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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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04.24.2014

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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