Alpha Phi Alpha Scholarship
Strictly speaking, the newly endowed Alpha Phi Alpha Scholarship was six years in the making, but for Crandall Jones (’81), the impetus came far longer ago.
“The scholarship had been an idea of mine for years,” said Jones, now the city manager of East Point, Ga. “Since graduating with my MPA in 1983, I had kept in the back of my mind that one day I wanted to be in a position to give back to the University for all that the school had given to me, including my wife, Letha.”
Georgia Southern’s Xi Tau Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha (APA) was founded in 1980 and at the fraternity’s 25th Anniversary Banquet in 2005, Jones challenged the alumni and chapter to endow a scholarship. “My dear friend and our first pledge as a fraternity, Andre Washington, joined me in going to the University Foundation to set it up and, finally, we got it endowed through annual giving from alumni and the chapter itself.”
“In my time at Georgia Southern, I was active in extracurricular activities – the Student Union Board, president of the Afro American Club and one of the charter members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity chapter,” he said. “In addition to the obvious great education I received, I was also a two-time recipient of the Board of Regents Opportunity Scholarship.
“With all those blessings, I also enjoyed the mentoring and teaching of a great faculty in the Political Science department – Dr. Lane Van Tassell, Dr. Robert Dick, Dr. Justine Mann, Dr. John Daily to name a few,” Jones said. “My activity also gave me the privilege to come to know, have routine access to, and establish friendships with people such as President Dale Lick, Harris Mobley and Dean of Students Jack Nolen.
“All of these people and more gave of themselves — to an extent that they did not have to — and I always appreciated it,” he said. “I always believed that doing something for GSU and helping someone else the way I was helped would be the best way to honor what was given to me – my way of paying it forward.”
Both the active members of the fraternity and the group’s alumni contributed to the endowment, said APA brother Alvie Coes (`07), executive director of Statesboro’s Hearts and Hands Clinic. “It’s been a dual effort over the last five or six years between the graduate brothers and the undergraduate chapter.” Coes said all fraternity alumni were asked to contribute $100 each year and the Xi Tau Chapter was asked to donate $3,000 through fundraising activities.
Both groups have generously supported the effort, said Jones. “I’m forever grateful to both my fraternity’s alumni and Xi Tau Chapter for making this happen.”
The University professors and administrators who helped mentor Jones also served as his inspiration to continue supporting Georgia Southern. “They had a great impression on my love of public administration and are a great part of why I am a public servant today,” he said.