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07.02.2013

Remembering and Celebrating Excellent UGA Graduates

One of the toughest aspects of my position is being notified when one of our graduates passes away.  However, it provides a opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of these amazing individuals.  Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones.  

In memorium:

Richard Acree, president of Acree Oil Company and owner of the Hasty Mart of Georgia and Hasty Mart of South Carolina convenience store chain, passed away Sunday, June 2, at the age of 86.

Acree and his wife Emily Wynne Edwards Acree were among the first recipients of the University of Georgia's Pinnacle Award for generous and continuing donations to the University's Terry College of Business. Acree retired with emeritus status from the University Foundation Board of Directors.


Virginia Davis Shockley, known as Jenny, passed away Saturday, June 1 from complications of Alzheimer’s at 90. Shockley’s family and friends adored her as one of the most caring and helpful people around.

Born in Pocataligo, approximately 20 miles northeast of Athens, Jenny Shockley grew up in Winterville, just outside of Athens. She graduated from high school when she was 15 and went to UGA, where she graduated in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in business. The next year, she joined the Navy WAVES, the acronym for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.


Norman Herz passed away on May 28, 2013 at 90 years old. Herz pioneered the use of science to solve archaeological problems. The Archaeological Institute of America honored him in 1995 with its highest award in the field, The Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology. Also, he won the UGA Creative Research Medal in 1981.

In 1970 he was appointed Professor and Department Head of the Geology Department at UGA, until his retirement in 1995. He then received the title of Professor Emeritus of Geology and Head Emeritus of the Department of Geology, University of Georgia.

Herz is the author or co-editor of many books on the topic of scientific methods as applied to archaeology plus over two hundered geological and archaeological articles including some of the earliest contributions to the theory of Plate Tectonics.


Joe Tereshinski, the first of three generations to play football at the UGA passed away on Sunday, June 9 at 89 years old. Tereshinski played tight end and defensive end on Bulldogs teams that won the national title 1942 and SEC titles in both 1942 and 1946. He then played eight seasons with the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

Tereshinski’s sons, Wally and Joe Tereshinski Jr., both played for Georgia in the mid-70s. Tereshinski Jr., the team’s current director of strength and conditioning, has been on staff since since 1982. Grandson Joe Tereshinski III opened the 2006 season as the starting quarterback, but was injured in the second game of the season. He is now an assistant coach for UNC Charlotte.


Charles M. Hudson Jr. passed away at the age of 80 in his Frankfort, Ky., home on June 8, 2013.

Charles was one of the world's leading scholars on the early history of the native peoples of the American South. He published 16 books, the best known of which are "The Southeastern Indians" and "Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando de Soto and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms." Most recently he penned historical novels, including "The Cow-Hunter," which will be published in 2014 by the University of South Carolina Press.

In 1963, he joined the faculty of UGA and retired in 2000 as Professor Emeritus of Anthropology & History. Charles was beloved by family and friends for his twinkling eyes, his gentleness and humor, his sharp intellect, his unwavering honesty, and the love and appreciation he characteristically had for the people around him.


On June 15, 2013 Dr. Thomas George Roberts passed away in his home in New Market, AL. He was a rare mixture of great intelligence and education wrapped in the humility of someone who realized the limits of knowledge and human understanding. His passion for life, learning, and decency earned him the respect of his peers, family, and friends.

Tom had a B.S. and M.S. in Physics from the University of Georgia and earned his Ph. D. from the North Carolina State University at Raleigh. Perhaps Malcolm Forbes best described Tom's view of life, learning and education: "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." Tom was always eager to explore, learn, and debate. He would often say that he would be happy to debate any topic and then ask, "which side do you want?" In his own words he "may not be right but he is always certain."


Andy J. Olsen passed away on April 25 in Chamblee at 76. In 1964 Olsen earned his masters degree in Science Education at the University of Georgia. After a brief teaching stint at the University of Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg, he returned to help bring the newly established Fernbank Science Center to life.

As the assistant director for physical sciences, Olsen was responsible for helping grow the center’s education programs, acquiring museum subjects, and even took a trip to Europe to gain ideas for Fernbank’s planetarium. Olsen was working for the museum in 1969, when world’s eyes turned on Fernbank’s one-of-a-kind telescope as it broadcasted the launch of Apollo 11 mission, the first to put humans on the moon.

In 1972, the DeKalb school board hired Olsen as their public relations officer, the first in the state. He navigated the federally mandated desegregation effort in the 70s and 80s. Olsen believed in equal opportunities for all students, regardless of race, and he worked hard to help others believe it, too.


Donald Dean Hankinson Sr., 76, of Fayetteville passed away June 14. In 1956 he won a 3A Georgia high school singles championship and later played one year each on the University of Georgia and Georgia State tennis teams. In 1965 he was president of the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association.

Following his college days, Hankinson was in the business of fun and took great enjoyment in it. In 1959 he founded Phoenix Amusements Inc., a one-man Atlanta operation that grew to have customers nationwide. Nowadays his company provides entertainment equipment — both classic and state-of-the-art electronic games, simulators, pinball machines, etc. — for corporate clients such as Google, Shell Oil and Hewlett Packard to use in their marketing tours and trade shows.

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04.23.2015

Meet the UGA alumna behind the Georgia Trail Summit: Tracie Sanchez (AB '88, MPA '11)

The Georgia Trail Summit is excited to announce the schedule for its second annual event, which will take place in Athens, Georgia, June 4-6 at The Graduate. Continue reading to learn more about Georgia Trail Summit's founder, Double Dawg Tracie Sanchez (AB '88, MPA '11), and the inspiration behind this organization. 

I’ve been riding bikes, hiking mountains and paddling rivers all my life. Being on a trail makes for wonderful escapes, new adventures and challenges, new friends, staying healthy and connecting with nature. And great photo memories.

Earning my Masters of Public Administration at UGA late in life allowed me to focus on which public policy I wanted to champion. Being part of the effort to build a world-class network of connected trails in every corner of Georgia is a cause I believe in deeply.

The first thing I did as an undergrad in 1985 was sell my car and become a bicycle commuter to campus. I still had that bike 24 years later when I returned to UGA for my masters’ in public administration. I caught trail fever in Athens biking the greenway, helping the Firefly Trail incorporate as a non-profit, and collaborating on a graduate project in Hartwell that led to inventorying regional greenspaces with UGA landscape architecture students.

Clearly, alternative transportation solutions involving active living are my passion. Eight years at UGA as a program coordinator for the Leonard Leadership Scholars and one-on-one chats with mentor Earl Leonard taught me a thing or two about leading an effort. So with a background in graphic design, leadership development, a public policy degree, and spare time during the job search, I reached out to all the trail hounds I knew in Georgia, and began to build a network.

Research in 2011 revealed there are 82 trail and greenway projects proposed or underway in Georgia. I was familiar with many of them from my own explorations and serving as a mobility manager for a regional commission. I learned of others while attending Smart Growth conferences, Transportation Camp, the Georgia Bike Summit and transit and mobility workshops. But something was missing. No one knew about anyone else’s project; no one seemed to be sharing lessons learned. Why wasn’t there an easy opportunity to convene Georgia’s entire community of trail experts in one place? 

The Department of Natural Resources admitted they didn’t have staff capacity to update a 15-year-old comprehensive trail plan. With so much to learn from each other, I felt compelled to connect the dots…and the people.

  

The solution came when attending the National Bike Summit in DC. While visiting Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s development director, Kelly Pack, she inspired me with great advice, “Round everyone up and hold a Georgia Trail Summit.”  I pitched the idea that spring and have been recruiting and collaborating with trail, greenway and blueway partners ever since. The time was right and I visualized myself as the champion for the effort. UGA taught me how and now I'm on a roll.

Today, I lead a dedicated team of volunteer trailblazers planning the second annual Georgia Trail Summit. So far, we’ve raised $20,000 with 35 sponsors, including UGA College of Public Health, UGA Office of Sustainability, UGA Warnell School of Forestry, Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department, Athens-Clarke County Mayor’s Office and Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. More importantly, we're connecting people.

The Georgia Trail Summit has seen a drastic increase in presenters since its creation. You all know Athens is an ideal, walkable city with hotels right on the Greenway and other nearby trails for biking, hiking and paddling, which will be featured during 10 mobile workshops.

I remain committed to my vision for Georgia’s trail movement to grow into an established and influential organization helping non-profits, governments and communities focus on connectivity, conservation and comprehensive planning. 

UGA alumni are personally invited to attend this timely conversation on the future of Georgia’s trails June 4, 5 and 6 in Athens at the Graduate Hotel. For a closer look, stroll on over to georgiatrailsummit.com.

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04.15.2015

Alumni Spotlight: Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99)

Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99) is the proud owner of Athen's newest juke-joint style restaurant, Champy's Famous Fried Chicken. Located at 1120 Baxter Steet, Athen, GA, the restarunt stives to bring together traditional, southern-family recipes with an atmosphere that will attract a diverse crowd. 

The UGA Alumni Association’s Strategic Communications intern, Emilie Clarke ’15, had the opportunity to catch up with this outstanding alumnus. Read below to find out more about Josh’s entrpreneurial endeavors.

You recently opened Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken, tell me a little bit about the restaurant. What steps did you take to open your own business? What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Champy's was founded in Chattanooga in 2009 by a good friend of ours, Seth Champion, who was raised on the Mississippi Delta.  Although Champy's of Athens is the fifth location, which also includes Daphne, Alabaster and Muscle Shoals, AL, we are not a franchise. We refer to ourselves as a "friendchise" between buddies that enjoy great food in a fun atmosphere. The atmosphere is fun for all ages. 

My wife, Amy, and I have talked about moving to Athens for the past 10 years and I knew that Athens was a Champy's explosion waiting to happen. We worked on selling the idea of Athens to Seth for over two years then invested everything we had into opening, including having to go all the way to Mississippi to get a business loan because local banks wouldn't work with us. We cashed in our 401Ks, are still living in an RV and continue to invest all of the elbow grease we have every day.     

 

  

Interior of Chmapy's Famous Fried Chicken

Where do you see the company in five years?

For the Athens Champy's, I can see a destination spot that draws customers from all over Georgia and visiting sports rivals, a thriving catering business for everyone that wants good southern food, and a restaurant full of locals that are drawn to our bluesy atmosphere. As for expansion, I definitely see a second location in five years, maybe an hour or two from Athens. 

What chefs or types of cuisines are your biggest food influences?

Flavors from the Deep South - Mississippi Delta hot tamales, fresh fried chicken and homemade sides. Our recipes were handed down from Seth Champion's grandfather over 40 years ago.  

How did your time at UGA help you achieve your personal and professional goals? Did you have a favorite professor or class that really stuck with you? Favorite memory from your time at UGA?

My environmental health sciences degree kick-started my corporate career and provided me with 15 years of business experience that I lean on every day to run the restaurant.   

I would have to go with two professors, Dr. David MacIntosh and Dean Phil Williams of the Health Science Campus. You didn't ask, but I couldn't forget about Ms. Sandra McPeake who was the department's assistant in the late 1990s. She couldn't always keep me out of trouble, but she tried her best! 

Football Saturdays in Athens are my favorite memory.  All of them...

What advice would you give to future graduates or young alumni who aspire to own their own business?

Just do it.  No one is going to make it happen, but you. 

To learn more about Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99) and Champy's Famous Fried Chicken visit ChampysChicken.com.

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04.14.2015

Alumnus Spotlight: Carlton Curtis (ABJ '72)

Former UGA Alumni Association President Carlton Curtis (ABJ '72) has been honored with the 2015 Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award. Presented by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), this award goes to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

"It's a privilege to recognize Carlton and his lifetime of achievements with one of the NRAEF's and the industry's highest honors," said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy of the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF. "During his tenure with Coca-Cola and as a member of the NRA and NRAEF boards, Carlton has been steadfastly passionate and committed to improving the industry. He is a tremendous industry advocate, and an exemplary role model within the nation's restaurant and foodservice sector."

Curtis spent the past 43 years with the Coca-Cola Company, while volunteering his time, resources and expertise to restaurant operators and retailers around the globe in an effort to raise the stature of the industry. He has served as chairman of the board of the NRAEF, serves on the Board of Directors of the International Franchise Association, is the current chair of IFA's Diversity Institute, and is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America. He serves his alma mater as an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation. He will be recognized today at the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.

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