Meridian Star

Local News

April 13, 2014

Scholarship serves financial helping hand

MERIDIAN —     Though Anthony McOlgan worked in the hotel industry, he knew something was missing for him to advance in the profession.

    “In the current environment, you need the degree, “ said McOlgan.

    The drive to earn his associate’s degree lead him to Meridian Community College’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Technology (HRT) Program and it’s also landed him the George Pugh Scholarship. Pugh, an alumnus of MCC, started offering scholarships to students in the College’s HRT Program last year. “I have a long connection with the school going back to 1962,” Pugh said.

    Pugh also has ties to the hospitality industry; he worked in Atlanta for 15 years in the hotel industry. “This is a very challenging profession. You have to be committed to this.” He noted opportunities abound in this field. “You can go anywhere and get a job,” Pugh said.

    Here in this area, Pugh is a pastor at Marion United Methodist Church. “I like helping people … guess that’s a part of being a minister,” he said earlier.

    McOlgan, 50, of Meridian, plans to graduate in August and will continue his academic studies pursing a bachelor’s degree. While at MCC, he has been named to the President’s List, garnering a 4.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international academic honor society, a vice president of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and placed second in a state-wide DECA competition.

    Kathy Brookshire, associate vice president for development and executive director of the MCC Foundation said she was pleased with the selection of McOlgan as the scholarship recipient.  “I have had the privilege to get to know Anthony while he has been at MCC. He is a dedicated student who sets high goals for him self. I am so proud of him.

    “Also, I am so appreciative for the support of MCC from Mr. Pugh. He is a true friend of the College,” Brookshire added.

    McOlgan is active in the community; he serves as an assistant Scoutmaster and was named 2013 Parent of the Year at Poplar Springs Elementary School.

    Mark Chandler, coordinator of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Technology Program, said, “Anthony is an outstanding student in the HRT program and he carries the ‘hospitality mentality’ outside of the classroom as well.  He is a perfect fit for the hospitality industry and is very deserving of this scholarship.

    “I am very thankful to Mr. Pugh for his dedication to the hospitality industry and for the George Pugh Scholarship,” Chandler added.

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