Mr. Bernard Hatcher of Montgomery Alabama was made an Honorary Member of the City of Geneva and presented a Key to the City during a special visit from Geneva Rotary Club members Mayor Philip Carter, James Dixon, and Leannah Windham.
Mr. Hatcher attended Geneva County High School and later received his college degree from Auburn University. He was employed with the Alabama Department of Transportation and later retired from the Alabama Department of Human Resources. In 2007, Mr. Hatcher established the Essie Mae Hatcher Scholarship in memory of his mother, a long time educator in Geneva County. Since 2007, he has donated $95,500.00 to deserving students that have graduated from Geneva High School. Mr. Hatcher’s goal was and still is to help those students that do not have the funds to receive a college education. During the visit, he expressed that the idea of this scholarship was to donate funds to a child’s education because that is something no one can take away from them.
Mayor Philip Carter presented Mr. Bernard Hatcher with the resolution making him an Honorary Member of the City of Geneva and the Key to the City. James Dixon has overseen the Geneva Rotary Club’s Essie Mae Hatcher Scholarship committee since 2007. He has been a vital asset in making sure these students received their funds. Leannah Windham was a 2007 graduate of Geneva High School and one of three in her graduating class that received the first Essie Mae Hatcher Scholarship. “It was a great honor to be able to visit with Mr. Hatcher and tell him how these funds helped with my college education. It was an amazing feeling to see him so overjoyed when I expressed my thanks and told him of my journey through college and where I am today” Windham said.
Mr. Hatcher was overwhelmed and expressed how meaningful this honor was to him. He also stated that since this scholarship has been established every student that has received it has personally written him a thank you note. He still has every thank you note and he loves to read them over and over.