Juli Clay, left, assistant vice president for executive graduate programs at Brenau, and Laura Hylton, office manager for the Child Development Center at Brenau, celebrate at the finish line of the Dempsey Dash 5K on Saturday, March 9. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Juli Clay, left, assistant vice president for executive graduate programs at Brenau, and Laura Hylton, office manager for the Child Development Center at Brenau, celebrate at the finish line of the Dempsey Dash 5K on Saturday, March 9. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Third annual Dempsey Dash 5K draws more than 180 registered runners

Mar. 11, 2019
Kristen Bowman
Wright Dempsey, son of the late Brenau CFO Wayne Dempsey, runs the Dempsey Dash 5K named for his father at Brenau University on Saturday, March 9. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Wright Dempsey, son of the late Brenau CFO Wayne Dempsey, runs the Dempsey Dash 5K named for his father at Brenau University on Saturday, March 9. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Despite storms in the forecast, the third annual Dempsey Dash 5K and Fun Run went off without a hitch on Saturday, March 9, at Brenau University.

The event celebrates the memory of Brenau’s long-time executive vice president and CFO, Wayne Dempsey, who died May 2, 2014, at 65. For the first time this year it was a Peachtree Road Race qualifier, and it included a 1K fun run. Participation has increased over the three years of the event, with more than 180 runners registered this year, 20 of which were university employees.

Proceeds from the race 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.

Maddox Dempsey, grandson of the late Brenau CFO Wayne Dempsey, runs the Dempsey Dash 5K named for his grandfather at Brenau University on Saturday, March 9. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Maddox Dempsey, grandson of the late Brenau CFO Wayne Dempsey, runs the Dempsey Dash Fun Run named for his grandfather at Brenau University on Saturday, March 9. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

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. Although 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.

But Dempsey’s legacy at Brenau is greater even than the campuses he left behind. His great love of music and his cheerfulness, even to the end, is remembered. His friends at Brenau aspire to honor Dempsey with the annual Dempsey Dash 5K.

To view even more images from the 2019 Dempsey Dash, go to brenau.photoshelter.com/gallery/Dempsey-Dash-2019/G0000rCWM4OOSCW4/0/C0000Pyoz0T7lT.M.

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