Coca-Cola Foundation continues support of Oglethorpe’s best and brightest

Last week representatives of The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Foundation visited Oglethorpe University to meet scholarship recipients and receive an update on institutional priorities and goals.

Saadia Madsbjerg, president of the Coca-Cola Foundation, and Fran Killeen, The Coca-Cola Company’s Director of Global Community Affairs, visited the Oglethorpe campus Sept. 14 and heard firsthand how the scholarships are making a difference in the lives of students.

Students who shared their story were Hanan Denboba, a Business Administration major from Stone Mountain, Ga.; Annabelle English, a Business Administration major from Austell, Ga.; Audrey Rebstock, a scientific illustration major from Fort Myers, Fla.; and Niya Woolfolk, a sociology for social work major from Warner Robins, Ga.

“We were all inspired by the stories shared by these impressive scholars,” President Nick Ladany said. “We’re grateful to the Coca-Cola Foundation for continuing to support such students who are transforming our campus community and making an impact after graduation.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded its first Coca-Cola Scholars Grant totaling $1 million to Oglethorpe in 2012. Since then, 275 students have benefited from these scholarships.

The Coca-Cola Foundation has been granting scholarships to Oglethorpe students for 10 years, and the leaders from the Foundation recently visited campus to meet with current recipients. From left: Oglethorpe Vice President of Advancement Juan McGruder, Coca-Cola Scholar Annabelle English, Oglethorpe President Nick Ladany, Coca-Cola Foundation President Saadia Madsbjerg, Coca-Cola Scholar Niya Woolfolk, The Coca-Cola Company’s Director of Global Community Affairs Fran Killeen, Coca-Cola Scholar Audrey Rebstock, Oglethorpe Provost Kathryn McClymond and Coca-Cola Scholar Hanan Denboba.

For nearly 100 years, the Coca-Cola Company and Oglethorpe University have shared strong ties to one another and to the city of Atlanta. The very first Coca-Cola bottler, John Thomas Lupton, was a great Oglethorpe benefactor for whom one of our signature buildings is named.

Throughout the years, numerous Coca-Cola executives have served on Oglethorpe’s board of trustees, including former Oglethorpe board chair Norm Findley, retired Executive Vice President for Coca-Cola Enterprises, board members Ceree Eberly, Chief People Officer and Ricardo Carvalho ’85, former Market Development Executive for the Coca-Cola Company.

Former Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Oglethorpe in 2008. In May 2022, Oglethorpe welcomed commencement speaker Beatriz “Bea” Perez, the Coca-Cola Company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Communications, Sustainability and Strategic Partnerships Officer. Perez also received an Oglethorpe honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of her leadership and service toward making a lasting positive impact for consumers, communities, and the environment.

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