to help the TROY site here in Panama City."

During the ceremony, club members also presented the first scholarship to TROY student Takenya Lovette of Panama City. Lovette, who earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at TROY, is currently pursuing a master's degree in counseling/psychology.

A local committee will award scholarships from a pool of applicants who have demonstrated a need for support to fund their education. Recipients must be full-time students residing in the Panama City area and must maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

For more information about the scholarship, or to apply, contact the Panama City Site at 850-747-0634.


Troy University Panama City Site Director Lisa Kitto accepts a $20,000 donation from members of the Optimist Club of the Beaches during a ceremony on Monday, Aug. 29. The donation will be used to fund an endowed scholarship that will help local students study at TROY's Panama City Site. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)