Event Details

  • Saturday, March 9, 2019
  • 8-8:45 a.m. registration
    9-11 a.m. Dempsey Dash 5k Run
  • Brenau University Amphitheatre
    102 Prior Street
    Gainesville, Georgia
Dempsey Dash Route Map



Wayne Dempsey
The Dempsey Dash celebrates the memory of Brenau’s long-time executive vice president and CFO, Wayne Dempsey, who died May 2, 2014, at 65.

Proceeds benefit the Wayne W. Dempsey Endowed Scholarship Fund, established to provide assistance for students seeking a better life through a Brenau education in the College of Education or the College of Health Sciences.

Dempsey was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, where he met his wife Marsha, and came to Brenau in 2005 with the university’s new president, Ed Schrader. He worked with Schrader previously at Shorter University, where trustees and faculty thought so much of him that they gave him an honorary degree.

The Dempsey SteinwayAlthough he was a science teacher early in his career, Dempsey’s forte became institutional management, and Schrader credits Dempsey for putting Brenau’s financial house in order. As the duo joined Brenau shortly before the ensuing economic crisis now known as the Great Recession, Women’s College enrollment was dropping and Dempsey’s financial expertise was greatly needed.

His focus on decreased spending, cash flow and a developed endowment formula allowed the Women’s College enrollment to skyrocket despite the challenging financial times. The financial stability he afforded Brenau allowed the university to expand its Augusta and North Atlanta campuses and to open a new campus in Fairburn in 2009. As well as its footprint in Gainesville with Brenau East Campus at Featherbone Communiversity and the Brenau Downtown Center.

Wayne Dempsey gives Ben Leaptrott a thumbs up in front of the Dempsey Steinway

Wayne Dempsey gives Ben Leaptrott a thumbs up in front of the Dempsey Steinway.

But Dempsey’s legacy at Brenau is greater even than the campuses he left behind. His cheerfulness, even to the end, is remembered. So, too, is his passion for fried chicken. He rarely missed a “Fried Chicken Wednesday” in the campus dining hall. His great love of music – which he expressed by using his polished singing voice and talent with orchestral instruments – led him to create the ongoing All-Steinway program, an endeavor to raise money to replace Brenau’s aged collection of pianos with fine Steinways.

His friends at Brenau aspire to honor Dempsey with the annual Dempsey Dash 5K. Opportunities for sponsorship are available, and all proceeds will go toward the scholarship fund created in his memory.

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100