Rosalind Kent

Rosalind KentDuring her long career as a professor and reading coordinator at Savannah State University, Rosalind Kent always put students first. When she passed away in 2014 at the age of 61, Kent left a lasting legacy that would impact her beloved students for years to come by donating a portion of her estate to the university to establish what is now the Rosalind M. Kent Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

Colleague and close friend Mary Ann Goldwire, SSU's interim director for the Center of Academic Success, fondly recalls Kent's unwavering devotion to her students.

"She mentored students and was engaged with student organizations and became a part of many different things on campus," says Goldwire, who along with Kent helped start the university's academic advising and mentoring program. "We did not have to communicate or say anything, but when we looked at each other, we knew that we were thinking about the same kind of things: what would be best for the students and how we can better serve Savannah State."

Kent earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Savannah State in 1979 and went on to receive a master's degree from Georgia Southern University. She began her career as a teacher at Springfield Elementary and Effingham County Middle schools before embarking on a 21-year career at Savannah State.

Kent first served in the university's Learning Support Division as reading coordinator, and in 1995, she became an assistant professor of reading, a position she held until her retirement in 2011.

But Kent's devotion to Savannah State extended beyond the classroom. She was a life member of the SSU National Alumni Association (SSUNAA), serving two terms as the organization's national recording secretary and two years as chaplain. She also served a three-year stint as recording secretary of the Savannah Chapter of the SSUNAA.

In addition to her service at Savannah State, Kent retired from the 117th Unit of the Air National Guard, served as a motivational speaker and was a licensed minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, serving as pastor of St. James AME in Savannah.

The Rosalind M. Kent Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established October 2014, just one month after her death. The scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in Savannah State's Learning Support program to honor Kent's love of learning and mentorship.

"She had a deep love for her family and for Savannah State," Goldwire says. "She would be really proud and she's probably looking down smiling that someone would benefit with what she left behind for the school to use for scholarship purposes."

By Amy Pine