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Strickland Honored at Annual Luncheon as Repeat Scholarship Winner

Lander University senior Lauren Strickland, right, stands with her mom Amy Bartley, Lander '91, on March 6 at the Greenwood Woman's Club's 10th annual scholarship luncheon. Strickland, an early childhood education major, cited her mom as a major influence in her development, and was recognized by the GWC as the repeat winner of a $2,100 annual club-funded scholarship. Photo by Laura Brown

For the second straight year, Lander University senior Lauren Strickland is the recipient of a $2,100 scholarship, funded annually by the Greenwood Woman's Club. Strickland, a senior early childhood education major, was chosen for the scholarship by The Lander Foundation and recognized March 6 by GWC during its 10th annual fashion show and luncheon held in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center.

The money, awarded for the 2017-18 academic year, funded part of Strickland's spring and fall semesters, and was vital in helping her to finish school. "The money I received has meant a great deal to me," Strickland said. "I have the privilege of becoming a teacher, which I have dreamed of being my whole life, because of the Greenwood Woman's Club support."

The GWC scholarship was started in 2005 after members decided that maintaining their clubhouse was no longer feasible. So they donated the building to the Lander Foundation and had money left over to use. "And we used our remaining funds to establish a scholarship at Lander for a deserving student from the Greenwood area," said Janice Elliott, GWC event organizer and past club president.

The amount of the scholarship varies each year, and has totaled more than $56,000 in the past 13 years. "The scholarship helps cover the cost of tuition and fees, and thus enables students to aspire towards reaching their academic goals," said Denise Manley, '89, Alumni Affairs director for Lander.

Never has this been truer than for Strickland, who is set to graduate in May, but has already signed a contract with Greenwood School District 50 to begin as a first-year teacher for its 2018-19 year. "I am not sure what school or what grade I will be teaching quite yet," Strickland said. "But the Greenwood Woman's Club has been an integral part of my success at Lander and I am excited for what my future holds."

After Strickland thanked club members for their support, the 170+ in attendance were treated to the show "Fashions For All Generations," by Tapestry of Clinton and Three Generations Boutique of Simpsonville, both from Upstate S.C.

"We look forward to this luncheon every year," said first-year GWC president Joann Purkerson. "And it's because of students like Lauren that we hope to keep the scholarship going for a long time to come."