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New Scholarship Honors Commitment to Community & Fosters Economic Development

July 2, 2013

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Foundation South is pleased to announce a new scholarship program that honors the accomplishments of a man who has spent his life serving the citizens of Hamilton County Florida. On June 27, members of the Hamilton County communities gathered to honor Mr. Edmond Lewis Vaughn with a scholarship created in his name. The idea for the E. Lewis Vaughn Scholarship came from his Vaughn’s sister Castell Vaughn Bryant. This was her way to recognize him for his contributions to their home town and family.

E. Lewis Vaughn, the son of Joseph “Slick” and Bessie Mae Vaughn, has been a continuous resident of Jasper, Florida since birth. He is a graduate of J.R.E. Lee High School and received a Pittsburg certification in Welding (currently American Welding Society) from Valdosta Technical College (currently Wiregrass Georgia Technical College).
Early in life, Lewis began to develop a special interest in his father’s profession, blacksmith and welding. As he grew older, his childhood curiosity grew into a career goal. His father, an exceptionally gifted craftsman, became his teacher, mentor and employer with increasing responsibilities and job assignments. After graduation from high school, Lewis became a full time employee of Slick’s Welding Shop.

Upon his father’s retirement in 1974, Lewis received a “…gift for a lifetime….” Slick’s Welding Shop was transferred to him. With the transfer came a new owner and a new business name, Vaughn’s Welding and Muffler Shop. It was also the beginning of a third generation of Vaughn’s entrepreneurship presence in Jasper which began in 1910.

In addition to being a businessman, Lewis retired in 2012 from the honorable position of a Hamilton County commissioner after serving for twenty-seven years. His commitment to the citizens of Hamilton is evident by a review of his work as a county commissioner and as a skilled craftsman in the technical and occupational services he provides.

The E. Lewis Vaughn Scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to selected residents of Hamilton County desiring to pursue a career in specific occupational and technical programs at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Community leaders, the Hamilton County School System and many others gave input into the scholarship requirements and the programs that are eligible. The programs included in the scholarship are ones that align with the current and future economic status of the county. The recipients of this assistance must be committed to contributing to the enhancement of the quality of life for the residents of Hamilton County. According to Castell Bryant Vaughn “this financial assistance program is an investment for the future of Hamilton County.”

If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund or would like more information on the scholarship program, please contact Dr. Penelope Schmidt at 229-293-6190.

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