Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Alumni Association will present five awards to alumni, friends and former faculty during its 79th annual Alumni Awards Luncheon April 15 at noon in the Tate Student Center Grand Hall.
The luncheon, which takes place during the university’s Honors Week, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a deep commitment to bettering the university.
“The Alumni Awards Luncheon is an important opportunity each year for the UGA community to reflect on the contributions made by individuals to the success of the University of Georgia,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “These award recipients are role models for other alumni in that they have remained connected to the university, and they have identified ways in which they can promote student success and provide financial and volunteer support for the great things happening on campus.”
This year’s awards include:
2016 Young Alumni Award
The second Young Alumni Award will be presented to Christie Haynes. This award is given to alumni who earned a degree in the past 10 years, have embodied the Pillars of the Arch (principles which guide the behavior of members of the UGA community), and provided notable service to the university.
Haynes graduated from UGA in 2010 with degrees in history and political science. While a student, she was in the Honors Program, involved in Gamma Sigma Sigma and the Student Government Association, and was president of the Student Alumni Council. She and a fellow SAC member resurrected the university’s traditions handbook, the “G Book,” which is now distributed to thousands of incoming students each year.
Within two years of graduation, Haynes became the youngest president of a Georgia chamber of commerce and continues to lead as the president and CEO of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development. She is a 2012 UGA 40 Under 40 honoree, and is a past president of the School of Public and International Affairs Alumni Board.
2016 Friend of UGA Award
Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson will be honored with the 2016 Friend of UGA Award. The award is given to non-UGA graduates whose professional or public service has greatly assisted the university.
Though neither of the Thompsons attended UGA, the couple have given generously to the flagship university of the state in which they have lived for 30 years. Brenda is a former clinical school psychologist for Atlanta Public Schools and Larry is a former deputy attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice. He is now the John A. Sibley Chair of Corporate and Business Law in the UGA School of Law.
The Thompsons have collected one of the largest private collections of art created by African-Americans, focusing on pieces by lesser-known artists. Since 2012, they have donated more than 100 works of art to the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia and endowed a full-time curatorial position. Larry is an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation, and Brenda is a current UGA Foundation trustee and the chair-elect on the Georgia Museum of Art Board of Advisors.
2016 Faculty Service Award
Karen A. Holbrook is receiving the 2016 Faculty Service Award. First presented in 1969, the award recognizes current or former UGA faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves in service to the university.
Holbrook served as UGA’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost from 1998 to 2002. During her time in Athens, she advocated for new programs in the biomedical and health sciences, which eventually led to the creation of UGA’s College of Public Health. She also funded programs that provided research services to minority undergraduate students and created the position of associate provost for institutional diversity.
In 2002, Holbrook departed UGA to become the first female president of The Ohio State University and is now a higher education consultant and senior adviser to the president of the University of South Florida. Last fall, Holbrook and her husband, Jim, established the Karen and Jim Holbrook Distinguished Professorship in the College of Public Health and endowed a fellowship to support graduate students pursuing careers related to global health.
2016 Alumni Merit Awards
The Alumni Merit Award, the UGA Alumni Association’s oldest honor, will be presented to Henry D. “Greg” Gregory Jr. and Saxby Chambliss.
Gregory founded Industrial Development International in Atlanta in 1989. He retired as president and CEO in 2007, having built the company into one of the largest industrial developers in the nation and one of the top industrial landowners in Atlanta.
Throughout their marriage, Greg and his wife, Amanda, have shared an interest in American history and its preservation for future generations. After attending a history class at UGA in 2010, the couple decided to invest in the future of the history department, establishing the Amanda and Greg Gregory Chair in the Civil War Era and providing additional financial support for Civil War research on campus.
In addition to supporting the history department, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate has served on a number of boards, including the Terry College of Business Alumni Board, the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council.
Chambliss graduated from UGA in 1966 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. After graduation, he moved to Moultrie, where he became an attorney representing the interests of local farmers. In 1994, the alumnus was first elected to Congress and went on to serve four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms in the U.S. Senate. Throughout his legislative career, he has been recognized numerous times by the public and private sectors for his work on agriculture, defense, budget and national security issues. He retired as Georgia’s senior senator in 2014.
Recently, Chambliss established the Senator Saxby Chambliss Leadership Forum to increase students’ exposure to domestic and international politics. The Forum comprises three parts: Chambliss serving as the UGA School of Law’s Sanders Political Leadership Scholar; his holding a lecture series for undergraduate students on public policy; and the establishment of the Chambliss Fellows Program to send five students each semester to participate in UGA’s Washington Semester Program.
On-site registration and check-in for the Alumni Awards Luncheon will open at 11:30 a.m. and the program will begin at noon in the Tate Student Center Grand Hall. Online registration is open until April 13 at alumni.uga.edu/alumniawards for $40 per person or $320 per table. Space is limited, so registration is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
To learn more about the 2016 Alumni Awards Luncheon, register or view a list of previous award recipients, visit alumni.uga.edu/alumniawards.
The UGA Alumni Association
The UGA Alumni Association supports the academic excellence, best interests and traditions of Georgia’s flagship university by inspiring engagement through relevant programming, enhanced connections and effective communications. For more information, see alumni.uga.edu.