Established scholarship for Kennesaw State Health Promotion major

KENNESAW, Georgia (February 24, 2022) — Throughout his life, Jeff Pruitt, a graduate of Kennesaw State University, sought to lend a hand where he could. With that in mind, Pruitt’s widow, Carla, thought the best way to establish his legacy would be through an endowed scholarship to the Kennesaw State Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education.

Jeff Pruit

“Jeff and I dated while we were dating Kennesaw State, and we always talked about giving back,” Carla Pruitt said. “He took his career as an assistant seriously, and when he died, creating a scholarship seemed like the perfect way to celebrate our alma mater.”

Carla solicited donations to create the Jeff Pruitt Inspirational Endowed Scholarship after his death in July 2020 at the age of 56. Funded in part by these donations, the endowment exceeds $25,000 and is administered by the KSU Foundation.

Carla Pruitt said the scholarship is for a Health and Physical Education (HPE) major with demonstrated financial need, which perfectly describes working students.

“Because he was working while going to school, Jeff wanted to help students like him,” Carla said. “The fact that KSU offers programs specifically for non-traditional students makes this an even more appropriate scholarship.”

Pruitt began working at the Roswell Recreation and Parks Department at age 15, keeping scores and officiating games, among other duties. Carla Pruitt said he realized early on that he wanted a career in community recreation, but his supervisor at Roswell insisted that Jeff graduate from college.

Jeff continued to work with Roswell Recreation and Parks while attending KSU, where he served as President of the HPE Student Club. Within days of graduating from high school, Jeff began working full-time at Roswell Recreation and Parks, where he progressed rapidly, spending more than three decades with the organization. He served as assistant director for eight years until his death and was posthumously inducted into the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Hall of Fame.

“Jeff was an institution in Roswell, and he never met a stranger,” Carla said. “He was always looking for the best way to improve recreation for everyone and was involved with the city in so many ways.”

Left to right: Brian Culp, Chair, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education; Ansley (Pruitt) Denn; Carla Pruitt; Addison Pruitt; Monica Swahn, Dean of Wellstar College

This is the first endowed scholarship designated for the HPE program, and acting department chair Brian Culp said it will go a long way in helping the program grow.

“More healthcare professionals who can improve the lifestyle of citizens through recreation and play are needed, and our program fills that need,” Culp said. “Kennesaw State has a chance to be a leader in this area, so these fellows can become the recreation experts of the future.”

–Dave Shelles
Photo by Dedra Waidi

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global connections, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated (R2) doctoral research institution, placing it among an elite group of only 6% of US colleges and universities with R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit

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