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Release Date: 03.09.2018 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Governor's Office of Communications

Legislative Spouses Create Sandra Dunagan Deal Scholarship at Georgia College

Gov. Nathan Deal yesterday expressed his gratitude for the creation of a new presidential scholarship in honor of First Lady Sandra Deal at Georgia College, her alma mater. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston also offered their appreciation and support to the state legislative spouses who raised more than $120,000 to establish the Sandra Dunagan Deal Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance to students from Georgia’s rural areas who pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education.

“Sandra has demonstrated a lifelong devotion to improving education for all children, and I am so proud of her passion,” said Deal. “As a mother, an educator and Georgia’s first lady, she has selflessly advocated for putting children on the path to success through the development of early language and literacy skills. This scholarship will continue her dedicated efforts by opening doors for students from rural communities to lead, teach and inspire tomorrow’s youngest learners. Sandra and I are humbled by the efforts of the legislative spouses, donors and especially the steering committee for their contributions in creating the Sandra Dunagan Deal Scholarship fund. This valuable resource will help lay the foundation for the next generation of early childhood educators at Sandra’s alma mater.”

Donations to the endowment will be invested and only earnings from the endowment will be expended to support the scholarship. The first scholarship will be awarded in fall 2018. The fund will be administered by Georgia College.

“Our state is blessed to have the leadership of First Lady Sandra Deal. She has inspired a generation of Georgians to harness the power of reading and education to achieve their dreams,” said Cagle. “This honor will continue to distinguish First Lady Deal’s dedication to education by developing Georgia’s next generation of exceptional educators.”

Mrs. Deal is the daughter of educators and a graduate of Georgia College & State University (now Georgia College). Mrs. Deal’s mother and Gov. Deal’s mother also graduated from Georgia College. Mrs. Deal taught for 15 years in Georgia public schools. As Georgia’s first lady, she has traveled across the state to promote childhood literacy initiatives. Mrs. Deal has read to students in all 159 Georgia counties, in all 181 public school districts and in more than 836 schools. In 2017, the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy at Georgia College was dedicated in her honor.

“Mrs. Deal has been and remains a lifelong champion for early childhood education,” said Ralston. “I can think of no more fitting tribute than to encourage and empower aspiring educators to follow in the footsteps of Georgia’s First Lady.”

For more information on the scholarship and associated fundraising efforts, contact Monica Delisa, Georgia College Vice President for University Advancement, at 478-445-1945, or visit

Contact Info

Contact Name: Jen Talaber Ryan

Company: Governor's Office of Communications

Phone: (404) 651-7774