Lasting Legacy


The Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art received a $500,000 gift from the estate of former Georgia Gov. Carl E. Sanders. The gift will support academic initiatives for visual art and design students, exhibitions, merit-based projects, competitions and innovative curriculum development.

Sanders, known for making education the first priority of his administration, directed nearly 60 cents of every tax dollar into education as governor. His administration added 10,000 new teachers, established a Master Plan for Education and set minimum standards for public schools. He also began the Governor’s Honors program for exceptional students, developed an extensive educational television network, encouraged school consolidation and greatly expanded vocational training.

Gov. Sanders’ wife, Betty Foy Sanders, has fostered her love of learning for art students for more than four decades at Georgia Southern. A native of Statesboro, Sanders’ commitment to her alma mater has been instrumental in the advancement of the arts and art education at the University.

“Betty and Gov. Sanders have previously supported the Department by establishing separate endowments for visiting artists, student travel and scholarships,” said Robert Farber, department chair. “Betty also donated the Georgia Artists Collection to the Department. The permanent exhibit has grown to more than 80 artworks, making it an invaluable resource to the state.”

Dean Curtis Ricker added, “The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is deeply appreciative of the generosity of Gov. and Mrs. Sanders. Their gifts to the Department have had an enormously positive effect on our students and will continue to affect the education of students for many years to come. Betty’s love for art, the Department and institution, and the Statesboro community is clearly manifested by her contributions as both an artist and a benefactor. We are privileged that our art department bears her name.”

When her husband was in office, Sanders dedicated her efforts toward the construction of several fine arts buildings in the University System. One of those was the Foy Fine Arts Building on Georgia Southern’s campus, named for her father, J.P. Foy.

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