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07.25.2013

UGA Class of 2013 40 Under 40 spotlights

Each day for the next 40 days, I'd like to feature one of this year's 40 Under 40 honorees on the blog. The 2013 honorees are simply amazing and I know readers will enjoy learning more about these impressive young graduates.

I will continue to share news from campus and updates about other alumni, but those posts will be mixed in with these 40 Under 40 features.

Without further ado, let me begin by introducing you to Kevin Abernethy (AB ’99):

Abernethy graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1999. As a sophomore, he was elected president of the Student Government Association and was a student speaker during former UGA President Michael Adams’s inauguration ceremony. He became a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Fraternity in 1999. He went on to earn his law degree from Georgia State University’s College of Law.

Today, Abernethy is a partner in Hall Booth Smith’s Atlanta office. The young alumnus has extensive litigation experience handling civil rights claims for the City of Atlanta, large complex environmental lawsuits, corporate suits, and claims involving professional negligence.

In 2010, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Abernethy to a three-year term on the board of the Superior Court Clerks Retirement Fund of Georgia, a position of fiduciary responsibility and oversight over a multimillion dollar portfolio.

That same year, Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle appointed Abernethy to a four-year term on the State Ethics Commission, a quasi-judicial body with statewide jurisdiction over ethical issues involving public officials, lobbyists, and state vendors. The following year, he was selected to serve as chairman of the Ethics Commission and then reelected in 2012. Abernethy is the youngest person to hold this role in Georgia’s history.

He credits much of his success to those who guided him at UGA – Thomas Cochran, his SGA adviser, and the late professor Dr. Eugene Miller. He credits Cochran with teaching him critical lessons in leadership during his SGA years, and credits Miller with helping expand his knowledge and skills regarding political thought and effective advocacy.

Abernethy’s friend, Bart Newman (AB ’99, JD ’03), nominated Abernethy for this honor, saying, “There is a humility in Kevin that makes him real and at odds with others in his political circles who can be consumed with their own celebrity. He remember people’s names, not to manipulate them with flattery, but because he cares.”

Truly, Kevin Abernethy exemplifies the qualities of this year’s 40 Under 40 honorees. Thank you for representing UGA – and the state of Georgia – so well, Kevin.

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07.25.2014

UGA alumna is on fire

In 2006, Disney produced a huge hit with Cars. It was a family-friendly, fun-filled animated adventure that led to a sequel and the successful spin-off Planes. This summer, a related film will grace the silver screen, Planes: Fire and Rescue, and in it, a successful UGA alumna.

Corri English (ABJ ’00) is well-known in her field as the star of numerous films, guest on iconic television shows, and lead singer for country band Brokedown Cadillac. Though her career began when she was quite young, hosting children’s shows on TBS in the 1980s, it really took off after graduating from UGA.

English has made a name for herself in horror films, winning Best Actress at the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival for her role in Unrest. She also generated quite a following for her voice-over work in popular video games such as Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age: Origins and  Star Wars: The Old Republic. These character voicing skills were brought to life during Planes: Fire and Rescue

Her character, Pinecone, along with four other smokejumpers, bravely leaps from planes to put out fires. "Working alongside actors like Dane Cook, Ed Harris, and Regina King was a great experience," said English. 

The alumna is excited about the release of the film and hopes it leads to further voice acting opportunities in the future. 

Truly, for this star Bulldog, the sky is the limit.

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07.23.2014

Make miracles happen with Gwinnett Braves

As an Emmy-winning reporter for CBS, Adam Murphy (ABJ ’97) spends a large amount of time in the spotlight. He works as a consumer investigative reporter, cracking down on scam artists and tracking dollars involved in large projects. Recently, the alumnus has been focusing his off-screen efforts on helping people.

In 2013, Murphy decided to use his influence to launch the nonprofit ‘Miracle for Mom’. The organization is dedicated to his own mother, Janice Murphy, who was diagnosed in 2010 with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). PSP is a progressive neurological disorder that causes complications with controlling balance, complex eye movements and upper-level thinking. Discovered in 1964, this relatively new disease has had little attention placed upon it by the scientific community due to its rarity. With no known cause, cure, or treatment procedure, the outlook for those suffering with PSP has looked bleak for the 1 in 100,000 Americans that will develop this neurological disorder. Miracle for Mom hopes to change that.

Miracle for Mom strives to find a cure for PSP and helps those living with the disease. In its four years, the charity has raised more than $10,000. This year alone, Miracle for Mom joined forces with the Atlanta Hawks to raise more than $4,000 in one night. Tonight (July 23), the charity is partnering with the Gwinnett Braves to hopefully raise even more to support the fight against PSP. 

Miracle for Mom Night with the Gwinnett Braves is being held tonight, July 23, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. A portion of ticket sales will be given to the organization. Attendees who purchase a "First Pitch Ticket," will be given and especially good seat in the stadium. And for $15, attendees can enjoy a delicious pre-game tailgate catered by Williamson Bros. BBQ.

Tonight's event is sure to be fun, but also important in the fight against PSP. 

Learn more about Miracle for Mom and/or purchase tickets for tonight's game at www.miracleformom.org

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07.22.2014

2014 is “Going to the Dawgs”

The 2014 fiscal year was an incredible year for the University of Georgia for a variety of reasons. For students, each semester marks one step closer to graduation. For faculty, 2014 has brought national awards, advances in research and the promise of more excitement to come.

For instance, three of the Brazilian stadiums that were used during the World Cup were outfitted with TifGrand, a shade-tolerant, wear-tolerant bermudagrass hypbrid developed by UGA and the U.S. Departement of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. Despite this (and many other) amazing accomplishments that have taken place since last July, one record-breaking event has created the possibility of an even more produtive upcoming year.

The 2014 fiscal year saw the largest number of gifts and donations in the history of the university. Between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, UGA received a staggering $126.4 million from 56,897 different contributors. This amount reflects a 4 percent increase over 2013 and the second time in the university’s history that it received more than $120 million.

"This record year is a tribute to the faith our alumni and friends have in the future of our great university," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80).

That faith has certainly not been poorly placed. These donations will help fund the projects and plans that UGA has for the coming years. From a renovated Veterinary Medical Learning Center to updating multiple residence halls across campus, these generous gifts are making it possible for UGA undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff to thrive in a well-designed and constantly improving environment.

Beyond these larger projects, donations to the university work daily for students and alumni through the UGA Alumni Association and Student Alumni Association, two organizations that connect students and alumni to each other, to the university and to the traditions and history that make UGA special.

This year has been record-breaking, but also record-setting. The bar has been raised to $126.4 million in donations. Now it’s time for the Bulldog Nation to make sure that 2015 is an even more incredible year for the University of Georgia. Make a pledge today for a better UGA tomorrow!

To learn more about this news, click here.

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