Campus News

‘Key’ community players

Thomas Landrum

Four alumni to be recognized for their commitment to service

The UGA chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society will pay tribute to four alumni at its annual awards banquet Oct. 11. Kessel D. Stelling Jr., William D. Young Jr. and Thomas S. Landrum will receive Blue Key Service Awards. Jessica Langston ­McClellan will receive the Young Alumnus Award.

The Blue Key Honor Society is a national organization with members committed to leadership in student life, high scholastic achievement, service to others, citizenship and an adherence to principles of faith. It was established in 1924 at the University of Florida; the second chapter was established at UGA in 1926.

The banquet, which is open to the public, will be held at the UGA Hotel and Conference Center. A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., and dinner will follow at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $30; sponsored eight-seat silver tables are $300, and the eight-seat gold table is $500. Tickets can be reserved by contacting Janet Lance at 706-542-0017 or

Stelling, 6th Congressional District representative to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, 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.

Stelling, a 1978 UGA graduate, is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Terry College of Business and the current chairman and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp. Stelling also is a board member of the Cobb Community Foundation, Wellstar Health Systems and The Georgian Club. He has worked for the First Railroad and Banking Co. in Augusta; served as senior vice president of the First National Bank of Cobb County from 1985-90; and as executive vice president of the Chattahoochee Bank in Marietta from 1990-94.

Stelling also served as chairman and CEO of Riverside Bancshares Inc. and Riverside Bank, which was sold to the Synovus in 2006. He was promoted to Synovus’ regional CEO for the Atlanta market in 2008. Stelling is being honored for his commitment to community service and his dedication to higher education in Georgia.

Young, a 1978 UGA graduate, is vice president of General Wholesale Co., a family-owned beverage distribution company based in Atlanta with branches in Augusta and Spartanburg, S.C.

He has been a UGA Foundation trustee since 2003 and served as chair from 2007-2009 and again from 2011-2013. He also has been on the finance and development and public affairs committees. He has served on the board of directors of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America and was chairman of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Georgia. He served on the Wine and Spirits Scholarship Foundation and belongs to the Benedicts of Atlanta, Peachtree Golf Club, Cherokee Town and Country Club, the Capital City Club and the Young Presidents Organization. Young is being honored for his professional leadership and civic contributions as well as his continuing support for UGA.

Landrum, vice president for development and alumni relations at UGA, earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in journalism from UGA in 1972 and 1987, respectively.

He is responsible for managing the university’s fundraising and alumni relations programs, financial and development support services and the offices of donor relations and stewardship, special events and career counseling.

Since coming to UGA in 1976, he has worked as assistant director for publications, director of public relations and executive assistant to the vice president for development and university relations. He was an assistant to former UGA President Charles B. Knapp from 1992-1997 and chief of staff to former UGA President Michael F. Adams from 1997-2007. He is co-adviser of the UGA Blue Key chapter and a past vice chair of the national Blue Key board of directors. He is a member of the Grady College Board of Trust and the Grady Fellowship and a board member for the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History. Landrum is being honored for his distinguished career and 37 years of service to UGA.

McClellan, an aviation and admiralty litigation and Deepwater Horizon trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, graduated from UGA summa cum laude in 2000 and cum laude with a Juris Doctor in 2003.

She previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Georgia and as an associate with Hunter, Maclean, Exley and Dunn P.C. in Savannah. McClellan is involved in leadership positions with the Junior League of Savannah, the board of the Telfair Museum of Art and the UGA Alumni Association.

She is a member of Leadership Georgia and coach of the Georgia High School Association mock trial team. In 2013, she was nominated for the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 class. She is being honored for her professional leadership and civic contributions as well as her continuing support for UGA.