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New scholarship pays half tuition for Calhoun County Chamber members, employees

Anniston, Ala. —  Members of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and the executive cabinet from Gadsden State Community College gathered Thursday to announce a new partnership that includes free tuition.

“This partnership with Gadsden State is a great opportunity for our members to expand their education,” said Linda Hearn, executive director of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s exciting to partner together to do great things for our workforce, our members and our citizens.”

Dr. Kathy Murphy, president of Gadsden State, announced that members of the Calhoun Chamber of Commerce and their employees may be eligible for the Buy One Get One Free Scholarship that includes a free course for each paid course at Gadsden State during the Fall Semester, which starts Aug. 21. Registration is open now.

“The College is taking on the cost of up to half of your tuition,” she said. “We are saying to you, ‘Meet us halfway.’”

Corey McWhorter, president of the Calhoun Chamber Board of Directors, said he appreciates the strategic partnership between the College and the Chamber.

“This scholarship program will benefit our community as we develop our workforce for the future,” he said. “This is an example of what can happen when you work together. Our members can expand or even start their education now, which is a great benefit to our region as a whole.”

Murphy said the BOGO Scholarship announcement coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Alabama Community College System.

“On May 3, 1963, legislators created the groundwork for what would become the Alabama Community College System,” she said. “This year and in 2024, we are celebrating this milestone. Chancellor Jimmy Baker challenged us to celebrate in a big way. We are choosing to celebrate with our community by assisting you with tuition and fees. Our institution is making a big commitment to you.”

Murphy said she is proud of Gadsden State’s history, which started in 1925 with the Alabama School of Trades. One of the College’s five campuses is the Ayers Campus in Anniston.

“We are delighted to be a part of this area,” she said. “We are encouraging Calhoun Chamber members and their employees to consider taking advantage of this program. We often think about high school students becoming college students but, at Gadsden State, we know we have a lot of capable adult learners who would like to continue their education. Now is the time to take the courses you have been putting off.”

Murphy was joined by McWhorter to sign a Memorandum of Understanding detailing the BOGO Scholarship.

“This is our gift to you,” she said. “I ask you to encourage people in this community to receive this gift.”

Other MOU signings also took place earlier this month with The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah and the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce.


  • Must be a full- or part-time employee of The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce or the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce or an employee of a chamber member
  • Covers Fall Semester 2023 with the option to continue the program through the Spring Semester 2024 if deemed successful by the College or partner chambers
  • Can be used for programs resulting in a certificate or an associate degree
  • Must be in good academic standing with any previously-attended college
  • Must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to remain eligible for scholarship


  1. Request a letter from their employer, on company letterhead, that contains:
    • Re: GSCC / Chamber Scholarship
    • Employee’s Name
    • Gadsden State Student ID Number (if known)
    • Company Name
    • Verification of Current Employment
  2. Apply for admission to Gadsden State (if not already a student)
  3. Register for classes for the upcoming semester
  4. A form that can be obtained on OneACCS from the Gadsden State website must be submitted. A link is also provided on The form requires an attached letter from the employer and a class schedule. Students must be registered for classes before submitting the form so that BOGO funds may be applied appropriately.


  • BOGO Scholarship cannot be combined with any other institutional aid, tuition discounts or specialized package pricing due to other MOUs.
  • Books, fees and other costs associated with the free course are the responsibility of the employee.
  • The scholarship is not retroactive.
  • Gadsden State and each Chamber partner will monitor the performance of the BOGO Scholarship Program and revise as necessary.
  • Representatives from the College and each Chamber will meet at least, but not limited to, once per semester. These meetings will serve to discuss and agree upon any proposed changes, problems or items that need to be updated or corrected.
  • Each involved party reserves the right to terminate the program upon reasonable notice.
  • The public will be notified of any changes to the BOGO Scholarship Program

Questions about the BOGO Scholarship? Email

Dr. Kathy Murphy, right, president of Gadsden State, looks on as Corey McWhorter, president of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, signs the MOU for the BOGO Scholarship

Dr. Kathy Murphy, right, president of Gadsden State, looks on as Corey McWhorter, president of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, signs the MOU for the BOGO Scholarship.