Bethesda Academy Holds Scholarship Soirée and Graduation Ceremony on Campus


Bethesda Academy Holds Scholarship Soirée and Graduation Ceremony on CampusThe Scholarship Soirée Returns After Last Year’s Event was Cancelled Due to the Pandemic(SAVANNAH, Ga.)After a hiatus due to the pandemic last year, Bethesda Academy held its annual Scholarship Soirée outdoors on the school’s historic campus. The Class of 2021 continued the on-campus festivities with a graduation ceremony the following morning.

2021 Bethesda Academy Senior Class Savannah Scholarship Soiree
2021 Bethesda Academy Senior Class Savannah Scholarship Soiree

“We are very pleased to have been able to proceed with the Scholarship Soirée and honor our students the next day at the graduation ceremony. This graduated class endured and overcame so much over the last year, our faculty and staff are just so proud of them,” said Bethesda Academy president Dr. Michael Hughes. “The way they weathered the storm speaks to their character and determination to succeed.”

Griffith V. Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, was the soirée’s keynote speaker. A proven leader in the maritime industry for nearly 30 years, Lynch served as the chief operating officer of the GPA for five years before becoming the executive director. His appearance underscores the relationship between Bethesda Academy and GPA through the Y.E.S. (Youth learning Equipment and Safety) Program. Launched in early 2019, the Y.E.S. program has worked with Bethesda graduates, as well as graduates from other local high schools, on operations careers at the city’s growing deepwater shipping port.

As in previous years, all proceeds from the soirée benefit scholarship programs for Bethesda students who would otherwise not be able to afford tuition. The guests enjoyed an evening of food, music and fun while supporting a worthy cause. Sponsors of the event included The Trolinger Family, The Littlejohn Family, Gavilon Fertilizer, LLC, THA Group, South State Bank, Sterling Seacrest Partners, The Moore Family and Georgia Ports Authority.

Of the eight students of Bethesda Academy Class of 2021, seven will be attending college and one will be participating in the GPA Y.E.S. program. Many will have accumulated college credits, further reducing the cost of their higher education.

The Class of 2021 Valedictorian is Ian Eckmann, who has received a scholarship to attend SCAD to pursue screenwriting and acting. The Class of 2021 Salutatorian is Carlton Brown, who will be attending Shorter University In Rome, Georgia, where he will also be playing football.

Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private day school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and cattle program and a college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit or call 912.644.4376.

Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC

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