On Tuesday, May 24, South Georgia Tormenta FC co-owners and Georgia Southern University alumni Darin H. Van Tassell (’89) and Netra R. Van Tassell (’90) pledged a $125,000 Tormenta FC Endowed Scholarship to the Georgia Southern University Foundation, Inc.
The gift agreement, to be delivered in the amount of $25,000 annually for the next five years, is designated for the benefit of the Waters College of Health Professions (COHP) and for the Office of Career and Professional Development.
Specifically, the fund will create an endowed scholarship, the Tormenta FC Graduate Scholarship, in the amount of $75,000 to support deserving graduate students within the Waters College of Health Professions.
An additional $50,000 will support the Employer Partner Program and the Internship Scholarship Program for students in the COHP and College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (CBSS).
“We want to support the academic programs,” said Darin, who sits on the CBSS board. “We’re here to be a laboratory, not just for future professional players, but a laboratory for research and undergraduates who want to go forward professionally via other platforms as well.
“Netra and I really have a faculty mindset, and we wanted to pledge to make a commitment that could not just show our appreciation as undergraduates and former professors, but also people that live here. And we wanted to find a way for our university to grow by supporting those two colleges.”
Darin and Netra met at Georgia Southern as student-athletes and both later served as professors in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the College of Education, respectively.
Now, as the husband-and-wife co-owners of a professional soccer team, they employ numerous Georgia Southern graduates by design. The organization also works closely with the sports science, nutrition and sport management faculty and student researchers, who have access to the Tormenta FC team players.
For Netra, the chance to support students is deeply personal and rooted in her own experiences as an undergraduate student on the Statesboro campus.
“Had I not had scholarships and grants available, I would not have ever been able to graduate,” Netra said. “So putting this together for somebody to be able to complete their degree or to be able to have an internship so that they can complete graduation, this will help support that person. That’s the meaning behind it for me. There are so many bright young minds who don’t always have the guidance or the understanding or the direction to be able to venture out and do that. But when they take that risk and they do that financially, there should be no barriers, in my opinion. And this is a small piece of what we can do to help with that. We love Georgia Southern. It has a place in our hearts.”
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