The 3rd annual Dinner of Firsts was held at the Chattanoogan on Thursday, October 23, 2014. Under the leadership of Grady Williams, Event Chairman, alumni and friends of the college toasted and roasted Leonard Fant with proceeds of the dinner funding First in the Family Scholarships. One of nine children, Leonard was the first in his family to go to college.
Toasting our honoree were Keith Sanford of First Tennessee and Greg Vital of Morning Pointe. Roasting Leonard were John Germ, Claude Ramsey, Rhonda Catanzaro, Warren Logan and James Rogers via video tribute (above) who helped make the evening fun and memorable.
Speaking of memorable…below are the remarks made during the dinner by Lin Miao, a 2014-15 First-in-the-family Scholar and accounting major at Chattanooga State. She received a standing ovation.
“I had many dreams but I never dreamed about standing here today. It has been a long way from China to U.S., from dwelling on fears to overcoming challenges. I am so blessed to receive the honor and support, even though I am just doing what I am supposed to do. No words could be sufficient to express my gratitude to you all. Your generosity means much more beyond financial help, it profoundly encourages me to rebuild the confidences and outlook of my life. I want to say thank you to you and to all of my teachers, faculty members, employer and friends. I will always remind myself to be a better person and to help others like you have helped me.”
For the first two years of the event, Dinner of Firsts proceeds have funded 41 students with scholarships. You can help us provide additional scholarships by making a gift to the Chattanooga State Foundation’s First in the Family Scholarship. Please make a note of “First in the Family Scholarship” when you make your gift online.
See our past Dinner of Firsts honorees here.