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02.07.2013

UGA Mourns the Loss of Three Great Members of the Bulldog Family

Although I never look forward to featuring the passing of UGA alumni on this blog, I do enjoy looking back on the lives of the University’s great graduates and celebrating their lives and accomplishments. January marked the passing of three storied members of the Bulldog family and I’d like to take a moment to recognize them.

Curtis “Coot” Beall (BSA ’47), of Dublin, Georgia, passed away surrounded by family members on January 10. Beal was born in 1922 in Brewton, Georgia, and graduated from UGA. While in Athens, he was active in campus activities including Gridiron, Omicron Delta Kappa, Aghon, and Blue Key Honor Society. Having been on the 1942 cheering squad when UGA played in the Rose Bowl, Beall held the distinction of being UGA’s oldest living male cheerleader. He led Sanford Stadium in cheers at the annual Homecoming game until 2011. Proceeds from Beall’s book, Memoirs of a Marine Dawg: From the Rose Bowl to the Pacific Theatre, will be donated to UGA Cheerleading. Curtis will be remembered as one of the most devoted fans in Georgia history.

James “Jim” Colvert, 91, died in Athens on January 13. Colvert came to UGA in 1968 as editor of The Georgia Review, and was a full professor until he retired in 1988. He was also head of the English Department for seven years. Before arriving in Athens, Colvert served in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II. His family and friends enjoyed his stories, often humorous, about his experiences and observations from a life well-lived.

Former Alabama Senator Hinton Mitchem (BSED ’61) was born in 1938 in Georgia. After graduating from UGA, where he lettered in baseball, he took a job in Oconee County that soon transferred him to Albertville, Alabama. He became involved with the city’s Chamber of Commerce, was elected to the city council and eventually made his way to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1975. Mitchem became a state senator four years later and served in the Alabama State Senate until he retired in 2011. He is remembered by friends and family for his loyalty to UGA despite living in a state filled with SEC foes. Mitchem passed away in his home on January 22 surrounded by family.

Although I am saddened by the passing of these men, we are fortunately left with lasting memories of their time with us. UGA alumni and friends have the families of Jim Colvert, Coot Beall, and Hinton Mitchem in their thoughts and prayers, and we celebrate the part they played in the University of Georgia story.

Information or this blog post was sourced from the following links: Colvert, Beall, and Mitchem.

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10.15.2014

Pulaski County students experienced life at UGA

Guest Blogger: Michelle Wilder Rivers (MA '10)
Program Coordinator
Archway Partnership

To demonstrate the possibilities available through higher education, the Hawkinsville LIFE League worked with the UGA Archway Partnership and the Office of Institutional Diversity to bring students to campus in July. The goal of the trip was to increase the awareness of postsecondary education opportunities, and to provide direct access to college admissions information. 

LIFE League teaches life skills and encourages excellence through basketball and other programs for at-risk youth in Pulaski County.

The day started with a UGA police escort for the students similar to that given to the football team on game day. Basketball games at the Ramsey Student Center were preceded by a reception during which numerous UGA administrators welcomed students.

Throughout the day, students participated in events including tours of the Ramsey Student Center and Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall (where they met student-athletes Nasheema Oliver, Kenny Gaines, Marcus Thornton and Chris Conley). Students had lunch at the Village Commons dining hall and emjoyed an interactive session with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. LIFE Leaguers ended their day with pictures in front of Sanford Stadium before heading home.

Units across campus made the day possible including: Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, Terry College of Business, Mary Frances Early, UGA Athletic Association, Recreational Sports, Parking Services, Food Services, UGA Police Department and Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

  

Those involved hope that providing these students with a day on the UGA campus illustrated the possibilities that exist through post-secondary education. It was a great day for the Bulldog Nation and I felt lucky to be part of such a life-changing event for so many young people.

Click here to view more photos from the students' visit to UGA. 

More information about the Archway Partnership, a unit of Public Service and Outreach at UGA, can be found at www.archwaypartnership.uga.edu.

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10.10.2014

Alumnus Sets Sights on Vonage

Former Google executive Alan Masarek (BBA ’82) is making big moves.

Later this year, Masarek will be joining Internet phone service provider Vonage as the chief executive officer. He will also serve on the company’s board of directors. Vonage, which is based in New Jersey, is an international company that reported $829 million in revenue last year. The company also has ties back to Georgia, with its business services division moving to Cobb County in the near future.

Over the years, Masarek has served as president of a healthcare IT company and co-founded AdOutlet, an online media buying platform, and Quickoffice, an app provider that was acquired by Google in 2012. Most recently, he was the director of Chrome and apps at Google.

Congratulations on your continued success, Alan! The UGA Alumni Association wishes you the best of luck in your new role.

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10.06.2014

UGA Alumni See Success in Startup Companies

Several alumni are enjoying success in Atlanta's competitive startup environment. Technology startups seem to be popping up all over Metro Atlanta and three UGA alumni are leading the charge with their innovative businesses.

The brainchild of Adam Wexler (BBA ’07) and Devon Wijesinghe, Insightpool uses social media to help its clients, including Intercontinental Hotels, Chobani Inc. and A&E Networks, market more effectively to their target audiences. Last week, Insightpool announced it had raised $4 million in funding and plans to expand its Altanta headquarters later this year. The company's staff roster will also expand by approximately 75 individuals. This growth will help Insightpool as it helps businesses mine social networks for top influencers, prospects and potential customers. 

Adam Wexler (BBA '07) on right

Insightpool isn’t the only startup taking Atlanta by storm. Michael Tavani (ABJ ’02), co-founder of ScoutMob, is launching SwitchYards, a startup focused on business to consumer (B2C) relationships. Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, SwitchYards hopes to bring consumer- and design-focused startups together to build new and innovative brands.

Tavani plans to launch two to three B2C startups per year, including mobile applications and e-commerce. Those that break even within 15 months, will continue to receive funding.

  

Michael Tavani (ABJ '02)

Everett Steele (AB ’06) launched Kanga, a mobile application that crowdsources shipping, moving and delivering, in Atlanta earlier this year. The application, which will be expanding to Athens later this month, connects individuals needing something moved or delivered with people who are looking to make some extra money.

    

Everett Steele (AB '06) 

As Atlanta continues to grow as a major technology hub, the UGA Alumni Association looks forward to hearing about the continued success of these three alumni and their businesses.

Do you know of other UGA alumni running successful startups across the country? We'd love to hear about them! Please email Jamie Lewis (AB '12, AB '12) at jelewis@uga.edu. 

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