Athens Tech Foundation to celebrate second Illuminate Gala April 18

Athens Tech Foundation to celebrate second Illuminate Gala April 18

The Athens Tech Foundation is thrilled to announce the second annual Illuminate Gala, a vibrant celebration of Athens Technical College’s profound impact on workforce development. Scheduled for April 18, 2024, at The Classic Center, this event promises to build upon the success of the previous year, where an impressive $80,000 was raised.

The evening will include a cocktail reception, silent auction, wine pull, and uplifting testimonials from student scholarship recipients.

Rodney D. Bullard will serve as the featured speaker for this year’s event. Bullard is the CEO of The Same House, a public benefit corporation dedicated to furthering economic mobility by bridging social division. He previously founded and led Global Corporate Social Responsibility at Chick-fil-A, Inc. which included responsibilities for Community Affairs, Community Engagement and Environmental Sustainability at Chick-fil-A, Inc., and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. He formerly served in the US Air Force, NASA, and the Department of Justice. He is an alumnus of the Air Force Academy, Duke Law, the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business and the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He is also the author of Heroes Wanted.

“Join us under the radiant glow of the Illuminate Gala as we champion the work of Athens Technical College,” said Foundation Board Chair Lori Lord. “Together, we can forge a brighter future for knowledge and progress in our community. Supporting Athens Tech is integral to the success of the businesses and families in our region.”

In addition to Lord, the event committee is comprised of board members and volunteers: Graham Joyner, Paul Cramer, Patricia Dixen, Bill Bushnell, Jeff Brown, Joy Pirkel and Maggie Owen.

The Athens Tech Foundation supports students through scholarships and emergency assistance, GED® vouchers, as well as funding improvements to the campus and helping the college stay connected with the community at large.

In 2023, the Foundation was pleased to award scholarships to 50 deserving students and retention grants to 166 students to keep them enrolled in class. In total, $166,000 was distributed in student support. The Foundation, founded in 1988, seeks to be the influential liaison with Athens Technical College and with the community to fulfill the college’s mission.

“We still have a huge opportunity to support many more students in the future as we work to supply a skilled workforce for our region,” said ATC President Andrea Daniel. “Spotlighting workforce development is critical to help us reduce the skills gap and ensure a pipeline of talent for many years to come. I’m grateful for the part that the Foundation helps play in helping students succeed at our College.”

Individual seats are priced at $150 and include a reception and seated dinner. There are numerous sponsorship opportunities, which begin at $500 and range up. Tickets are available online at, or by emailing to secure a sponsorship or pay with a check. You can also call 706-355-5025 for more information on sponsorship opportunities. Silent auction donations are welcome, and can be arranged for pick-up.

For more information, please contact Josh Paine, Executive Director of PR & Institutional Advancement at (706) 583-2552 or


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