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“Big Man on Campus” turns 90
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A Bulldog Love Story
The University of Georgia will celebrate a milestone in desegregation when it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the graduation of Mary Frances Early '62, the first African American to earn a degree from UGA, in a ceremony Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. in the university's Fine Arts Building. Highlights will include remarks from Early and several UGA dignitaries, musical performances from UGA students and a keynote address from civil rights pioneer Lonnie C. King Jr.
A native of Atlanta, Early earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Clark Atlanta University in 1957 and had started postgraduate work at the University of Michigan when she transferred to UGA to complete her studies in the summer of 1961. Earlier that year, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes became the first African-American students to enroll at UGA. On Aug. 16, 1962, Early received her master's degree in music education, and in 1967, she earned a specialist in education degree from UGA, also in music education.
Her experiences at UGA contributed to her extensive career in music and education. She was a music teacher, a planning and development coordinator, an elementary division curriculum specialist and a music resource teacher at various schools in Atlanta. In addition, she worked as an adjunct professor at Morehouse and Spelman colleges and as a music coordinator and supervisor for the Atlanta Public Schools. She became the first African-American president of the Georgia Music Educators Association in 1981.
Most recently, Early served as music department head at Clark Atlanta University.
Early's many awards include the STAR Teacher Award, Coan Middle School, 1972; Benjamin E. Mays Black Music Heritage Award, 1995; UGA Outstanding Alumna Award, 2000; and the UGA Foot Soldier for Equal Justice Award, 2011.
Highlighting the 50th anniversary celebration will be a keynote address by King, who is considered one of the icons in the Atlanta civil rights movement. At age 24, King, along with fellow students Julian Bond, Herschelle Sullivan, Carolyn Long, Frank Smith, Joseph Pierce and others authored "An Appeal for Human Rights," which was published on March 9, 1960, as an advertisement in various Atlanta-area newspapers. The subsequent Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights, which King chaired, took the lead in initiating the Atlanta Student Civil Rights Movement, beginning with sit-ins in Atlanta-area racially segregated establishments.
King has remained involved in the cause of desegregation and human rights, serving as the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Atlanta from 1969-1973. During his professional career, he worked in a number of equal employment opportunity positions within the federal government, including the U.S. Department of the Interior, as well as in private firms. Later, he served as a high school teacher and adjunct professor of history and African-American history in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., and Atlanta.
At the event, UGA President Michael F. Adams will present a proclamation in recognition of Early and the 50th anniversary.
Maurice Daniels, dean of the UGA School of Social Work, will address the historical significance of Early's graduation on the civil rights movement. Daniels, a social work professor and author, is the senior researcher and executive producer of the Donald L. Hollowell: Foot Soldier for Equal Justice documentary and executive producer of four critically acclaimed public television documentaries on the subject of desegregation.
Other highlights of the program include presentations by the UGA College of Education, the Graduate School, the School of Social Work and the Alumni Association. UGA students will perform musical selections, and Early will deliver closing remarks. A reception will immediately follow the program.
The UGA Office of Institutional Diversity is coordinating the event. Co-sponsors, along with the Office of Institutional Diversity, are the Office of the President, the School of Social Work, the College of Education and the Graduate School.
I salute the pioneering efforts of Mary Frances Early and express my deepest gratitude for her milestone contribution to progress at the University. I am also proud of how well she has demonstrated the excellence of UGA alumni through her exceptional teaching career. We look forward to celebrating this esteemed alumna and her many accomplishments!
For more information on Mary Frances Early, see the following UGA sites: Unsung Foot Soldiers, http://www.footsoldier.uga.edu/foot_soldiers/early.html; The Graduate School, http://www.grad.uga.edu/mfe-lecture/index.html; and Living/Oral History http://uga.edu/livinghistory/feature/mary-frances-early/.
Former UGA Gymdog, Marcia Newby-Goodman (BSA ’10), was recently named co-valedictorian of the University of Texas Medical Branch Class of 2015.
Marcia always knew she'd pursue a career in medicine. Despite battling a chronic ankle injury during her senior year at UGA, Marcia achieved momentous athletic and academic success at UGA. Between balancing two three-hour MCAT courses a week, rigorous gymnastics training, and classes, Marcia devoted her spare time to serving the greater Athens-Clarke community.
Her efforts at UGA won her numerous awards and accolades—including the prestigious NCAA TOP VIII Award, which is presented annually to eight outstanding student-athletes across the nation and recognizes outstanding athletic, academic, community service and leadership accomplishments.
As a recent medical school graduate, she hopes to combine her passion for sports, medicine and service to open an adolescent and young adult sports medicine clinic.
The UGA Alumni Association’s strategic communications intern, Lauren Steffes ’15, had the opportunity to catch up with this outstanding alumna:
What is your favorite UGA memory?
My favorite memory as a student was when my roommates and I would have random dance parties in our dorm. They were always fun because we would act silly and just do crazy things. These random dance parties always seemed to occur around finals because we never wanted to study!
How did UGA help you achieve your goals – both professionally and athletically?
UGA definitely helped prepare me academically for medical school. Since UGA had a tough curriculum, I was able to develop efficient studying skills that allowed me to complete my medical school work but still have time to hang with friends to minimize stress levels. This was a great skill because it ensured a smoooth transition to medical school.
Athletically, UGA (specifically Coach Suzanne Yoculan) taught me the value of teamwork and its application within athletics and outside of the gym. This lesson helped me contribute to UGA's NCAA National Championship in 2007, 2008, and 2009 as well as UGA's SEC Championship in 2008.
What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of from your time as a student?
My most proud accomplishment from my time as a student actually is not an award, honor, or anything that special. Simply, I am most proud of the true friendships I made during my college years. Developing those friendships to the point that they are maintained several years after graduation is amazing and provides a personal joy.
What led you to pursue a career in medicine?
From an early age, I knew I wanted to become a doctor. My father is a doctor and my mother is a nurse practitioner, so I was always around medicine in some capacity, but my true passion for it came through personal experiences as a gymnast. Having injuries myself and seeing other teammates with injuries engaged my curiosity in learning how to care for injuries but to also understand the needs of those who are injured or sick.
What advice would you give to current students at UGA?
My advice to others would be to go after your dreams no matter what. You may have to take a different route than others, but don't let obstacles deter you from your path. Remember to always work hard at every task because there is always something to learn and you never know when it may be useful! And finally, enjoy the ride because life is more than the final destination.
Marcia is married to former UGA football player Demiko Goodman (BSFCS '08). The two plan to move to Daytona Beach, Florida, where Newby-Goodman will attend a family medicine residency. The UGA community is proud to call them both members of the Bulldog family.
To learn more about Marcia Newby-Goodman (BSA ’10) and her various accomplishments, click here.
Earlier this month, Dave Wilkinson (ABJ '89), featured to the left here, reached out to let UGA Alumni Association staff know that his father was turning 90 today. Dave shared so many great details about his father’s time on campus that he was invited to serve as today’s guest blogger. Enjoy this special post about one of UGA’s outstanding graduates.
We are all proud of our UGA heritage. We share fond memories of football Saturdays and library Sundays. We watched the ancient trees on North Campus shed their leaves in autumnal breezes. We faced the challenge of traveling a mile across campus to make our next class in 15 minutes or less! From the dorms and dining halls to the Tate Center and Legion Pool, we learned to live and loved to learn at UGA. We worked hard. We played hard. We found ourselves at Georgia and left with Georgia in our hearts and souls!
Many of us are children or relatives of UGA alumni. I am honored to share the story of my dad, an outstanding alumnus who turns 90 this month. His name is Albert Mims Wilkinson, Jr., and you would know him as “Mims.”
Mims graduated from Decatur Boys High School at the age of 16 in 1942. He attended Emory University then transferred to the University of Georgia. At the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. He was assigned to the USS Evansville, Patrol Frigate 70, as a radar operator; Radarman, Third Class. After 2.5 years of active duty, mostly on submarine patrol in the North Atlantic, Mims was discharged having earned the American Defense Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the U.S. Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal.
In June 1946, Mims re-enrolled at the University of Georgia. The following year, he entered the UGA School of Law. He was elected Campus Leader in 1947 to represent all non-fraternity men on campus. While at UGA, he was elected to Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Blue Key Honor Society, the Gridiron Secret Society, and the Sphinx Club, UGA’s oldest honorary society. He was a member of both the Demosthenian Literary Society and the Phi Kappa Literary Society. Mims was a charter member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. He was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1948 and was elected president of the Georgia Law School Senior Class the next year.
Dad began to practice law in Atlanta in 1950. He practiced in all Georgia and federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He was a member or chairman of various committees of the Atlanta and Georgia bar associations, and served as chairman of the American Bar Association Committee on the Trial of Commercial Claims. Mims was a charter member of the Georgia Chapter of the American Trial Lawyers Association. He authored a book on contract law in Georgia which sold out two editions. He was Honorary Legal Advisor to the British Consul-General in Atlanta from 1970 until 2000. For his service to the Crown, he was awarded membership in the Order of the British Empire in 1985.
Dad was a tough act to follow at UGA. He credits the University of Georgia with preparing him for success in all of his endeavors. He was just one of so many great alumni who paved the way for us. We can all be grateful for those who established and helped grow this great institution. I am especially grateful to the University of Georgia Alumni Association for its ongoing service to the university and its alumni and friends. It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!
HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY, DAD!
Brian Fuller (BS '98) not only gives back to his community through his involvement with the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors, he has spent the last year fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Recently, Brian was named LLS' 2015 Atlanta Man of the Year and is now in the running for 2015 National Man of the Year, which will be announced in July.
Every dollar the candidates raised counted as one “vote” and the candidates with the most votes were awarded the title Man & Woman of the Year. All the candidates competed in honor of LLS’s Boy & Girl of the Year, Hendrick and Koa, local children who are blood cancer survivors and sources of inspiration to others.
Brian Fuller, pictured on left with Girl of the Year, Koa.
“The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a great opportunity for participants to network with other candidates while raising money for an important cause,” said Piper Medcalf, LLS Georgia Chapter Executive Director. “We applaud the tireless efforts of our incredible candidates and thank each of them for making such a significant difference in the lives of so many people.”