The Ben G. Waller and Dr. George E. Parker Kiwanis Scholarships
Often referred to as a “working club,” the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro has been working steadily for the past two decades to create a promising future for Georgia Southern University students.
Through the years, the 100-plus member civic organization has created two endowed scholarships awarded annually to several University freshmen. The Ben G. Waller and Dr. George E. Parker Kiwanis Scholarships honor two career educators and longtime members of the club who made a significant difference in the lives of students and the community.
The Ben G. Waller Scholarship was endowed in 1988. An active Kiwanian for more than four decades, Waller’s distinguished professional career included working as a coach and high school principal around the state of Georgia. He was a 1943 alumnus of Georgia Teachers College, and later returned to his alma mater to become Georgia Southern’s dean of students. A leader on campus and in the community, Waller was also the recipient of the Kiwanian of the Year Award. “Ben was something of a patriarch among the club’s respected educators,” said Dr. Jake Simons, a College of Business Administration professor and scholarship committee chair of the Kiwanis Club.
The second endowment was named for Parker, a Georgia Southern alumnus who served as a principal of local schools, as well as a member of several education and community service organizations. Parker’s commitment to education included chairing the club’s Scholarship Committee for many years, and he was the recipient of the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award.
“George was widely known because of his work as an educator. He was involved in the education of many. He brought out the best in people and he wanted them to succeed,” Simons said.
“For many years, our club steadily built contributions toward a second endowment. Before George passed away, I was able to share the news with him that the club had decided to name this endowment in his honor,” he said, about the new scholarships that are committed to educating future generations of Georgia Southern students.