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02.28.2013

Georgia Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke (JD ’50) Passes Away

Harold G. Clarke (JD ’50) was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1979 and became one of the most influential jurists in our state’s history. It is with a heavy heart that I share news today of his passing at the age of 85. Clarke, who had been under hospice care for a prolonged illness, was surrounded by family. My deepest sympathies go to his family members.

Clarke’s time on the bench was characterized by his challenging lawyers to improve their work, his stance against inequality in the court system, and his efforts to improve the state’s indigent defense system. He was called a liberal activist by some and refreshingly progressive by others. But all would agree he was a gentle and unassuming man.

During World War II, Clarke became editor of the Pacific Stars and Stripes for the U.S. Army. When the war concluded, he earned his JD from UGA and, two years later, married Athens-native Nora Gordon. The couple moved to Forsyth where Clarke began his law practice and became editor/publisher of his father’s newspaper, the Monroe Advertiser.

From 1961 to 1971, Clarke served in the Georgia House of Representatives. Five years later, he took over as president of the State Bar of Georgia. Three years after that, in 1979, Clark was appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court by former Governor George Busbee. By 1990, he was chief justice. He retired from the court in 1994.

The Georgia graduate led our state’s Supreme Court through what is arguably one of its most transformative periods. According to the AJC, “After Clarke became chief justice in 1990, the court added its first African-American and female justices. The court issued opinions that broadened the rights of free speech and expression, struck down death sentences, cracked down on overly aggressive prosecutors and expanded individual liberties.”

Beyond his good work on the bench, Clarke was known for being an all-around good man. In 1992, Clarke temporarily stepped aside as chief justice to allow his friend, Justice Charles Weltner, to serve his last few months of his life (he’d been battling cancer) as chief justice. The AJC reported that, “after his swearing-in ceremony, Weltner returned to his office and, courtesy of Clarke, found new stationery bearing his name as chief justice.” This illustrates the kindness this man showed to everyone he met.

On behalf of the University of Georgia Alumni Association, I want to extend my sympathies to the Clarke family. I’d also like to congratulate Harold on a life well-lived; his actions and demeanor were appreciated by all Georgians and by the Bulldog family.

Read an extensive feature on Harold G. Clarke from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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12.19.2014

Brothers make business a family affair

How do two brothers from tiny Hopeful, Georgia, manage to take Atlanta’s entrepreneurial spirit to a new level? Well, ask the Shirah brothers, Benjie (BSFR ’07, MFR ’10) and Jamey (BBA ’10). Since leaving Athens, the business-savvy brothers have embarked on a number of successful endeavors, including The Ivy Buckhead and Atlanta-based companies Kill Cliff – The Recovery Drink™ and Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station. Now, the brothers are heading in a new direction - your feet. 

This fall, Benjie and Jamey launched their latest project, JL The Brand, a flair-filled sock company. Together with friends, the brothers are working to add a little jazz to the mundane black and blue men’s suit with top-notch socks. 

Designed with unique patterns and colors, JL The Brand offers affordable high quality socks that add a subtle yet sophisticated pop to any outfit. JL The Brand socks are the perfect gift for any guy this holiday season! 

With the Shirah brothers’ keen eye for business development, these young alumni are sure make a lasting mark on Atlanta's entrepreneurial scene. 

Keep up with the Shirah's businesses on social media: 

@theivybuckhead
@govidaflo
@jlthebrand

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12.18.2014

40 Under 40 honoree to direct UGA’s state government relations

Tobin R. "Toby" Carr (BBA '01, BSAE '01) was named associate vice president for government relations and director of state governmental relations at UGA. Vice President for Government Relations J. Griffin Doyle announced the appointment of Carr, who currently is planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Carr was appointed to his current DOT post in 2012, a position in which he has led a team of some 30 planning professionals in guiding strategic planning and project budget documents that direct state and federal resources to fund transportation projects. He graduated from the UGA Honors Program in 2001 with bachelor's degrees in business administration and agricultural engineering. Before assuming his DOT post, Carr served as Deal's transportation policy adviser and the governor's liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives. He previously was director of Deal's gubernatorial transition committee.

An active student leader while at UGA, Carr served as president of the Interfraternity Council and was named to Sphinx, Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi and the Arch Society. He currently serves on the UGA College of Engineering Alumni Advisory Board and was recognized in 2014 as a UGA 40 Under 40 and as the 2012 Blue Key Outstanding Young Alumnus Award winner.

"I'm humbled and thrilled to serve my alma mater in this role," Carr said. "I'm very grateful to Gov. Deal for his support of this new endeavor and to President Morehead and Vice President Doyle for giving me the opportunity to advance the mission of UGA."

Carr will serve as primary liaison between the university and state government officials, representing the university in all matters involving legislators, agencies, departments, and the other higher education institutions of Georgia. The transition will occur in early January.

Click here to read more. 

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12.11.2014

UGA’s Thank-a-Teacher Program

Did a teacher at UGA enrich your life or create a spark that inspired you to pursue your dreams? Was there a professor or teaching assistant that pushed you to do your best and helped you discover your passion for a certain subject? 

Now is the time to let that teacher - and the university community - know how grateful you are for their effect on your life. UGA's Center for Teaching and Learning invites current UGA students and alumni to particpate in the Thank-a-Teacher program.

What is Thank-a-Teacher? It is a program that allows students and alumni to express gratitude for teachers who have impacted their lives in a profound and meaningful way. If a teacher (professor, instructor, teaching assistant) made a positive contribution to your experience at UGA, please consider sending them a brief note. You may choose to remain anonymous or have your name attached to the note. 

You will be asked to fill out a simple form and acknowledge your appreciation for your teacher's work, dedication and extra effort. Share a simple thank you or an anecdote to let that teacher know what you enjoyed about their class and why it was important to you. 

Click here to complete the Thank-a-Teacher form

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