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Georgia Southern Receives $1.48 million estate gift to fund scholarships

An extraordinary estate gift from a daughter and her husband to honor her parents will touch the lives of generations of students to come through scholarships for Georgia Southern University students working to become public school educators. The $1.48 million gift from the late Janice Sapp Castles and her late husband Charles, named for her late parents, Margaret Elizabeth and Cullen Bernice Sapp, is the second-largest estate gift received to date by the Georgia Southern University Foundation. 


“It is inspiring when alumni, whose lives were transformed through education, give back so generously so that future students can realize the same opportunities,” said Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero. “The Castles’ gift honors the Sapps’ legacy and their desire to help others succeed.”


An alumna of then-Armstrong Junior College, Janice Castles earned an Associate of Arts degree with the financial assistance of a scholarship. That scholarship, coupled with her parents’ determination to live sacrificially to provide for educational opportunities for their children that they themselves had not experienced, allowed Sapp to begin her post-secondary academic ambitions and inspired her to give to others.


Sapp continued her education at the University of Georgia earning a master’s and a specialist degree in counseling as well as a doctorate in school psychology. Her longstanding education career included serving as a middle and high school teacher, guidance counselor, school counselor and adjunct professor. She also formed her own psychology practice that provided therapy and psychological assessment and diagnosis in the Atlanta area.


“The generous support by the Castles family will assist in removing financial barriers for many students pursuing initial teacher preparation degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Georgia Southern for many years to come,” said College of Education Interim Dean Amy Heaston, Ed.D.. “Initial teacher preparation degrees provide students with the first step to becoming certified to teach. For many students, the Margaret Elizabeth and Cullen Bernice Sapp Memorial Scholarship will provide a needed opportunity to achieve their aspirations of teaching in their own classrooms.”

Additional details on the Margaret Elizabeth and Cullen Bernice Sapp Memorial Scholarship application and awarding will be available later this year.

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