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09.20.2013

2013 40 Under 40 Awards Lunch a Success!

Yesterday, nearly 400 University of Georgia alumni, staff, and friends gathered in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium to celebrate the 2013 40 Under 40. Attendees were welcomed to the sounds of a live steel drum band during the reception, and were then ushered into the ballroom which was decorated with eye-catching red and black decor. In the back of the room was a window into the Ocean Voyager exhibit, featuring large manta rays and massive whale sharks! The far side of the room was highlighted by a window into the playful beluga whales exhibit.

While attendees gathered around the glass to catch glimpses of these amazing creatures, the real stars of the show were still minutes from being recognized. At noon, lunch was commenced and the program began. UGA Alumni Association President Tim Keadle (BBA '78) introduced President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80), who offered the keynote remarks. President Morehead took a few moments to speak directly to the honorees themselves. 

"This is my charge to you: Be of good service," Morehead said. "Be the people who make their communities better. Be the people who keep this nation's important volunteer organizations strong and vibrant. Be the people who see themselves as responsible to others, to society and to the planet. Make a difference, large and small, in every way that you can, in every place that you go."

Following President Morehead's remarks, I was proud to provide an overview of this year's class - and what an accomplished and diverse class it is. The members of the 2013 40 Under 40 graduated in the years ranging from as early as 1996 to as recently as 2011. 26 honorees graduated since 2000, and nine are Double-Dawgs, having recieved two degrees from UGA.

This year's honorees hail from nine states, the District of Columbia and the countries of Guatemala, China and Saudi Arabia. They represent a variety of industries, including art, law, education, government, finance and banking, nonprofit, food production, PR and marketing, the Armed Forces and health care.

The afternoon's festivities concluded with a class picture in front of the Oceans Voyager tank as "Glory, Glory" played over the sound system. 

It was an exceptional event honoring exceptional young men and women. Nothing illustrates the value of a University of Georgia degree better than UGA's graduates, and this group of talented and dedicated young alumni have proven a UGA degree to be very valuable indeed.  

Stay tuned to our website and your email inbox for information on nominating a deserving young alumni for the 2014 list. Congratulations to this year's honorees and to all of you who attended the lunch yesterday. It was truly an afternoon to remember! Go Dawgs! 

CLICK HERE to see the members of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013. 

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Recent Entries


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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