UGA Alumni Association:


Archives



06.26.2013

Alumna shows that hard work can get you anywhere – even the mayor’s office

Over the years, I have heard a number of motivational stories about UGA graduates. Recently, I came across a profile online of Dr. Evelyn Wynn-Dixon (MSW ’95). Wynn-Dixon is the current mayor of the City of Riverdale in Georgia’s Clayton County, but this alumna didn’t follow the typical path to political office.

Wynn-Dixon graduated with honors from high school and was set to begin her college career at Fort Valley State University when she became pregnant. She was forced to drop out of school and relinquish her scholarship. Shortly after Wynn-Dixon returned home, her mother passed away. Wynn-Dixon was left to care for a six-month-old baby on her own.

To avoid the social stigma of being a single mother, Wynn-Dixon married the father of her child. After having three more children together, the man walked out on the family. Once again, Wynn-Dixon was left to raise her children alone.

Wynn-Dixon spiraled down a path of despair and couldn’t snap herself out of it. A vision of her mother helped bring her out of the haze and she realized she was being selfish. She knew she needed to recover, and to do that, she needed an education.

The alumna approached her education in steps, first earning an associate degree, later a Bachelor of Science, and finally her Masters of Social Work from UGA in 1995. She was 46 at the time. Wynn-Dixon later completed a doctorate in public health.

After receiving her doctorate, she built a successful career as a Grady Hospital case worker and eventually became a hospice director. In 2007, Wynn-Dixon ran to be mayor of the City of Riverdale – and won. Through her first and second terms, her focus has been on rebuilding and rebranding the community. Known as the “Mama of the City,” Wynn-Dixon has been instrumental in establishing many important organizations and youth programs in the area.

Thank you, Evelyn, for sharing your story with the world. Your path to success is remarkable and I wish you the very best in the future. You are a fine example of a Bulldog and we are proud to call you a University of Georgia graduate!

Information for this blog was sourced from here.

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+


Recent Entries


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.

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

04.21.2014

McCall Wilder Designs offers timeless clothing options for children

McCall Wilder (ABJ '92) was having trouble locating the perfect outfit for her first baby's Christening. After an usuccessful search, the alumna decided to take matters into her own hands and create her own elegant and timeless clothing pieces for children. And so, in 2001, McCall Wilder Designs was established.

Wilder grew up in Athens with dreams of designing and pursuing journalism. She attended Hollins College in Virginia before transferring to UGA to study broadcast news in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. After graduating, Wilder interned and worked for CNN in Atlanta, taking part in the launch of CNN.com, the Internet’s first news site. She remained at CNN as a writer and producer until 1999.

Wilder’s “Baby McCall line” of heirloom gowns and special occasion outfits was only available by appointment until May 2008, when the first McCall Wilder Couture for Children Boutique & Atelier opened in the heart of Atlanta. The Baby McCall and McCall Wilder Designs lines now include more than 50 different styles, from crib bedding to dresses for teens and women.

Congratulations on your successful business venture, McCall. Your clothes and other products are simply beautiful.

Stay up-to-date on news and design ideas through the McCall Wilder Designs Facebook page.

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

04.18.2014

UGA alum leads Nasa team on the precipice of discovery

Above is an illustration of UGA-1785, the first star system to be named after a university.

Roger Hunter (BS ’78) is hoping to answer one of humanity’s greatest questions: can life exist on other planets? Hunter and the NASA Kepler team aim to expand the census of planets and alter our understanding of our place in the Milky Way galaxy. In the five years the Kepler telescope has been in orbit, the team has confirmed 961 additional planets in our solar system.

Hunter has kept a strong relationship with the university over the years. While many Bulldogs show their Georgia pride with car tags and coffee mugs, Hunter honored his alma mater by naming a planetary system UGA-1785.

This year, the Kepler team was awarded with the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy by the National Space Club. The award is given annually to those who have made the most impact on space activities.

Congratulations on the award, Roger! We cannot wait to see what you and your team will find!

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

Next Page
Thank you to our Affinity Partners
Bank of America
Marsh Liberty Mutual