Synovus Financial Corp, a financial services company based in Columbus, Georgia, has gifted $1 million to UNCF (United Negro College Fund) for the establishment of The Synovus/Calvin Smyre Scholarship Fund.

Synovus provides commercial and retail banking, investment, and mortgage services through 294 branches in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee.

The fund will provide scholarships for African American students to attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other institutions of higher education in Synovus’ five-state footprint.
Synovus chairman and chief executive Kessel D. Stelling said: “Our country has been bluntly reminded of the work that remains to ensure equal opportunities and to address persistent racial and educational inequalities. Synovus is deeply committed to taking action, and we’re proud to support UNCF and its vital work to close these gaps through education.

“We also couldn’t be more pleased to honour the legacy of our friend Calvin Smyre, who has dedicated his life to public service for the people of Columbus and the entire state of Georgia. Calvin represents the best of the banking industry and Synovus and is the epitome of HBCU excellence.”

A Columbus native, Smyre represents Columbus-Muscogee County in the Georgia House of Representatives. He was elected in 1974 and, as a 46-year veteran, is the longest-serving member of the Georgia General Assembly. Smyre joined Synovus in 1976 as a management trainee and retired in 2014 as executive vice-president of corporate affairs.

Date published: 5 August 2020

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