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07.09.2014

We are our Sisters’ Keepers

In 2011, while studying fashion merchandising and marketing, UGA alumna Michelle Blue (BBA '13) studied abroad in Ghana. While visiting textile workers and taking in the incredible, vibrant clothing, she was inspired.

Upon returning, Blue contacted her now partner, Sasha Matthews, and together they founded Bené, a company with much more to offer than amazing style.

Bené is an online store that allows users to create their own customized scarves from a number of styles, patterns and features. The scarves are gorgeous and versatile additions to any wardrobe. The real story, however, is behind the scenes.

The scarves themselves are created by the women of the Refugee Sewing Society in Atlanta from unique patterns and textiles that Blue discovered on her trip abroad. The Refugee Sewing Society is a non-profit organization that supports women who have fled their home countries for many reasons including ethnic cleansing and war. The organization teaches women to sew and provides an outlet to help sell their items. The money raised goes directly to provide for their families.

In addition to visiting textile workers while in Ghana, Blue was introduced to many local organizations that work to provide young girls with a secondary education and skills to engage in the world of entrepreneurship.

A portion of all Bené sales goes to the Stay-In-School Tuition Assistance (SISTA) Program and specifically to the SISTA Scholarship program. Built on the goal of increasing female education and business knowledge, SISTA Scholarship funds the secondary education of young Ghanian women. Through each educated girl, the cycle of poverty grows weaker and empowerment spreads throughout the community.

Blue and her partner have made it very clear that at the heart of Bené is giving. They believe that, "as global citizens we are responsible for each other, connected by the similarities and differences that tie us together. We must not simply placate the situation, but empower women by making investments into their lives, natural abilities and gifts to enable them to be self-sufficient."

Click here to learn more about the Bené mission!

Photo credit to www.benebyyou.com.

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Recent Entries


06.29.2015

“Big Man on Campus” turns 90

Earlier this month, Dave Wilkinson (ABJ '89), featured to the left here, reached out to let UGA Alumni Association staff know that his father was turning 90 today. Dave shared so many great details about his father’s time on campus that he was invited to serve as today’s guest blogger. Enjoy this special post about one of UGA’s outstanding graduates.

We are all proud of our UGA heritage. We share fond memories of football Saturdays and library Sundays. We watched the ancient trees on North Campus shed their leaves in autumnal breezes. We faced the challenge of traveling a mile across campus to make our next class in 15 minutes or less! From the dorms and dining halls to the Tate Center and Legion Pool, we learned to live and loved to learn at UGA. We worked hard. We played hard. We found ourselves at Georgia and left with Georgia in our hearts and souls!

Many of us are children or relatives of UGA alumni. I am honored to share the story of my dad, an outstanding alumnus who turns 90 this month. His name is Albert Mims Wilkinson, Jr., and you would know him as “Mims.”

Mims graduated from Decatur Boys High School at the age of 16 in 1942. He attended Emory University then transferred to the University of Georgia. At the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. He was assigned to the USS Evansville, Patrol Frigate 70, as a radar operator; Radarman, Third Class. After 2.5 years of active duty, mostly on submarine patrol in the North Atlantic, Mims was discharged having earned the American Defense Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the U.S. Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal.

In June 1946, Mims re-enrolled at the University of Georgia. The following year, he entered the UGA School of Law. He was elected Campus Leader in 1947 to represent all non-fraternity men on campus. While at UGA, he was elected to Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Blue Key Honor Society, the Gridiron Secret Society, and the Sphinx Club, UGA’s oldest honorary society. He was a member of both the Demosthenian Literary Society and the Phi Kappa Literary Society. Mims was a charter member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. He was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1948 and was elected president of the Georgia Law School Senior Class the next year.

  

Dad began to practice law in Atlanta in 1950. He practiced in all Georgia and federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He was a member or chairman of various committees of the Atlanta and Georgia bar associations, and served as chairman of the American Bar Association Committee on the Trial of Commercial Claims. Mims was a charter member of the Georgia Chapter of the American Trial Lawyers Association. He authored a book on contract law in Georgia which sold out two editions. He was Honorary Legal Advisor to the British Consul-General in Atlanta from 1970 until 2000. For his service to the Crown, he was awarded membership in the Order of the British Empire in 1985.

   

Dad was a tough act to follow at UGA. He credits the University of Georgia with preparing him for success in all of his endeavors. He was just one of so many great alumni who paved the way for us. We can all be grateful for those who established and helped grow this great institution. I am especially grateful to the University of Georgia Alumni Association for its ongoing service to the university and its alumni and friends. It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!

HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY, DAD!

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06.24.2015

Alumnus named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2015 Atlanta Man of the Year

Brian Fuller (BS '98) not only gives back to his community through his involvement with the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors, he has spent the last year fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Recently, Brian was named LLS' 2015 Atlanta Man of the Year and is now in the running for 2015 National Man of the Year, which will be announced in July. 

Every dollar the candidates raised counted as one “vote” and the candidates with the most votes were awarded the title Man & Woman of the Year. All the candidates competed in honor of LLS’s Boy & Girl of the Year, Hendrick and Koa, local children who are blood cancer survivors and sources of inspiration to others. 

Brian Fuller, pictured on left with Girl of the Year, Koa. 

“The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a great opportunity for participants to network with other candidates while raising money for an important cause,” said Piper Medcalf, LLS Georgia Chapter Executive Director.  “We applaud the tireless efforts of our incredible candidates and thank each of them for making such a significant difference in the lives of so many people.”  

Learn more about Brian's fundraising campaign

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06.22.2015

Alumna Spotlight: Jennifer Bellamy (ABJ '08)

Alumna Jennifer Bellamy (ABJ '08) is one of the newest members of the 11Alive Atlanta team. A native Atlantan, Jennifer graduated from UGA with a degree in broadcast news and a minor in Spanish. Her career began in Macon, Georgia, where she worked for 13WMAZ as a reporter, producer, and fill-in anchor. She then joined News19 in Columbia, South Carolina, as a general assignment and political reporter. Jennifer was later promoted to weekend anchor.

Earlier this year, Jennifer was recognized by the 2015 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for Outstanding Local Television Investigative Reporting as a part of the News19 team. She also received a South Carolina Broadcasters Association STAR award for her coverage of South Carolina’s Department of Social Services. 

11Alive is home to many Georgia alumni and the UGA Alumni Association is thrilled to see another graduate join its ranks. Congratulations, Jennifer! 

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