Serving With Purpose
As the first student-athlete to receive the Presidential Scholarship, beach volleyball player Bailey Hatchett (B.B.A., B.A. ’22) is a powerhouse on the sand and in the classroom.
Volleyball is a family tradition for Bailey Hatchett. Her mother played indoor and beach volleyball professionally after a collegiate career at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her aunt played at the University of Southern California.
At 6-feet, 2-inches, Hatchett caught the eye of Georgia State beach volleyball coach Beth Van Fleet (B.B.A. ’99, MBA ’19) during her senior year of high school and was offered a scholarship to join the Sandy Panthers for the 2019 season.
But after applying for the university’s Presidential Scholarship, Hatchett’s path to Georgia State changed.
She is the first student-athlete to be awarded the most prestigious academic scholarship at the university, one of just eight Presidential Scholars named in the class of 2022. Receiving the scholarship meant a new set of responsibilities on top of her athletic ones, and a new set of opportunities for service, mentoring, research and community engagement.
But keeping a busy schedule is nothing new for Hatchett, who is pursuing a double major in finance and Spanish. While still in high school in Winston-Salem, N.C., Hatchett had already begun successfully balancing academics, athletics and altruism, often joining her mother and grandmother to mentor students in need.
Hatchett earned All-Conference honors and led her high school team to the state semifinals in each of her final three seasons.
Once at Georgia State, Hatchett created her own opportunities to continue serving youth. By developing a partnership between the Honors College and the Athletics Department, Hatchett has gotten teammates involved in local elementary schools as mentors and tutors.
“Serving the community is the most important thing to Bailey,” Van Fleet said. “Where she finds time to do it is beyond me.”
In her two and a half years at Georgia State, Hatchett has been on the president’s list three times and dean’s list twice for her academic performance.
She’s made a mark in the sand as well, with a March 2020 honor as an Institute for Sport & Social Justice PlayMaker of the Month. A month later, she was named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar by the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
As the 2021 season was getting underway, Hatchett said she was looking forward to the excitement and challenges it would bring.
“It really pushes us to manage our time because we’re traveling a lot, but it’s a lot of fun,” she said.
Top Photo by Carolyn Richardson; Inset Photo courtesy of Georgia State Athletics