The Columbia Gator Club offers a one-time scholarship of $1,000 every year to freshmen entering UF for the Fall semester from the Midlands area.  The number of scholarships awarded in any given year is based on the number of qualified applicants.  The annual deadline is July 1st.


 Read below for an update on Sara Riehm, Fall 2014 Columbia Gator Club scholarship recipient:

Hello fellow members of the Gator Nation!

            My name is Sara Riehm and I was a recent recipient of the Columbia Gator Club scholarship. I just finished up my first year at the wonderful University of Florida. It has been an amazing start to my college education and I would like to share with you some of the experiences I have been lucky enough to have had with the money I received from the scholarship.

            First, I would like to tell you about my sorority. When I chose to attend the University of Florida, I knew that I would be six hours away from all my family and friends. I knew that I would be starting over—not knowing a single person. Luckily, at the beginning of the year, I went through Panhellenic Recruitment and found myself on the lawn of the bright pink Phi Mu house on Bid Day. I am now an initiated member of the sorority and can proudly say that I have made friendships that will last me a lifetime; this sisterhood has truly given me a home away from home.

            Next, I would like to tell you about my academic endeavors. I began the year majoring Microbiology and Cell Science and I earned a 3.44 GPA for my first year at UF. During my second semester, however, I enrolled in a class called Introduction to Human Nutrition and it turned my world upside down. I had found my true passion and immediately began looking into changing my major to Dietetics. I am currently still in the process of switching my major over to Dietetics but I am very excited to see where this new found passion takes me!

            Lastly, I want to discuss another aspect of UF that I have fallen in love with—the athletics. I attended many sporting events for several teams including baseball, gymnastics, and women’s soccer. However, this year I had the opportunity to be a student season ticket holder for the football season. Although the season did not go as well as we might have hoped, being in the Swamp and cheering among fellow Gators was an awe-inspiring. I distinctly remember my eyes welling up with tears of joy and pride when I walked into the stadium for the first time, saw a crowd filled with orange and blue, and heard those magical words come out of the speakers, “only Gators get out alive”. I am so grateful to have attended every single home football game we had this year. After having grown up in Atlanta (Bulldawg Country) and moving to Columbia (Home of the Gamecocks), I have discovered that there simply is no better feeling than watching the Gators and singing “We are the Boys” while swaying along with the rest of the Gator Nation.

I could go on and on about all the wonderful things the University of Florida has to offer—not to mention how beautiful the campus itself is. Even so, attending this university has truly been a blessing for me. The experiences I’ve had my freshman year have taught me so many things about myself and have brought forth goals that I never knew I had. As I close this letter—along with my year—I want to say thank you for donating to the scholarship fund and helping me become part of the Gator Nation. As always, GO GATORS.



Sara Katherine Riehm

University of Florida, Class of 2018