Athens, Ga. – Athens entrepreneur and University of Georgia alumnus C.L. Morehead Jr. was honored with the 2010 Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni Award, which is presented annually by the University System of Georgia Foundation.
Each year, the award recognizes one individual from a USG institution who has distinguished him or herself through outstanding accomplishments within his or her field of endeavor and exhibits an extraordinary commitment to the institution. The award was announced March 20 at the annual Regents’ Award for Excellence in Education Celebration in Atlanta.
“I have had the pleasure of working with C.L. Morehead and have seen first-hand how his steadfast support has impacted the Georgia Museum of Art and the University as a whole,” wrote UGA President Michael F. Adams in his nomination letter. “He is, in my opinion, a model public servant who has given unselfishly of his time, talents and financial support.”
A native of the South Georgia town of Fitzgerald, Morehead earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from UGA in 1950. After graduation, he remained in Athens and taught horticulture classes at the university and took a job at a flower shop downtown. In 1959, he opened his own wholesale-retail greenhouse business, Flowers, Inc., which continues to thrive today.
Morehead has supported the university in many ways since graduation, serving on the boards of advisors for the Georgia Museum of Art and the State Botanical Garden. He is an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation.
An avid art collector, Morehead was a close friend of the late Lamar Dodd, who founded the university’s art program and for whom the university’s School of Art now is named. Over the past 20 years, Morehead has assembled the largest known collection of Dodd’s work, consisting of nearly 700 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings appraised at $10 million.
Morehead has bequeathed his entire Lamar Dodd art collection to the Georgia Museum of Art and has financially supported the university in other ways, as well. In 1993, he made a $1 million gift to help support the new Georgia Museum of Art building. In 2006, he pledged an additional $1 million to support the museum’s 30,000-square-foot expansion, which is currently underway. He is a founding Presidents Club member and a member of the Arch Foundation’s Heritage Society through his bequest to the university’s art museum. In 2007, he was recognized as a member of the university’s Crystal Arch Society for his combined financial contributions and bequest commitment.
“C. L. Morehead, Jr.’s generosity is only exceeded by his modesty; he is a true friend to the museum and to the university, a man to whom kindness comes as naturally as breath,” said museum director Bill Eiland. “Over the past twenty years, the Georgia Museum of Art has been able to attain one of its loftiest goals—the dissemination of knowledge through the visual arts—because of this man’s encouragement and support. We are indebted to him for the enthusiasm with which he embraces our mission and vision.”