At a recent Student Award Ceremony, the Belmont University Department of Social Work awarded the first DeEbony Groves Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship, renamed in May 2018 in honor of late student DeEbony Groves, is awarded to a social work student who “values diversity, upholds the spirit of inclusion and allied-ship.” Groves, a Belmont social work major, was killed one year ago today in a shooting at an Antioch Waffle House.
Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger, professor and chair of the Department of Social Work, opened the ceremony and began by speaking about the legacy Groves left at Belmont. “She shaped us because she was a part of our community,” Sullenberger said, continuing to say that diversity, inclusion and social justice were characteristics important to Groves. Sullenberger also noted how Groves didn’t call people out in situations but instead worked to “call people in” in her own way.
The recipient of the DeEbony Groves Diversity Scholarship this year is Hayden MacMath, a sophomore social work major. MacMath said he was “honored and humbled to accept this scholarship, because in a perfect world it wouldn’t exist.” He placed emphasis on his commitment to diversity and his passion for helping others. MacMath also said “I am committing everything about who I am to honor DeEbony.”
The ceremony continued with the senior social work cohort presenting a gift to Groves’ family who were in attendance. NewsChannel5 covered the event and scholarship presentation.
DeEbony Groves was loved by many faculty, staff, friends, sorority sisters and family members, and she is greatly missed. Following a request from her sorority sisters who were seeking a way to honor her memory, Belmont renamed a scholarship in her honor, and this scholarship that will provide financial support and encouragement to generations of social work majors at Belmont University. Individuals wishing to make a memorial gift to the scholarship can do so on this website.