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08.26.2013

Renaissance Man: Claude McBride (ABJ ’55)

The Rev. Claude McBride (ABJ ’55) held a number of roles during his 81 years – husband, father, grandfather, pastor, journalist, musician, singer, cheerleader, chaplain, officiant, leader, counselor and associate director. To all who met him, though, he was always a dear friend.

Last Friday, Claude passed away in his Athens home. He touched the lives of so many – with caring words and a friendly sense of humor. He was the consummate alumnus and we are so blessed to have had him in our lives.

Claude, a native of Columbus, Ga., graduated from UGA in 1955. He was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band, and Men’s Glee club, and a varsity cheerleader. After graduating, he began a successful career as a journalist, helping the Columbus Ledger earn a Pulitzer Prize for Community Service – the only Georgia newspaper, to this day, to have earned that coveted award. His date to the celebration dinner happened to be Gayle Gordy, his future wife.

Claude returned to Athens in 1964 to become the pastor at Milledge Avenue Baptist Church. During his time there, Claude advised the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Former football coach Vince Dooley took notice and asked him to serve as chaplain for the UGA football team, a role Claude would fill for 40 years.

In 1983, Claude was asked to become associate director of Alumni Relations for UGA, assisting in laying the foundation for today’s Alumni Association. Many alumni have fond memories of UGA alumni tours, during which Claude led Bulldogs on fascinating excursions across the globe.

Marcus Jennings, one of the Alumni Association’s longest-tenured staffers, has known Claude for years, saying, “Claude was truly, one-of-a-kind. His impact reached every part of my life whether it was personal, professional or spiritual. He was incredibly relatable and kind beyond measure. I will never know another individual like him and am forever grateful to have been a part of his life.”

Claude brought joy with him every day. We called him our “Renaissance Man” because he had so many talents and gifts. His knowledge of UGA was comprehensive. In recent years, the contributions he made chronicling UGA legacy families, Bulldog members of the “Greatest Generation” and campus stories will be a valued part of this institution’s history.  He will be deeply missed, but our fond memories of him will live in our hearts forever.

A memorial service is planned for Sunday, September 22 at Milledge Avenue Baptist Church in Athens. His family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Milledge Avenue Baptist Church Foundation, UGA Baptist Student Ministries, Habitat for Humanity or the UGA Foundation.

To read Claude McBride’s obituary in the Athens Banner-Herald, please click here.

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10.22.2014

Bulldogs in the Sunshine State

Southern California is known for its beaches, beautiful weather and the glamour of Hollywood, but the Sunshine State has a touch of Bulldog, topo. With more than 3,535 UGA alumni, Southern California is home to a host of alumni and alumni-owned businesses. 

A beer tap made from a Harley engine? Check. An annual Halloween party that includes a strait jacket escape contest and something called the Dead Marionette Theater? Check. A Johnny Cash shrine? Sure! All these elements and more come together to create the Gasser Lounge, a rock n’ roll bar located in Redondo Beach, California, the pride of owner Mike Bouchard (BBA ’03).

Serving as the Southern California Chapter’s game watching party venue, the Gasser Lounge hosts an energetic crew of football devotees every week for an indoor tailgating experience unlike any other, complete with a red leather interior and a special surprise after every Dawgs touchdown, served up by bartender Bouchard.

Bouchard and his bar aren’t the only ones keeping the Southern California Chapter entertained, however.

  

M. Ali Salimi (BBA ’03), president of the chapter, is an esteemed attorney who lived in Switzerland and London before beginning his own firm in Irvine.

Outside of work, Salimi opts for a hobby that’s a little less serious - gracing the stages of comedy clubs across the region. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments, Mike and Ali! Continue keeping the Southern California Chapter interesting.

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10.21.2014

2014-2015 Signature Lecture Series

Guest Blogger: Meg Amstutz, Ph.D. 
Associate Provost for Academic Programs

UGA is now highlighting a number of premier lectures through its new Signature Lectures designation, designed to help focus attention on the variety of prominent thinkers visiting campus.

When I first came to UGA in 1997, one thing I missed from my prior institution was the twice-yearly notice of its endowed lecture series. At the beginning of each semester, the arrival of the list of upcoming lectures would prompt my fellow graduate students and me to mark our calendars and chat with friends and colleagues about the topics that interested us most. Faculty across campus encouraged students to attend these lectures, and they often incorporated the work of the speakers into the classes they were teaching.    

In 2013-2014, more than 50 individual lectures were listed on UGA’s Master Calendar, signaling the strong level of intellectual activity taking place. At the same time, this long list signaled an opportunity to reframe these offerings conceptually, so that students and faculty might more easily mark the dates, participate and engage in classroom discussion together.

To that end, we have launched the UGA Signature Lectures, featuring speakers noted for their broad, multidisciplinary appeal and compelling bodies of work. This special designation recognizes a number of UGA’s endowed lectures, including the Gregory Lecture and the Mason Public Leadership Lecture, as well as lectures with historic significance on our campus, such as the Louise McBee Lecture, the Holmes-Hunter Lecture, and UGA’s Founders Day Lecture.

I am grateful to those who have chosen to endow lectures, because these Signature Lectures are one of the best ways for students to discover that they are truly part of a larger, international intellectual conversation.

For a full list of the 2014-2015 Signature Lecture, please click here.

The UGA Alumni Association will hold the 2015 Founders Day Lecture at the Chapel on Tuesday, January 27 at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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10.20.2014

Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)

Bulldog 100 and 40 Under 40 honoree Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’98) lives a busy life as owner and creative director of Colonial House of Flowers in Statesboro, Georgia. 

Hulsey’s work, inspired by her grandmother, is self-described as “timeless elegance that is ethereal and moody.” The majority of her designs feature unusual materials, such as pinecones and berries - something that caught the attention of both Pottery Barn and White House staff. Hulsey’s shop was selected to launch Pottery Barn's 2014 summer brand, and her floral designs were displayed at the White House in 2013.

A regular on Pottery Barn’s Have and Hold wedding blog, Hulsey informs brides-to-be on the art of creating flower girl halos, cake stand centerpieces and seashore-inspired tablescapes.

Hulsey enjoys opportunitues to work with fellow UGA alumni. She began her relationship with Pottery Barn after the floral arrangements she designed for friend and fellow Grady graduate Linsay Cheney Rudd’s (ABJ ’08) wedding were noticed by the blog. Hulsey also uses her friends in various photo shoots for Pottery Barn, including one for a driftwood lantern centerpiece tutorial that features Lea Lanier (BSED ’99).

  

In 2013, Colonial House of Flowers, generously donated flowers to UGA Day in Statesboro. She also gifted each 2014 40 Under 40 honorees with a red rose after the awards ceremony.

Congratulations on your success, Christy! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to many more years of your beautiful designs.

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