William “Dink” H. NeSmith, Jr. (ABJ ’70) is one of the most passionate Bulldogs you will meet. A 1970 graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, NeSmith is co-owner and publisher of Athens-based Community Newspaper, Inc., which publishes dozens of newspapers in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. As if his professional responsibilities didn’t keep him busy enough, NeSmith, a self-admitted “joiner,” has dedicated as much (if not more) of his free time to higher education.The list of his past university volunteer roles is unparalleled:
- chairman of Grady's advisory board and president of its alumni board;
- chairman of the board of directors of the Fanning Leadership Institute;
- chairman of the Richard B. Russell Foundation;
- member of the Athletic Association Board of Directors; and
- trustee of the UGA Foundation
In addition, NeSmith is a past president of the UGA Alumni Association and served from 2003 to 2005. He could always be counted on to support his alma mater, and his leadership was surely a factor in UGA’s rise to a top 20 public institution of higher education.
In 2008, Gov. Sonny Perdue asked NeSmith to join the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. Five years later, he was serving as chairman of the 18-person governing board for USG. Only the third Athenian to fill this position, NeSmith recently concluded his term as chairman.
Reflecting on a lifetime of professional and philanthropic endeavors, NeSmith recently penned a short piece about his readiness to enjoy his greatest accomplishment: his family. The alumnus is surrounded by an ever-growing swath of Bulldog Faithful: his wife, Pam (BSHE ’71); three children, Alan (BSA ’04), Emily (AB ’99) and Eric (ABJ ’02); and seven grandsons. Upon the birth of each grandchild, NeSmith proudly gave them each a lifetime membership with the UGA Alumni Association. Although the Alumni Association is no longer dues-based, the NeSmith family boasts an impressive 15 lifetime members!
Read more about NeSmith’s transition to “grandpa time” here. This is one alumnus who has certainly earned the right to hang his “Gone Fishing” sign on the door. Thank you for your continued support, Dink, and your fine leadership in many areas across campus and the state.
Dink NeSmith is a regular contributor to the Athens Banner-Herald; read more of his pieces here.
McCall Wilder (ABJ '92) was having trouble locating the perfect outfit for her first baby's Christening. After an usuccessful search, the alumna decided to take matters into her own hands and create her own elegant and timeless clothing pieces for children. And so, in 2001, McCall Wilder Designs was established.
Wilder grew up in Athens with dreams of designing and pursuing journalism. She attended Hollins College in Virginia before transferring to UGA to study broadcast news in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. After graduating, Wilder interned and worked for CNN in Atlanta, taking part in the launch of CNN.com, the Internet’s first news site. She remained at CNN as a writer and producer until 1999.
Wilder’s “Baby McCall line” of heirloom gowns and special occasion outfits was only available by appointment until May 2008, when the first McCall Wilder Couture for Children Boutique & Atelier opened in the heart of Atlanta. The Baby McCall and McCall Wilder Designs lines now include more than 50 different styles, from crib bedding to dresses for teens and women.
Congratulations on your successful business venture, McCall. Your clothes and other products are simply beautiful.
Stay up-to-date on news and design ideas through the McCall Wilder Designs Facebook page.
Above is an illustration of UGA-1785, the first star system to be named after a university.
Roger Hunter (BS ’78) is hoping to answer one of humanity’s greatest questions: can life exist on other planets? Hunter and the NASA Kepler team aim to expand the census of planets and alter our understanding of our place in the Milky Way galaxy. In the five years the Kepler telescope has been in orbit, the team has confirmed 961 additional planets in our solar system.
Hunter has kept a strong relationship with the university over the years. While many Bulldogs show their Georgia pride with car tags and coffee mugs, Hunter honored his alma mater by naming a planetary system UGA-1785.
This year, the Kepler team was awarded with the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy by the National Space Club. The award is given annually to those who have made the most impact on space activities.
Congratulations on the award, Roger! We cannot wait to see what you and your team will find!
Did you know that UGA’s first donation was 633 acres of land from John Milledge? This land later became the site of our beloved University of Georgia. To celebrate private donations, the Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship, in partnership with the Student Alumni Council, is hosting the third annual Thank a Donor Day today from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Tate Student Center Plaza. During this annual event, students will have the opportunity to express their donor appreciation in a variety of ways.
Students are invited to write personalized thank you notes, sign a large thank you card and/or create video and photo messages of gratitude. These messages will be combined and shared in the coming weeks with donors near and far (click here to view last year's video). UGA "student celebrities" will be part of the event, too! Expect to see "Big Man on Campus" Rance Nix, Miss UGA Adeline Kenerly, the UGA Ballroom Performance Group, Hairy Dawg and more.
Thank a Donor Day educates the UGA community about the importance of private giving and offers students opportunities to thank donors for their generosity and encourage a culture of philanthropy at UGA.
Follow along with the day's activities via the Thank a Donor Day Instagram account, Facebook page and Twitter handle. Students, be sure to stop by to express your gratitude - and receive some free giveaways. See you there!
Update: Click here to view photos from this year's Thank a Donor Day!
The 2014 UGA Day Tour is launching tomorrow with its first stop in Greenville, S.C. For the past three years, the UGA Day Tour has brought administrators and coaches to more than 26 cities across the country. This year's stops include: Greenville, S.C.; Gainesville, Ga.; Dalton, Ga.; Orlando, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Albany, Ga.; Houston, Texas; Tifton, Ga.; Augusta, Ga.; Columbus, Ga.; Macon, Ga.; and Gwinnett County, Ga. Will YOU be there to join in the fun?
Each stop on the tour will feature one administrator and two athletic coaches. The program includes updates on UGA's latest research initiatives, athletic teams and the Class of 2018. On top of that, attendees will enjoy delicious food in each city and enjoy the opportunity to mix and mingle will fellow Bulldog Faithful.
Put on your red and black and practice your Dawg bark because, in the next few weeks, UGA will be coming to a city near you. It’s not too late to join the tradition; click here for more information about each stop on the tour.
The UGA Day program is a collaboration between the UGA Alumni Association and UGA Athletic Association.