Matching gift from George R. Johnson Foundation supports TWC

Posted on: May 23, 2012

Through May and June, any gift contributed to Tennessee Wesleyan College's general scholarship fund will be doubled thanks to a matching challenge grant the George R. Johnson Family Foundation has generously contributed to the college. The foundation will match up to a total of $50,000, doubling the charitable impact of donations to the general scholarship fund until the end of the college's fiscal year, June 30.

Through May and June, any gift contributed to Tennessee Wesleyan College’s general scholarship fund will be doubled thanks to a matching challenge grant the George R. Johnson Family Foundation has generously contributed to the college. The foundation will match up to a total of $50,000, doubling the charitable impact of donations to the general scholarship fund until the end of the college’s fiscal year, June 30.

“We made this grant to Tennessee Wesleyan because it is such an important part of life in Athens,” said Janice Wilson, executive director of the foundation and daughter of George R. Johnson. “The faculty and students at Tennessee Wesleyan are great assets to the community.”

George R. Johnson, who attended Tennessee Wesleyan in 1949 and 1950, was an entrepreneur who made the first franchise agreement for a Hardee’s restaurant in Tennessee, building the first restaurant in Athens, Tenn., in 1966 and the second in Cleveland, Tenn., in 1967.  Today there are 43 Hardee’s restaurants currently operated by the Johnson family in East Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.

Before passing away from cancer in 1996, Johnson expanded his business and started his foundation to benefit the communities where his Hardee’s restaurants are located. Today, Johnson’s philanthropic goals are being carried out through his children and the family foundation.

“The foundation wanted to support Tennessee Wesleyan because it is good for the community as a whole,” said Wilson. “It’s important that our local colleges have the resources and facilities to bring in students from both in and out of state.”

Wilson hopes that the foundation’s matching gift will motivate others to give to Tennessee Wesleyan. TWC President Harley Knowles has already seen the impact the gift has made at the college.

“A gift like this is a catalyst that motivates others to show support for Tennessee Wesleyan,” said Dr. Knowles.

For more information on how to contribute to Tennessee Wesleyan’s general scholarship fund and double the charitable impact through the foundation’s grant, call the college’s Advancement office at 423-746-5330.