True Blue Couple Makes Giving Back to Georgia Southern a Way of Life

Giving to Georgia Southern has been a part of alumni Ken Dyar (’76) and Rachel Rhodes-Dyar’s (’76) life since the earliest days of their marriage. At first, their gifts were small donations they contributed when they had a little extra money to spare or when Ken received a bonus at work. Soon, giving became a habit and the couple found themselves donating to various campus causes and eventually endowing a scholarship. Both Ken and Rachel also serve the University by volunteering on several University and alumni committees. For this couple, giving back to Georgia Southern has become a way of life.

“We do greatly enjoy supporting the University through time, talent and dollars,” Ken said. “We give to the University because we love the University.”

The couple believes every Georgia Southern graduate has an important contribution they can make to the University, and every gift makes an impact.

“Even a deluge starts with a single drop,” Rachel explained.

“If you would like to give $25 to the University, it would help,” Ken agreed. “Every gift counts. You got a degree from this University, and it helped put you where you are today. I look at it as giving back.”

The Dyars have contributed to various campus organizations and University funds, and endowed the Laura Dyar Journalism Scholarship in honor of Ken’s great-grandmother. They’ve seen how their gifts have been used, and even received a heartfelt thank you from one student whose education might have ended without their generosity.

The couple attended a function where scholarship donors had the chance to meet scholarship recipients. They were approached by a student whose education was nearly derailed by a family crisis.

“We had one pull us aside and say, ‘I can’t tell you how much this means. I was a semester and a half away from graduating and my dad lost his job. I would not have been able to finish my degree if it were not for this scholarship.’ Something that you think is modest can make a world of difference to somebody else,” Rachel explained.

Ken and Rachel believe the University is a good steward of their gifts, and point out that there are many different opportunities to give and make an impact.

“The University relies on donors for scholarships,” Ken said. “You can’t attract the best and brightest students without scholarships, and you can’t run those top programs without those students.”

The couple also encourages alumni not to overlook opportunities to serve the University on a committee or through an alumni organization. Not only are alumni giving back to the University by donating their time and talent, but they are also connecting with others who are True Blue and share a love of Georgia Southern.

Rachel has a favorite story about an alumnus who graduated from Georgia Southern decades ago, but never participated in alumni events until recently. Rachel said the events opened up a whole new world of social activities for the man who was surprised by how much fun he had meeting other Georgia Southern graduates, and now never misses an opportunity to be a part of alumni events. His story is one reason Rachel thinks every graduate should stay open to the many opportunities to give and serve that the University offers.

“Let Georgia Southern impact your life one more time.”

— Betsy Nolen