By Jenny Gregory

Cleveland, Ga. – Congratulations are in order to this year’s Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation scholarship recipients. The benevolent foundation was named after Lettie Pate Whitehead, a philanthropist and accomplished businesswoman who was married to Joseph B. Whitehead, one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola. After her husband’s passing, Whitehead assumed management of his business affairs and was eventually appointed to The Coca-Cola Company board in 1934, a position she held for nearly 20 years.

With her acquired wealth, Whitehead gave generously to foster religion and education for others. The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation has honored her philanthropic legacy by awarding more than $583 million in grants since its inception for deserving female students.

Last week, Carrie Conway, Senior Program Officer for the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, met with TMU students who received scholarship monies this academic year. She interviewed the recipients, learning more about their fields of study and plans for the future. She then shared more about the foundation and the heart of the inspirer with the group.

“Lettie Pate Whitehead was a very generous woman,” said Conway. “She was always concerned about the needs of others and was known to be very humble in spirit. Her passions were education, the arts and culture, and she was a global humanitarian. The two main purposes of her foundation were education and supporting women.”

Several students shared how the scholarship helped them continue their education at TMU, including Sarah Wills, a sophomore biology major.

Wills shared, “I’ve always known there was no other place but TMU for me. When I found out how much I owed [in tuition], my parents had no way of paying because we were having some financial issues. Just the thought of me having to leave TMU was devastating. After praying about what to do, I received a call that I was selected to receive this scholarship. For me, it was a huge blessing. To be able to have this scholarship and stay here is God’s will.”

Savannah Lollar, a junior psychology major, was adopted at age 17 and started college that same year. Although she was overwhelmed during that time, upon visiting the TMU campus, she says, “I knew that this was my place. God provided a way, and I am so thankful to the foundation for providing the scholarship so that I could be a part of this community.”

Since 1989, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation has donated 1.9 million dollars in scholarships to Truett McConnell University students. Within the 2017-2018 academic year, the foundation will provide more than $100,000 in scholarships to 24 deserving TMU students.

After expressing her gratitude for the warm welcome, Conway shared, “If Mrs. Whitehead could have met each of you, she would have been so pleased and delighted at the way in which you are going to use this experience to pay-it-forward in your own lives, by helping others through all of your chosen paths.”

To find out more about the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation visit, Visit to learn more about financial aid opportunities at TMU.


Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager for Truett McConnell University.

Return to News Archive