A. D. “Pete” Correll, UGA alumnus and chairman emeritus of Georgia-Pacific Corp., will be the speaker for fall undergraduate Commencement exercises Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. in the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum. The university will award Correll the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his philanthropic commitments and multi-million dollar contributions to the benefit of UGA and the state of Georgia.
James C. Cobb, the B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, will speak at the graduate Commencement exercises at 2:30 p.m. also in Stegeman Coliseum.
In addition to being chairman and co-founder of Atlanta Equity Investors, a private equity firm with $109 million in committed capital, Correll is chairman emeritus of Georgia-Pacific Corp. He has had a 40-year career as a successful executive in the forest products, paper and consumer products industries.
“Pete Correll is one of Georgia’s leading citizens,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “He has been an extraordinarily successful chief executive, community activist and first-class civic leader. He has served his alma mater in virtually every way imaginable and is deserving of any recognition we might bestow on him. It will be a pleasure for me to award him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his lifelong service to this university and state.”
Correll and his wife, Ada Lee, have helped ensure the success and planned expansion of the Georgia Aquarium’s aquatic animal medicine and aquatic conservation programs with a $2.5 million gift to establish the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health. The 10,000 square-foot center is a partnership between the Georgia Aquarium and the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. UGA faculty and graduate students research and train at the Correll Center, the first aquatic veterinary teaching hospital integrated into an aquarium in the world.
Cobb is widely recognized as one of the foremost scholars of Southern history and culture. He has written widely on the interaction between economy, society and culture in the American South and was among the first to write broadly about the South in a global context. Most of his more than 40 articles and 12 books are about the impact of changing economic conditions on the South. Two of these, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity and The Most Southern Place on Earth, his book about the Mississippi Delta, are considered classics in the field. His newest book, The South and the Nation Since World War II, was published last month by the Oxford University Press.
The Commencement ceremonies will be for students who complete degree requirements at the end of fall semester.