Recognizing our commitment toward the promotion of leadership in gerontology, GGS sponsors an annual gerontology scholarship award program. This program provides scholarship opportunities to outstanding graduate and undergraduate students who are committed to pursuing a career in the field of aging. Applicants must be members of the Georgia Gerontology Society.
Two scholarships are awarded each year. The Robert P. Wray Scholarship of $2,000 is awarded to one undergraduate student, and the Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship of $3,000 is awarded to one graduate student to promote students’ interest in age-related issues and to promote professional development in gerontology.
The Robert P. Wray Scholarship
Robert P. Wray was an active GGS member, a founder of numerous service programs in Pennsylvania and Georgia, and was the first Director of the University of Georgia Gerontology Center. He was first posthumously honored in 1989 by designation of the Wray Legislative Award. However, Society members quickly realized that this educator’s memory would be best honored through naming of the annual gerontology scholarship award.
The Virginia Smyth Scholarship
The Virginia Smyth Scholarship is presented annually to offer financial support to persons seeking to advance their careers in aging. The fund, established in 1998, provides scholarships for graduate study in gerontology and promotes leadership development in the field of aging to include a broad knowledge base, strong organizational skills and a vision for the future. The Scholarship was first awarded in 2004 and named for Virginia Smyth, a founding member of GGS and the spirit behind the establishment and endowment of the GGS Scholarship Fund.
As a network that educates, serves and advocates for older adults and their families, GGS sponsors an annual gerontology scholarship award program for older adults. This program provides a scholarship opportunity to attend the GGS Annual Conference for older adults in Georgia. By sponsoring this award, we aim to promote continued interest and involvement in aging-related issues across the lifespan.
ROBERT P. WRAY UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP
College/University: Emory University, Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology
Quote from Scholarship Essay: “The culmination of my research, volunteering, and internship experiences have solidified my desire to join the group of doctors whom I have observed placing an emphasis on scientific knowledge, colleague collaboration, and human connection. It is not the many lives that I will be saving, but the small acts of dignity for individuals that attracts me to the field of geriatrics. The admiration I hold for the geriatricians reminds me what it means to understand, support, and connect with both life and death as a compassionate, professional human. I hope to one day find a more permanent place among the people whose tasks and concerns have come to matter to me profoundly.”
VIRGINIA M. SMYTH SCHOLARSHIP
College/University: University of Georgia, Master of Public Health in Gerontology
Quote from Scholarship Essay: “Eliminating food security and social isolation are lofty goals, and I doubt I will accomplish them in my lifetime. Service to a profession is hard work, but just like when I work with my grandfather in his garden or cook with my grandmother, the smiles I see on the faces of older adults in the community keep me dedicated. I am committed and proud to be part of a community and a professional field that values and shares my aspirations. I move forward in my career with confidence that I will make a difference for older adults across Georgia.”
OLDER ADULT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS