GSU receives $1.3 million from The Coca-Cola Foundation

Gift to support first-generation scholars and study abroad

The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded $1.3 million to Georgia State University to recruit, retain and graduate students who are first in their families to attend college, and to equip business students for leadership in global markets through study abroad.

“This generous gift will enable more first generation students to enroll at Georgia State. We are grateful to the Coca-Cola Foundation for sharing our vision,” said GSU president Mark Becker.

The multi-year award, announced last week by the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta-based soft drink manufacturer, will fund The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program ($1 million) and The Coca-Cola Global Ambassador Scholarship Program ($300,000).

Studies have shown that first generation college students are more likely to succeed when supported by specialized resources with funding being foremost. The establishment of GSU’s Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program will provide scholarships as well as services proven to be effective tools for GSU students.

These resources are in high demand at GSU, where about 30 percent of the current freshman class – and roughly 40 percent of all undergraduates – are the first in their families to go to college. Many come from low-income families. One of GSU’s strategic goals is to serve as a national model for the graduation and retention of underrepresented groups.

The Coca-Cola Global Ambassador Scholarship Program will enable GSU’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) to fund more first-time study abroad students and those traveling to emerging markets.

Another of GSU’s strategic goals is to increase study abroad participation, so more students experience first-hand such critical global issues as sustainability, healthy lifestyles, water stewardship and recycling.

“Substantial expansion of our study abroad programs by this generous gift will strengthen the international engagement goal embedded in the university’s new strategic plan,” said Fenwick Huss, dean of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at GSU. “We have ambitious goals in equipping our graduates with the requisite knowledge and skills required of globally competent managers.”

More information:
The Coca-Cola Foundation supports local communities across the globe through scholarships, school drop-out prevention programs, access to education programs and other education initiatives. In 2011, The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded more than $70 million to 263 community organizations around the world in 2011. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please click here.

Contact Joseph M. Piffaretti, Senior Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, (404) 413-3415