Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University Presents Patron of the Arts Award to Betty Foy Sanders

eagleheadGeorgia Southern University’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences recently presented the inaugural Patron of the Arts award to Betty Foy Sanders, former first lady of the state of Georgia.  In recognition of Sanders’ significant contributions to the University, the award has been named in her honor.

The award was created to recognize contributions made by donors and supporters toward the promotion and development of the arts, arts programs, arts scholarships and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.  In future years, the award will be presented to a member of the community for their commitment and support of the arts at Georgia Southern University.

“The contributions of Betty Foy Sanders to the advancement of the arts in Georgia are extraordinary,” said Mike Smith, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University.  “During her tenure as first lady of Georgia, she advocated  for the construction of several fine arts buildings and additions on campuses of  the University System of Georgia  — including Georgia Southern’s Foy Fine Arts Building, named for her father J. P. Foy.”

Sanders, a native of Bulloch County, began her academic career at Georgia Southern University. Since then, numerous honors and awards recognizing her accomplishments as an artist and arts advocate have been bestowed upon her, including the first honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University in 1997. The University officially renamed the visual arts department the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art in 1999 in further recognition of Mrs. Sanders’ dedicated support.  She has established generous academic scholarships, student travel scholarships and opportunities for Georgia Southern art students.

An accomplished artist, Sanders’ paintings reflect a deep devotion to her home state of Georgia, and to its rich history and remarkable beauty. Georgia Southern proudly exhibits a selection of her paintings in its Center for Art & Theatre.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 115 degree programs serving nearly 20,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. In 2011, the University was named the fourth most popular university in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:


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