Editorial: Wrights' selfless acts will benefit area for years to come

Philanthropy is an important part of any community, and the Dalton-Whitfield area has been known over for the years for the generosity and civic-mindedness of its residents.

From the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia to the United Way and many points in between, area residents give of their time and money to help make our community a better place.

Next month, Dalton State College will celebrate the largest gift from an individual in the college’s history when it holds the grand reopening of Gignilliat Memorial Hall, which has been renovated and expanded to house the Wright School of Business because of a $5 million gift from C. Lamar and Ann Wright, which was matched by the state. The college is hosting a ribbon cutting on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The project added 15,729 square feet to the building which allows the business school to benefit from multiple features, including a finance lab, a marketing lab and event spaces. This will allow students to work more often in teams and more efficiently, said Marilyn Helms, dean of the business school.

Where does philanthropy come from? No doubt there are many and varying reasons why a person makes the decision to give his or her money for the betterment of others.

For the Wrights, the impetus is "We're changing lives," and the students and faculty at Dalton State College are the beneficiaries, who will then benefit those who come in contact with them, and on and on it will go. Lamar Wright ties that back to how the college changed his life.

"I get so excited about Dalton State College because it changed my life," he said. "I was a youngster and doing pretty well in business, but I hit a wall. To get another advancement, I had to have a degree. That was when Dalton Junior College opened, and I had an employer who worked with me to get that degree. Most of it was night classes and took a lot of hard work. When I finished my degree, I got the promotion, and if Dalton State College hadn’t opened, I wouldn’t be here today."

“God has blessed me and my family so much it is unreal, and we want to help others,” he said.

There it is, stated simply and purely.

We commend the Wrights, and thank them, for their selflessness and their desire to better the lives of those who are coming after them. We believe their acts of giving here and elsewhere will continue to inspire others.

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