Press Releases

Two Early County High School Seniors Receive Scholarships Established By the Charles & Catherine B. Rice Foundation

Blakely, GA – The Gerontology Institute at Georgia State University has announced the winners of the 2008 Rice/Early County Scholarship, annually awarded to exceptional high school seniors from Early County, Georgia who expect to attend Georgia State University. Early County High School graduate Elizabeth Avent, and Ashley Tedder, who attended Southwest Georgia Academy, were this year's scholarship recipients.  Both students are from Blakely.

Both Ms. Avent and Ms. Tedder were chosen for their outstanding academic records, strong commitments to their community, and an interest in specializing in the study of gerontology. The scholarship was established by Charles B. Rice, Sr. through the Atlanta-based Charles and Catherine B. Rice Foundation, to encourage students in Early County to pursue a degree at Georgia State University, study gerontology and, ideally, return to Early County to assist the growing elderly population. It is a component of the overall Early County 2055 Economic Revitalization Plan, initiated by Mr. & Mrs. Rice, which focuses on the development and promotion of Early County.  

Rice was born and raised in Early County, received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Georgia State in 1965, and founded Barton Protective Services (now Allied Barton Security Services) in Atlanta in 1977. EC2055 was established through a grant from the Rice Foundation which funded the initial planning, which began in 2005 to support the revitalization, economic development and preservation of Blakely and Early County. Now in Phase Two, EC2055 is focusing on a five-year capital campaign that will stimulate economic development through new job creation, increased retail shopping options, historic restoration and more.

"Both Ashley and Elizabeth have shown stellar academic achievement and broad interest in their community", said Mr. Rice. "I am proud of their hard work and thrilled to be able to award them with this honor."  

Each scholarship provides an annual stipend of $10,000, renewable for up to four years, a laptop computer and printer, membership in a professional gerontological society, travel annually to professional meetings in gerontology, and a study abroad experience to expand the student's understanding of global aging.

For further information contact Early County 2055 offices, 229-724-7558 or click on