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Usery Foundation presents $4 million gift to Georgia Military College
(Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell,IV, president of GMC, and Doug Henne, Executive Director of the Usery Foundation with a $4 million check to GMC.)
Future students attending GMC’s Prep School were presented with a gift today in memory of The Honorable W.J “Bill’ Usery. New students will have their financial burden eased as they purchase their initial uniforms, thanks to a generous fund honoring the memory of Secretary Usery. On March 24, Georgia Military College announced the establishment of the Usery Legacy Fund during GMC Prep School’s Usery Celebration. Doug Henne, the Executive Director of the Usery Foundation, was in attendance and announced a gift of $4,000,000 to be paid over the next two years to establish the fund. This fund honors, commemorates, and celebrates the life of The Honorable W.J. “Bill” Usery, Jr., who was a distinguished GMC Prep School alumnus, and former United States Secretary of Labor. Mr. Usery passed away in December of 2016.
“That was the legacy he wanted to leave GMC,” said Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, President of GMC. “He deeply loved the Prep School students and wanted to afford them the same opportunities he received with its core values of Duty, Honor, Country, and Character Above All.”
The Usery Legacy Fund is inspired by the actions of Secretary Usery’s mother, Effie Mae Williamson Usery, who left her job as a nurse to become a laundress at Central State Hospital to ensure that her son would have a clean, pressed GMC cadet uniform every morning. The proceeds of this endowment will significantly defray the costs of the initial school uniform requirement, eliminate a financial barrier, and honor Secretary Usery’s own personal experience of having worn a patched uniform while he was a student at GMC’s Prep School.
As part of this fund, incoming sixth grade students, and any other first time student as the fund grows, will receive a school voucher up to 100% of the initial preparatory school uniform purchase requirement. The total purchase of these uniforms, including accessories, is the equivalent of approximately $600 for SY 2016-2017. In addition, each student will receive in writing a tribute with a short explanation as to why Secretary Usery wanted to assist every future GMC Prep student with the cost of their uniforms.
GMC Prep School’s eighth grade students will be given a biography pamphlet of Secretary Usery to read and discuss in their class. Each cadet will then receive their first military uniform ribbon, named the “Usery Ribbon,” symbolizing the first part of the GMC slogan “Duty-Honor-Country” and “Character Above All.”
GMC Prep School’s tenth grade students will be given four books representing the foundations of democracy in the United States: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, Georgia Washington’s Rules of Civility, and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to supplement their educational requirement of tenth grade U.S. History.
GMC Prep School’s twelfth grade students will participate in an essay contest to write a reflection of “What GMC Prep Has Meant to Me” or “The Impact GMC Has Had on Me,” to model Secretary Usery’s lifetime reflection of what being a student at GMC Prep meant to him. The first, second, and third place winners will receive monetary awards of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 respectively.
To watch the Usery tribute video created by GMC’s Communication Department visit https://youtu.be/fEYKqjCN2p0.
To donate to the Usery Legacy Fund visit https://alumni.gmc.edu/prep.