June Hopkins (left), Jennifer Folger, William P. Mitchell, Laura Barrett, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Armstrong President Linda Bleicken.

Mary “Molly” McConnell Award Recognizes Armstrong Student

(November 2, 2011) Jennifer Folger, a history major at Armstrong Atlantic State University, is the first recipient of the $2,500 Mary “Molly” McConnell award.

The award recognizes one female undergraduate or graduate student in the College of Liberal Arts each spring and fall semester, and supports students who are currently attending college while working or raising a family, or who have returned to school after having raised a family.

“The award is particularly significant, I think, because it recognizes the real difficulties involved in earning a college degree while raising a family,” said June Hopkins, professor of history. “It takes a truly dedicated student to get work in on time, to attend all the classes and to excel in a course when family duties are constantly demanding attention.”

Chris Hendricks, a professor of history, is Folger's advisor and mentor. "She is an excellent student who works extremely hard and who has dreamed of earning her college degree for many years," he said.

Folger is a single mother of three teenagers. “The award is a godsend to my family. It is one of the nicest things that has happened to me,” she said. “It means not having to work as much. I can focus on school and stay at home with my children.” A native of Savannah and a graduate of Calvary Baptist High School, she came to Armstrong in 2010 and has since maintained a 4.0 GPA in her history courses. “At 35 years old, you realize this is your last chance to decide what you want to be,” she said.

William P. Mitchell, a 62+ program student who is finishing up his B.A. in history, established and is funding the award in honor of his mother, Mary “Molly” McConnell, who raised a family and never got the opportunity to attend college. “Bill has been an asset to every class he has taken and he reached a point where he felt he wanted to do something to give back,” said Hopkins. “We in the history department and the College of Liberal Arts are grateful for his generosity.”

Inquiries about scholarships or donations can be directed to the Office of Advancement at 912.344.2541.