Four women outside in masks turn to applaud a fifth behind them.
The Baxter-Bryan finalists applaud Haley Bartoletta as she is named the Baxter-Bryan Scholarship recipient.

Haley Bartoletta awarded 2021-22 Baxter-Bryan Scholarship

Apr 14, 2021
Kathryne Davis
The Baxter-Bryan Scholarship finalists outside in masks hold their certificates.
Left to right: Rebecca McDaniel, Daphne Ramirez, Haley Bartoletta, Emily Ashmead and Annabelle Lee

Haley Bartoletta shook with excitement after finding out she was the 2021-22 recipient of the Baxter-Bryan Scholarship, Brenau University’s highest academic honor.

“I’ve been going here for four years, and every year that I’ve been here, I’ve grown to love the community more and more,” Bartoletta said. “To be in this position where I get recognition for my hard work and to be among such deserving candidates as well, it’s amazing. And I’m very honored to be here.”

The mass communication major from Jefferson, Georgia, was among five students from The Women’s College of Brenau University who were nominated for the award. The scholarship, which covers tuition, room and board for the student’s senior year, has been awarded for 32 years. It was established by Joe W. Baxter, who named the scholarship for his sister, Carfax Baxter, and friend, Morris Bryan Jr. Normally announced during the spring Honors Convocation, this year the finalists gathered on Brenau’s Front Lawn to hear their names called.

“I’ve dedicated so much time to all my studies, but I never thought that I would be nominated,” Bartoletta said. “When I first found out I was nominated, I was shocked. I work hard in all my classes. I love the Brenau community. I feel like I portray that every day. It’s one of those things when you’re actually recognized for it, it’s like, wow, somebody else notices that, too.”

Daphne Ramirez, biology major from Covington, Georgia, was the Baxter-Bryan runner-up and winner of the Sidney O. Smith Scholarship. The scholarship is named after the former Brenau trustee and U.S. district judge. Smith was the fourth generation of his family to serve on the leadership board of the institution and remained an active member until his death in 2012. Brenau’s graduate school is also named in his honor.

Women outside in masks watching intently.
The five Baxter-Bryan finalists await the results.

“It’s really an honor to receive this scholarship,” Ramirez said. “I love Brenau and everything about it. Being able to represent Brenau through a scholarship and through a nomination is just really telling about how Brenau treats its students. I’m blessed to have received this scholarship, and it made me feel really special to know that the faculty at Brenau is recognizing me.”

The three other Baxter-Bryan finalists were Annabelle Lee, finance major from Suwanee, Georgia; Emily Ashmead, theatre major from Duluth, Georgia; and Rebecca McDaniel, middle grades education major from Leesburg, Georgia. Each will receive the Provost Scholarship.

Other than their academic achievements, the finalists are very involved on campus. Nominees participate in athletics, Greek life, student government association, and the peer assistant and international ambassador programs, among other activities.

“As it is every year, it’s such a difficult choice,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jim Eck to the finalists. “All the finalists are deserving of the Baxter-Bryan Scholarship. You have all led with distinction and reflect the quality of students that attend Brenau.”