Robert & Diane Ernst Endow Scholarship for Veterinary Technology Students at Ogeechee Technical College

Posted on Jun 10, 2024 at 15:07 PM

Vet Tech Student Looks through MicroscopeThe Ogeechee Technical College Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the Robert & Diane Ernst Endowed Scholarship for students pursuing an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Veterinary Technology. This generous endowment, totaling $56,000, will support students by providing two annual scholarships of at least $1,000 each over the next three years and creating a lasting legacy through a permanent endowment.

“The Ogeechee Technical College Foundation is immensely grateful for the Ernsts’ generosity and commitment to higher education,” said Larry Mays, VP for College Advancement. “Their endowment will not only alleviate financial burdens for Veterinary Technology students but also inspire future generations to pursue their passion for veterinary care.”

Dr. Bob Ernst, first president of Ogeechee Technical College and microbiology professor, and his wife, Diane Ernst, a seasoned nurse and educator, have a deep connection to Ogeechee Technical College and the Statesboro community. Their careers have been marked by a commitment to education and public service, which they continue to demonstrate through this endowment.

Lori Durden, Dr. Robert Ernst, and Diane Ernst“We were impressed by the Veterinary Technology program at Ogeechee Tech,” said Dr. Bob Ernst. “Having had Schnauzers for 32 years, we wanted to support a program that aligns with our love for animals and contributes to the education of future veterinary professionals.”

The endowment will be administered by the Ogeechee Technical College Foundation, with recipients selected based on academic merit and commitment to the field. Students must be in good standing, enrolled full-time in the Veterinary Technology AAS program courses with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.

“We saw a need for more support for the Vet Tech students,” Diane Ernst explained. “We looked at various programs and felt that our contribution could make a significant impact in this area. Plus, our first dog was from Statesboro, which adds a personal touch to our decision.”

During a recent interview, Dr. Bob and Diane Ernst shared fond memories of their time in Statesboro and their vision for the scholarship. Dr. Bob Ernst reminisced, “The community was incredibly welcoming. The people we met, like Robert Cox and Arnold Ray, and colleagues such as Clem Raith, my first board chair, and Nick Henry, then president of Georgia Southern, made our time there special. We had great relationships, and I always felt the college was on a good path.”

The Ernsts’ visit to the campus recently further solidified their decision to contribute. “The progress and growth at Ogeechee Tech are phenomenal,” Dr. Bob Ernst said. “Seeing the beautiful campus and the advancements made since my presidency was like coming home. President Durden, the VP’s, and everyone were so welcoming.”

For more information about the Robert & Diane Ernst Endowed Scholarship or to make a contribution, please contact the Ogeechee Technical College Foundation at (912) 688-6098 or visit

About Ogeechee Technical College:

Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia. OTC provides studentā€centered academic and occupational programs and support services at the associate degree, diploma, and certificate levels. OTC utilizes traditional and distance education methodologies in state-of-the-art facilities while supporting adult education, continuing education, and customized business and industry workforce training. Visit for more information.

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