Alum gives scholarships to social work students


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 10, 2013) —For the first time, social work students will receive help with their education expenses as Dorothy Gaithers Scholars. This morning, Tuskegee alumna Dorothy Gaithers returned to campus for an appreciation luncheon for her commitment in helping others, especially students. Two years ago, Gaithers and her daughters established the Dorothy Gaithers Scholars program for social work students and distributed the first scholarships today for $500 and $1,000. Gaithers said more scholarships of at least $1,000 per year would be distributed in the future.

Dorothy Gaithers

Left to right, Karen Gaithers, Dorothy Gaithers and Catherine Gayle, director of social work and assistant professor of social work at Tuskegee University.
During the lunch in Dorothy’s Restaurant in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University, one of Gaithers’ daughters, Karen Gaithers, said the program pays tribute to her mother.

“A Dorothy Gaithers Scholar is someone who exemplifies godly leadership in the field of social work. It was really inspired by my mom, her character and her life,” Karen Gaithers said.

Dorothy Gaithers graduated from Tuskegee in 1944. After pursuing graduate studies at California State University and University of California at Los Angeles, she dedicated 43 years to professional social service in California. Her experience included time as a social worker, a deputy probation officer, social service consultant, program supervisor, psychiatric social worker and a licensing program analyst.
After her retirement in 1987, Dorothy Gaithers became a manager for a nonprofit child advocacy group, Crystal Stairs. Despite being in her 80s, she remained committed to helping others as social services coordinator for Second Baptist Church in 2001 and served until 2010. Dorothy Gaithers is a recipient of the California Legendary Service Award.

“If you have a love for God and his people, you will do what is necessary to help them,” Dorothy Gaithers said.

To apply for the Dorothy Gaithers scholarship, students must currently be majoring in social work; have a GPA of 2.5 or greater; must be committed to pursuing a career in social work; demonstrate “Servant Leader” qualities; be active in Christian service; and have creative gifts and talents. Students must also complete an application and submit a 500-word statement. For more information or to donate to the scholarship fund, go to:

© 2013 Tuskegee University

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