UGA chapter of Blue Key Honor Society will honor three with its service award

Ralston, David-v.portrait

September 13, 2011

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Athens, Ga. - The UGA chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society will recognize three UGA alumni and one faculty member at its annual awards banquet Sept. 30.

David Ralston, speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives; business executive Donald A. Perry and UGA faculty member Charles S. Bullock III will receive Blue Key Service Awards for their civic contributions. In addition, state Sen. Charles J. Bethel will receive the Young Alumnus Award.

The banquet, which is open to the public, will be held at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the dinner will start at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $30. The eight-seat Silver Sponsor Table is $300, and the eight-seat Gold Sponsor Table is $500. Contact Janet Lance at 706-542-0017 or jholcomb@uga.edu by Sept. 23 to reserve tickets.

Ralston, who is serving his ninth term in the state House of Representatives, will speak at the banquet. In addition, recipients of the AT&T Student Leadership Award, the Richard B. Russell Student Leadership Award and the Tucker Dorsey Memorial Scholarship will be announced.

David Ralston
Ralston, who represents House District 7, is being honored for his leadership in state government and for his contributions to higher education. A 1980 graduate of UGA's School of Law, Ralston served in the Georgia State Senate from 1992-1998. Elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002, he chaired the House Judiciary Non-Civil committee, was vice-chair of the Judiciary committee and also served on the Appropriations, Rules, Transportation and Government Affairs committees.

An attorney in Blue Ridge, Ralston has worked with the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and the Blue Ridge Lions Club.

Don Perry
Perry, who earned his bachelor's degree in public relations from UGA in 1974, is being honored for his professional and civic contributions as well as his support of higher education in Georgia.

After spending nearly a decade with General Electric Co., Perry joined Chick-fil-A in 1983 and is currently vice president for public relations. He is responsible for external communications and publicity programs in support of key company initiatives.

Actively involved with the Georgia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Perry served as chapter president in 1993 and was later inducted into the chapter's "Order of the Phoenix" and its Hall of Fame. He has been involved in other industry organizations, including the Emory University Public Affairs Advisory Council, which he chaired from 1994-1996, and the Atlanta Press Club's Public Relations Council.

At UGA, Perry has served on the professional advisory board of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; as a member of the board of trustees for the University of Georgia Arch Foundation; and on the editorial advisory board of Georgia Magazine, the university's alumni publication.

Charles Bullock
Bullock is being honored for his distinguished career and his many years of support for academic programs at UGA.

Bullock joined the faculty in 1968 and has served continuously except for the year he was a legislative assistant to Congressman Bill Stuckey and the two years he was a political science professor at the University of Houston.

The Richard B. Russell Professor of Political Science, Bullock received the university's William A. Owens Creative Research Award in 1991 and was named a Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor-the highest teaching honor bestowed by the university-in 2005. His teaching and research specialties are legislative politics and Southern politics.

A past president of the Southern Political Association and the Georgia Political Science Association, Bullock also is a past chair of the Legislative Study Group. In addition, he has served on the executive councils of the American Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association and the Georgia Political Science Association.

Charlie Bethel
Bethel is being honored for his professional leadership and civic contributions as well as continuing support for his alma mater.

Bethel graduated cum laude from UGA in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in management; he graduated from the School of Law in 2001.

The director of corporate affairs for J&J Industries Inc., he was elected to the Georgia Senate in 2010 to represent Senate District 54. He serves on several committees including Judiciary, Special Judiciary, Insurance and Labor, Retirement and Reapportionment and Redistricting. He also serves as a deputy whip for the Republican Caucus.

In addition to serving on the Dalton City Council, Bethel is active in the Dalton Rotary Club, the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2008, he was selected as a member of the Dalton Magazine's inaugural 20 under 40 class, and Georgia Trend named him to its 40 under 40 list for the state of Georgia.

Founded in 1924, the Blue Key National Honor Society has more than 300 chapters throughout the U.S. The UGA chapter, which was started in 1926 as the second in the nation, has presented the Blue Key Service Award since 1964 to distinguished citizens who have made important contributions to the nation, state, UGA and their communities.

More information about the Blue Key Honor Society is available online at www.uga.edu/bluekey.

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