The West Georgia Technical College Foundation has received an endowment gift in excess of $36,000 from a Haralson County foundation and will honor the gift by creating a permanent legacy scholarship.

An endowment agreement between the WGTC Foundation and Star Foundation Inc. was signed recently, creating the Star Scholarship Endowment, which will benefit students who reside in Haralson County or east Alabama.

The Star Foundation – formed in 1961 by Wes “W.G.” Littlefield, the plant manager of the American Thread Company mill in Tallapoosa – has awarded scholarships in excess of $145,000 over the past five decades.

“Because of the generosity of these foresighted men, the fund lives on,” said Sue Muse, who served as chair of the Star Foundation’s board of trustees. “This just shows how one good deed can keep going beyond what you’d ever imagine.”

Believe it or not, the $36,000 endowment gift got its start as change at the bottom of the vending machines housed inside the Tallapoosa mill.

“Vending machines had been installed in the plant, and funds were being collected from the sale of items in the machines,” Muse said. “[Littlefield] wanted his employees to benefit from these funds, so he and several other men – W.I. Lanier, R.J. Simanton, Howard C. Brooks and Don B. Howe – framed a charter for a corporation under the name of Star Foundation Inc.”

The foundation was so-named because of the American Thread Company’s logo of a star.

The charter stated the purpose of the corporation was “to promote the welfare and education of the worthy and needy employees of the Tallapoosa plant,” without profit to the members of the corporation or their successors.

The charter went on to add that in the event of a dissolution of the corporation, which took place with the Star Foundation’s gift to the WGTC Foundation, any remaining assets of the corporation shall be used exclusively for educational purposes.

“We are honored and proud to have been chosen to receive this significant gift from the Star Foundation,” said Kim Learnard, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at West Georgia Tech. “We will be good stewards of these funds, so that they may live on in perpetuity to match the larger-than-life legacy of the generous men who started the Star Foundation many years ago.”

Star Scholarship Endowment will benefit, in perpetuity, deserving WGTC students majoring in an area of their choosing and attending classes at any of the campuses. Eligible students must be residents of Haralson County or east Alabama who are enrolled in a program at West Georgia Tech and have demonstrated financial need.

The first scholarships will be awarded for Fall Semester 2018.

West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers more than 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the third-largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.
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