Wayne Dempsey

Brenau Hosts First Dempsey Dash 5K Honoring Late Executive Vice President

Feb 15, 2017
Kristen Bowman

Saturday, March 11, Brenau University will host the inaugural Dempsey Dash 5K celebrating the memory of the university’s long-time Executive Vice President and CFO Wayne Dempsey, who died May 2, 2014.

The race, open to all runners, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the Brenau Amphitheatre, located at 102 Prior St. in Gainesville. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m.

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. He came to Brenau in 2005 with the university’s new president, Ed Schrader, his former boss at Shorter University in his hometown. 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.

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. It also grew its footprint in Gainesville with Brenau East Campus at Featherbone Communiversity and the Brenau Downtown Center.

However, 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.

For more information and a link to online registration, go to brenau.edu/dempsey-dash or contact Kristen Oliver in the Office of Communications & Publications at koliver1@brenau.edu.