Campus News

Businesswoman will receive honorary doctoral degree at Commencement

The university will award an honorary degree to Jane Seddon Willson, an Albany businesswoman who, along with her late husband Harry, has provided significant financial assistance and volunteer service in support of UGA academic programs.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved a request from UGA President Michael F. Adams to present Willson the honorary Doctor of Laws degree at UGA’s spring semester undergraduate commencement exercises May 13. She will be the 76th recipient of the degree which, after the earned doctorate, is the highest recognition UGA can bestow.

The university awards honorary degrees for “exemplary and broad contributions to society.” Recipients must demonstrate a “sustained record of achievements of lasting significance” in their field. The overarching criteria for the degree is excellence.

Willson is president of Sunnyland Farms in Albany, which she and Harry founded in 1953 after they moved to Atlanta in 1946. The company, which specializes in selling pecans, candy and nuts, is the largest pecan mail order business in the country.