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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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07.18.2014

A Bulldog reunion 30 years in the making

With so many University of Georgia alumni and even former professors scattered around the world, you never know where two former Dawgs might run into each other, even after decades.

John Shearer (AB ’83) recently hooked up with his old Myers Hall faculty resident friend, Dr. Joe Snow, while traveling through Madrid, Spain, in a reunion that in some respects had been more than 30 years in the making. 


Dr. Joe Snow (left) and John Shearer in Madrid

The story of their friendship began when Shearer moved into Myers in January 1982 after two years of living in the now-razed McWhorter Hall as a walk-on football player and then four quarters in University Gardens Apartments off Baxter Street. In Myers, which was two-thirds male at the time, Shearer said he finally found the closely knit, small-college-like community of male and female students for which he had been longing.

Among the many people he befriended was Snow, a Spanish and Portuguese language instructor, who had an arrangement with university housing to live there at a greatly reduced rent. Snow's only job was to circulate among the students and help break down the barriers between students and faculty. 

Through Snow, Shearer found out about a 1983 spring break trip being planned to Russia, then called the Soviet Union, by then-University of Georgia Russian language professor Dr. Harold Schefski. Shearer ended up going on the trip with his mother, Dr. Snow, Dr. Snow’s sister and several other students. Upon their return to the United States in those pre-Internet days, they learned that Georgia had qualified for the Final Four in men’s and women’s basketball for the first time.

Shearer, who majored in geography, ended up keeping a journal about his trip, and that inspired him to pursue a journalism and writing career that continues 30 years later on a freelance basis from his home in Knoxville, Tenn.  In 2013, Shearer wrote a column on the 30th anniversary of his trip and through Dr. Schefski, who now teaches at California State University, Long Beach, he reconnected with Snow via email.

Snow, who became interested in Spanish while a high school student in New Jersey, had left UGA in the early 1990s to begin teaching at Michigan State University. Today, he spends most of his time in retirement in Madrid in a residence he was able to pay for in part due to his reduced rent while at Myers Hall.


Laura Shearer (ABJ '69) and Dr. Joe Snow

After realizing he would be traveling to Madrid in June with his wife, Laura Anderson Shearer (ABJ ’69), on the way to visit her son in Portugal, Shearer made plans to reconnect with Snow. And since it would be Shearer’s first overseas trip since the Russian excursion, he could say he had been with Snow on every international trip he had taken.

“It was neat reconnecting with him,” said Shearer, who had not seen Snow since the first year or two after he graduated. “He took us to an out-of-the way restaurant with which he was familiar, and it ended up being one of the best meals on our nearly two-week trip. But the conversation was even better. His engaging and warm manner that had endeared him to students became familiar again. 

“And most of all, it was neat comparing our memories of both the Russia trip and our experiences in Myers Hall, because my time in Myers was one of the happiest of my life.”

Written by freelance journalist John Shearer (AB ’83)

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07.17.2014

UGA alumnus named chairman of the Georgia Bankers Association

University of Georgia alumni continue to accomplish great fetes as they work their way into top positions across Georgia, the United States and the world. A few weeks ago another UGA alumnus did just that.

Remer Brinson III (BBA '82) was recently named the 125th chairman of the Georgia Bankers Association (GBA). As the president and CEO of Augusta-based First Bank of Georgia, Brinson was well prepared to take on this new position.

During his time at UGA, Brinson was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order and studied finance. He graduated in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Joe Brennen, president of the GBA, had this to say about Brinson's new position, "Our banks and our industry will be well-served by his experience and insightfulness about the critical issues facing our members, their customers and Georgia's communities."

Congratulations on this incredible achievement, Remer!

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07.16.2014

Five Questions with Richmond Chapter Vice President Taylor Jacobson (BS '09)

The UGA Alumni Association regional programs team had the chance to catch up with Richmond Chapter Vice President Taylor Jacobson (BS '09). Take a minute to learn a little more about Jacobson and her involvement with the Richmond Chapter.

RP: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, what brought you to Richmond, what do you do here?

TJ: I'm originally from Albany, Georgia. After graduating from UGA, I moved to Virginia Beach and from there pursued my Masters of Surgical Assisting at Eastern Virginia Medical School. I accepted a job at St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond in June of 2013!

RP: When, and from what program, did you graduate at UGA?

TJ: I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology from UGA in 2009. I graduated with the minor miracle of never changing my major and finishing in four years!

RP: What are your favorite things about Athens and the University of Georgia?

TJ: I worked for the Visitors Center at school and used to give tours - that was one of the best experiences of my four years at UGA. Because of that job, I'm absolutely obsessed with my alma mater!

A few things I love(d) about Athens/UGA: Tailgating in the fall, Pauley's restaurant downtown, naps in front of the physics building, the meal plan and the forever friendships!

RP: What made you take an active role in the Richmond Chapter of the UGA Alumni Association?

TJ: I wanted to get involved in this chapter because it has led to friendships in a new place and it reminds me that I'm not alone in my fanaticism! When I moved to Richmond, I knew one person and through this chapter I have explored and experienced this city with people that are crazy, but bonded to me by our common interest in UGA.

RP: If you could describe UGA in only one word, what would it be and why?

TJ: Tradition. There is so much tradition within the university itself, but I believe that once you graduate you start to form your own traditions centered around UGA; i.e. Walk/Don't walk under the Arch, ring the Chapel Bell, call the Dawgs, network with alumni, watch games with other alumni, bleed red and black!

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