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The difference A Day can make at Georgia Southern
Fundraising campaign affected current student
A Day for Southern student 2
Georgia Southern University student Laynie Brown speaks to a crowd of faculty and staff at the university on Aug. 22 about the impact A Day for Southern has had on her life. - photo by JEREMY WILBURN/special

If anyone could explain the impact the annual “A Day for Southern” campaign can have, it’s Georgia Southern University student Laynie Brown.
    Brown’s appreciation of the campaign started at an early age. Being born and raised in Bulloch County, Brown can remember as early as her middle school days seeing her parents, both Georgia Southern alumni, donating to “A Day for Southern” each year. Growing up, she also remembers attending football games and making regular visits to the Center for Wildlife Education.
    Upon her graduation from Bulloch Academy, Brown received a 1906 Scholarship to attend Georgia Southern, which receives funding from the annual campaign. Now in its 40th year, the campaign helps raise funds for the university to help cover costs not funded by state dollars such as scholarships, faculty development, championship athletics and cultural programs.
    Brown credits the campaign and her scholarship for providing opportunities in education she likely wouldn’t have found elsewhere.
    “My scholarship has allowed me to embark on many experiences I probably would not have done otherwise,” Brown said. “I have been able to give back to my community through volunteer work and projects, and I have also been able to conduct undergraduate research, which is usually an opportunity reserved for graduate students.”
    Some of her volunteer work has been spent at East Georgia Regional Medical Center’s rehabilitation department, which coincides with her goal of becoming a physical therapist.
    “Over the past few months, I helped a little girl go from not even crawling to taking her first step,” Brown said. “Anyone in that situation would feel like they did something worthwhile, but it is especially meaningful to me because the first nine months of my life I spent in a leg harness, and I received physical therapy at the old Bulloch Memorial Hospital.”
    “And because of the caring staff at Bulloch Memorial, I’m now in a position to help the next generation of Statesboro as I was helped,” she continued. “If I had gone to another university, I would never have been able to have these kinds of experiences and never would’ve been able to help the people in my own community as a college student.”
    Knowing how donations impact students, faculty and staff, student athletes and more at the university has encouraged Brown to work harder in her undergraduate career.
    “My scholarship has also helped motivate me every day to perform to the best of my ability and to go the extra mile,” she said. “I want to make the donors of my scholarship proud, and I want to make their donation worth something. If I am successful in earning my degree, being accepted to graduate school and earning my doctorate in physical therapy, then I have done just that.”
    On Sept. 10, the Statesboro and Bulloch County community will have the chance to continue the strong ties created by “A Day for Southern” when volunteers from the community will visit local businesses and ask for donations during the 40th annual campaign.
    Brown encouraged those who can to donate, noting that those who contribute help foster the educational experiences of the country’s future leaders.
    “Many potential students, especially with the condition of the economy over the past years, are unable to attend universities such as Georgia Southern because of financial reasons,” she said. “Without scholarships to help, they would be unable to benefit from an education and unable to go out after graduation and benefit our society. Donating helps our university grow as a whole and also helps our community and society.”
    Since 1998, “A Day for Southern” has raised more than $1 million annually and is a joint effort between the Georgia Southern University Foundation and the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation. For more information, visit

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