Family endows scholarship to honor daughter

October 4, 2017

For all of her short life Porsha Renee Hatten was a giving child who excelled at academics and giving back to the community.

Now, after her untimely death, her family hopes to honor her memory by providing scholarships to Anderson University students whose work will continue hers.

Hatten’s family announced recently that they will endow the Porsha Renee Hatten Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to support students pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology at Anderson University. The scholarship will be awarded to students from Anderson County who have demonstrated academic potential and financial need. The scholarship will give preference to students who are “high achievers” with a “spirit of determination,” like Hatten herself.

Just before Christmas in 2010, Hatten called her mother to tell her she was going to pick up her diabetes medication. Less than 90 minutes later, as she was driving home, her car crossed the center line of Highway 28 Bypass in Anderson, striking an oncoming car head-on. The Anderson University freshman died as a result. Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said that Hatten had extremely low blood sugar that likely contributed to the accident.

She had turned 19 just the day before.

“She was a loving, sweet child who was very focused and knew what she wanted from life,” said Kimla Hatten, Porsha Hatten’s mother. “She did a lot of work in the community and was always working to help others.”

Porsha Hatten had an impact on those at the university as well.

Dr. Diana Ivankovic, one of Porsha’s professors, agrees that the scholarship is a fitting way to remember her. 

“There was something about her that warmed my heart! That same heart broke when I heard about her death,” Dr. Ivankovic said. “I brought a vase of flowers to class and placed it where she was sitting. Students and I took time to reminisce her beautiful life and pray for this beautiful young lady. She will be deeply missed by me, the faculty and students at Anderson University.”

Pastor Alonzo Sims worked with the Hatten family and Anderson University to create the endowment.

“Porsha was a bright girl at the top of her class,” Sims said. “The family wanted to keep her memory alive and help people as she did during her life. She made such an impact on their lives and on ours. This will help her to continue to do that to students in need.”

Once the endowment reaches $10,000, interest from the fund will provide a scholarship to one student per year at Anderson University.

“The family has gone through depths that I can’t possibly imagine and yet they’ve worked through that to create an opportunity for another student,” said Wayne Landrith, Senior Vice President for Development and Presidential Affairs. “It is a testament to their strength and their loving memory of Porsha.”

Those interested in giving to the endowment should send checks to the University with “Porsha Hatten Scholarship” in the memo line of the check. Contributions can be mailed to Anderson University, Office of Development, 316 Boulevard, Anderson, SC 29621.