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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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04.24.2014

Caplan and Cobb: the new dynamic duo of Atlanta law

Mike Caplan (AB '02, MBA ’05, JD ’06) and James Cobb (BS ’00) recently launched Caplan Cobb LLP, a new law firm focusing on business litigation in the Atlanta area. Mike’s practice focuses on complex business litigation while James’s practice is focused on the resolution of complex business disputes.

Triple Dawg Caplan left quite a legacy graduating magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in addition to his membership in both the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers. In 2012, he received the Southern Center for Human Rights' inaugural Gideon's Promise Award for his work in Flournoy v. State, which led to significant reforms to Georgia's indigent-defense system.

Cobb graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University Law School in 2005. While he was at GWU, he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Senior Projects Editor of the George Washington Law Review. Outside of his business practice, James represents individuals and entities in civil-rights, criminal, and education-related matters.

The duo originally met in college as competitors in a national moot court competition and became friends in the following years. SuperLawyers Magazine named both Caplan and Cobb rising stars in Georgia for Business Litigation. Good luck to both Mike and James as they take on the Atlanta business law world!

To learn more about Caplan Cobb LLP, visit their website here.

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04.23.2014

Alumna puts passion for historic preservation into action

Catherine Garner (MHP ’13) has a passion for preserving the historic buildings of Salisbury, NC. After finishing her undergraduate degree in geography and urban planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Garner interned with preservation planners in Winston-Salem. Fulfilled by the work, she chose to pursue the path of historic preservation, eventually earning her master's degree from UGA in preservation planning.

Since then, Garner has landed her dream job as Salisbury’s newest city planner and liaison to the City’s Historic Preservation Commission. In this position, she help develop communities in which people want to live. She is involved in the city’s new "one-stop shop" for development services. The innovative program encourages local business owners to obtain city permits and a business license under the same roof. By streamlining the process, more local businesses will be involved in the city planning process.

Congratulations, Catherine! It’s great to see an alumna making a difference in her community. The work you do will impact Salisbury for generations to come.

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04.22.2014

Longtime UGA supporter hangs his “Gone Fishing” sign

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 Newspapers, 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.

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