Rho Iota Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. hosted their first annual Dove Lillie L. Hardy Scholarship Gala on Saturday May 14.
Four applicants applied for the scholarship— Raegan Bramlett, Zy’keria Cole, Nakhia Keys, and Joslyn Moore. Raegan Bramlett was announced as the first winner of the Dove Lillie L. Hardy Scholarship and received a $5,000 educational scholarship. All applicants of the scholarship received $500 for participating as the First Dove Lillie Hardy Induction Class.
Each participant was afforded time to read her submitted essay and speak on her personal inspirations and future plans.
The gala featured several guest speakers who shared knowledge with the four scholarship applicants and wished them well on their future endeavors.
The gala also served as a tribute to the namesake of the scholarship, Lillie Hardy, a former administrator for the Simpson County School District. Chapter President Sandrena Durr explained that on August 21, 2021, Rho Iota Zeta Chapter decided to honor their only Dove in the chapter, Lillie Hardy. She explained that a Dove is a person who has been a Zeta for 50 plus years. Hardy was initiated into the sorority in 1966 at Jackson State University.
Durr said the Rho Iota Zeta chapter was honored to created the scholarship in her name and looks forward to giving a $5,000 scholarship to a worthy female participant. She said the scholarship not only celebrates the academic achievements of the participants, but also the legacy of Hardy, who has served many of the Rho Iota Zeta members as a mentor, sister, friend, counselor, listening ear, and problem solver.
Dr. Bernard Mitchell served as guest speaker for the event. During the reflections on Lillie Hardy several distinguished guests spoke of her contributions in different facets of life.
Dr. Dolphus Weary spoke of Hardy’s contributions as a community advocate. Dr. Ruth Bowen, who is a Zeta Diamond Life Member, spoke of Hardy’s contribution to the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and Silvanus P.L. Johnson spoke of her contributions as an educator.
As the evening closed Lillie Hardy thanked everyone for their kind remarks and said she was honored to be a part of the scholarship gala event.