Exactly twenty years ago this month, the Georgia Lottery funded HOPE Scholarship program began, which allows students to attend state colleges and universities tuition free.
Created by then Governor Zell Miller, the program has distributed more than fourteen billion dollars in education funding, for college students and for the state’s Pre-K program.
An emotional Miller recalled how his mother would say “you get to go anywhere in the world”, and how that stuck with him his whole life.
“It took me to that office that the governor talked about , it took me there more than once, it took me to the national capital in Washington, and it take me everywhere I could go in this world”, said Miller.
Although it has been scaled back in some recent years, HOPE makes it possible for many students to attend college, who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
In a rare public appearance at the University of Georgia, Miller thanked a room full of family member and former staffers who were honoring him.
“I want you to know how much I appreciate you coming out, how much you coming and being with me here today, and how much you know this means to me, Shirley, and our family”, expressed Miller.
Governor Nathan Deal proclaimed yesterday “Zell Miller Day” in the state of Georgia.