Father’s gift fulfills a promise to fund his daughter’s first college degree

Brin Carson Family Grad 17Brin Carson GI grad 17 kissSAVANNAH – Brin Carson became the first person in her family to earn a college degree thanks to a gift from her father, Richard, when he signed over his Post-9/11 GI Bill to fund her instruction at Savannah Technical College.

Education has always been important to Richard Carson. He promised his two daughters that he would finance their first degree to help keep them debt free. “Dad says, ‘They can take away everything – your property and your possessions, but they can never take away your education,’” according to Brin.

Sergeant first class (E7) Richard Carson has served 21 years with the U.S. Army National Guard. He currently works with the Georgia Army National Guard as a platoon sergeant at Fort Stewart and is in charge of soldiers, training and equipment for his platoon. He was part of the initial group deployed from the Florida Army National Guard in Iraq to earn a combat infantry badge.

Richard says Brin’s accomplishment is a promise fulfilled. “I’m so proud of her. She stuck with it and proved who she was. Even though she had obstacles, she never quit and completed her degree,” he said.

Brin earned an associate degree in Historic Preservation at Savannah Technical College, walking across the Johnny Mercer Theater stage with 300 other graduates on June 15.

“I’m extremely grateful to my dad for pushing me,” she said. “I knew I could do it, but he was my go-to for drive. I felt like I needed to fulfill my promise for what he’s been through and sacrificed. This was the greatest gift he could have given me.”

Brin says her dad missed a lot of family celebrations with his military service. “My dad tells me all the time that he was glad he did it and would do it all again just so I could graduate and get a college degree.”

She selected Historic Preservation because she loved history and did well with it in high school. On the first day in class, she discovered it was the opposite of what she expected and fell in love with historic preservation. While she thought it would be a class with textbooks and research, she learned how to repair and restore in multiple areas. She enjoys working with stained glass and blacksmithing, but says her forte is research, evaluation and documentation.

As a student she volunteered with the Georgia Historical Society, conducting field observation for historical markers in Chatham County, which used her research and documentation skills.

“Brin has shown a strong commitment to fulfilling her obligations to her family, her work, and her schooling,” said STC Historic Preservation Department Head Benjamin Curran. “Throughout her time in the Historic Preservation program she has maintained a high level of enthusiasm and engagement.”

She was one of three students who presented at the 2017 Georgia State Preservation Conference. The student’s presentation was titled Forging New Skills: The Design and Fabrication of the Historic Marker Collar Replacement Bracket. Students talked about the design process, the 3D scanning and printing of the prototypes, the construction of the furnace for melting aluminum, the mold fabrication, and casting.

Brin plans to start working immediately to earn additional funds to continue her education. She has found a connection with nature conservation and historic preservation and would like to earn a biology degree from the University of Florida.

Richard knew he could not require his daughters to earn a college education without completing his own degree. He is on schedule to complete an associate degree in May 2018 through American Military University and maintains a 3.94 GPA. “I wanted to show my daughters how important it was to me,” he said. “It wasn’t important to my family when I was a child, and I’ve seen how important it is in life. I wanted to provide a college education for my family.”

As the only public hands-on Historic Preservation program in Georgia, Savannah Technical College has led the way in preservation education. The program has gained international recognition and has contributed to a number of community-based preservation projects in the surrounding communities. Established in 2014, the Center for Traditional Craft is organized in three distinct but intertwined components; education, research, and community outreach. For more information visit:

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#1748 | June 16, 2017
Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
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Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (