Aug 18, 2021 | Atlanta, GA
The Goldia Mae Burchfield Memorial Scholarship is open for contributions again this year. It was established last year to support students in pursuit of their undergraduate degree. Ms. Burchfield, mother to Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Financial Manager, Gay Burchfield, died of COVID-19 on June 8th, 2020, at the age of 80, in Starkville, Mississippi. She lived a life of service to those in her community, with a particular emphasis on education.
The Burchfield family selected sophomore Catherine Shamanski in the College of Psychology to receive a $200 scholarship. Shamanski will serve as a Team Leader in a section of the GT-1000 class, helping incoming first year students to find their footing on campus.
Ms. Goldia was years ahead of her time. During the segregation era, her family moved from rural Mississippi to a larger town where she could pursue her high school education, which she completed in 1958. She wanted to join the military only to discover that women of color were not eligible to serve. She worked as a part-time custodian in a local bank for 35 years, as well as numerous odd jobs to care for her family and her community. She and her husband had several small businesses in their hometown, one of which was “Burchfield Recreation,” aka “The Pool Hall.” The pool hall also served as an ad-hoc after-school care for many families with working parents. Ms. Goldia provided meals, advice, and discipline, sometimes working extra odd jobs to finance those additional expenses. She would also put together care packages with stipends for the young people of her community who were college bound. If asked what her greatest achievements were, she would say that she was a great mom, provided free meals to many, greeted everyone with a heartfelt smile, and genuinely cared for everyone she encountered.
Donations by check should be made payable to the Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc., with "Goldia Mae Burchfield Memorial Scholarship" noted on the check or in a separate note, and should be mailed to: Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc., 760 Spring Street, NW, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30308.
On-line gifts can be made at https://development.gatech.edu, using the ‘GIVE NOW’ button and following directions provided. In the ‘Other Designation’ box, enter “Goldia Mae Burchfield Memorial Scholarship.” Each donor will be acknowledged by the Georgia Tech Foundation, and a list of all donors will be shared with the Burchfield family.