Pauline Ivey couldn't afford to get a higher education, but she wanted to make sure others could.
Ivey, 97, of Cumming died last year, but her estate recently made a $400,000 donation to establish the Pauline Ivey Scholarship Fund with the Lanier Technical College Foundation.
"She was just a lady who wanted to go to college and the parents had enough money to pay for one or the other- her brother or her," said Cris Perkins, executive director of the Lanier Technical College Foundation. "Back then, her brother was the one to go to college, and it was just something that she wanted to make sure people had the opportunity to afford."
Ivey was born in 1917 and lived most of her life in Dawson County before moving to Cumming 12 years before her death.
The scholarship will give priority to Dawson County residents, but will then be open to others.
The gift was presented last week by Betty Ann Bagley, trustee for the Ivey estate.
"We are honored that Mrs. Bagley and Mrs. Ivey thought of our students and our college in leaving us this generous gift," said Lanier Tech President Ray Perren. "This will change so many lives of students and future students who want to get a quality education and a great job after graduation."
This gift comes just a few weeks after a similar donation of $400,000 was given to the Dawson County Board of Education on June 10.
"The Trust was created by Mrs. Ivey prior to her death and authorized Mrs. Bagley, as Trustee, to distribute a portion of the Trust Fund to charitable organizations selected by the Trustee," said Ivey estate lawyer Dennis Bottoms. "Mrs. Ivey lived most of her life in Dawson County and loved the community and its people. She had a special desire to help the children of Dawson County."
The Dawson County donation was divided up, with $300,000 earmarked to furnish the new performing arts center and $100,000 being split up among the schools for art supplies.
The school system is estimating that each school will receive $2,000 a year per school for supplies.
"We are very pleased to be a recipient of a donation from Ms. Ivey," said Dawson County School Superintendent Damon Gibbs. "The funds will be specifically used to fund supplies for the art programs throughout the system, as well as, help furnish the new performing arts center being constructed at the high school. The children of Dawson County will benefit greatly from this donation. "
The Lanier Tech gift included cash and land, which will be sold, and follows $100,000 from the estate already in the fund.
Perkins said the gift is the largest the foundation has received in recent history, and the creation of the scholarship fund will benefit students far into the future.
"We were just blown away at the generosity," Perkins said. "It'll go a long way in helping our students."
Staff writer David Renner contributed to this story.