Game Changers Scholarship Program Wraps Up Successful First Season

March 07, 2016

Quick Facts

bullet point Throughout the 2015-16 season, the Game Changers program awarded 54 student scholarships, totaling $27,000 in student aid.
bullet point Two grand-prize winners won scholarships worth approximately $4,000 each.



ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - When special education major Brian Rittenberry won a Game Changers scholarship at a Winthrop University home basketball game, he called it a "blessing."

"The Game Changers program is making a difference for students," said the Warrenville, South Carolina, native. "It was a blessing to have won the scholarship, and I can't thank the Game Changers enough. It's definitely going to make tuition a little easier to handle."

Throughout the 2015-16 basketball season, Winthrop's Game Changers program awarded 54 student scholarships, totaling $27,000 in student aid. Winthrop launched the unique new program, developed by President Dan Mahony, as a way to increase attendance at men's and women's home basketball games.

To be eligible, students had their IDs scanned and sat in assigned sections at the home games. Random seat numbers in those designated sections were chosen at the end of each men's winning game. Men's Basketball Coach Pat Kelsey directed members of the men's team into the stands to notify the winning students. For the women's games, raffle tickets were distributed to the students in attendance. Women's Basketball Coach Kevin Cook chose the winning tickets at the end of the games.

Students who attended at least five games were eligible for an even larger prize: a scholarship worth approximately $4,000 for each student. This year's two grand prize winners are Macey Bosley, a chemistry major from Aiken, and Whitney McConnell, an elementary education major from Prosperity. President Mahony chose the winners by drawing their names from a basket of the eligible students.

"The Game Changers are pleased with the outcome of this exciting new program, especially knowing that so many students benefited from it," said Kimberly Faust, chief of staff for the Office of the President. "These generous donors are talking about how to expand the program for next year to touch even more students' lives."

Agape Foundation, Inc., Joins the Fun

The Agape Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization headed by CEO Scott Middleton ˜81, who is a Winthrop Board of Trustees member, created the $6,000 Agape Involvement Award to add yet another incentive to attending basketball games. Three Winthrop student organizations with the highest attendance during the current season won the funds, which were then given to a non-profit organization of the winning organization's choice.

The winners are:
1st place: WU Crew--$3,000 donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Rock Hill
2nd place: Delta Omicron--$2,000 donated to Delta Omicron National Foundation
3rd place: Winthrop Society for Human Resource Management--$1,000 donated to Relay for Life

The Agape Involvement Award will be given next season as well, so make sure your student organizations are active and ready to cheer on the Eagles!

This year's Game Changers' contributors were:

Warren and Debra Boyd
Gene Dennis
Diana Dowling
Karl and Nell Folkens
Joel and Marina Hamilton
Kelsey Chevrolet
Pat and Lisa Kelsey
Manning and Sheila Kimmel (104.1 The Bridge)
Jane LaRoche
Dan and Laura Mahony
Jerry McKibben and Kimberly Faust (McKibben Demographics)
Danny and Debra Nicholson
Rep. Tommy Pope and Kim Pope
Jim and Sue Rex
Rep. Gary Simrill and Mary Ruth Simrill
Wayne and Janet Smalley
Scott and Kelly Talley
Skip and Judy Tuttle
Brian Ullrich (Walk 2 Campus)
Glenn McCall, Tim Hopkins and Ashlye Wilkerson
Gary and Peggy Williams
York County Natural Gas Authority
Larry and Kathy Bigham

For more information on the Game Changers program and the Agape Involvement Award, contact Kimberly Faust at 803/323-2225 or

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