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GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY AUGUSTA

Commencement 2013 The Inaugural Class of GRU Alumni


Georgia Regents University’s Alumni and Friends magazine is published three times a year by the Office of Advancement and the Office of Communications and Marketing to connect the university with alumni, friends, the state, and the world.

QUESTIONS?

Here’s how to find out more information about your GRU Alumni Association. Physical Address: 1061 Katherine Street Augusta, GA 30904 Mailing Address: GRU Alumni Affairs 1120 15th Street, FI-1000 Augusta, GA 30912 www.gru.edu/alumni 706-737-1759 Need to update your contact information? alumni@gru.edu Associate Vice President, Alumni Affairs and Special Events Kristina Baggott kbaggott@gru.edu

INSIDE EVERY EDITION 3 4 6 8 17 18 36 38 42 44

From the President Campus Happenings Events Calendar Advancement Update Alumni Advocacy Update College Catch-Up Career Development Class Notes Jaguar Pride A Look Back

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Senior Director, Alumni Affairs Scott Henson shenson@gru.edu Director, Alumni Affairs Rhonda Banks robanks@gru.edu Alumni Affairs Coordinator Student and Young Alumni Programs Mary Beth Gable mgable@gru.edu Alumni Affairs Coordinator Alumni Communications and Corporate Sponsorships Samantha Mellinger smellinger@gru.edu

Commencement 2013: GRU’s first graduation ceremony

Georgia Regents University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the

Alumni Support Specialist Parent and Family Programs Regional Programming Paula Toole ptoole@gru.edu

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other application statutes and university policies.

gru.edu/gravity ©

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G E O R G I A

R E G E N T S

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IN THIS ISSUE GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY AUGUSTA

ALUMNI and FRIENDS MAGAZINE

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Scenes from Alumni Weekend

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James M. Hull Receives First Honorary Doctorate

EDITORS

15 Q&A

Senior Vice President, Office of Advancement: Susan Barcus Senior Vice President, Office of Communications and Marketing: David Brond Associate Vice President, Office of Communications and Marketing: Jack Evans Executive Editor: Kristina Baggott Senior Editors: Christine Hurley Deriso Karen Gutmann

Dr. Roy Witherington, Medical College of Georgia, ’53

Alumni Spotlights

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DESIGN & PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHY Senior Photographer: Phil Jones Special Assignments: Wingate Downs Todd Paris

ADVERTISING Samantha Mellinger 706-667-4979 smellinger@gru.edu

Erwin C. Reid Hull College of Business, ’83

PHOTO: TODD PARIS

PHOTO: WINGATE DOWNS

P.J. Hayes Design

Dr. Phyllis Pendergrast College of Dental Medicine, ’76

Oops, we goofed: The spring edition of GRavity cited an incorrect commencement date. We regret the error.


Keynote Speakers Bob and

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Dear Readers, During our recent Alumni Weekend celebration, I had the opportunity to spend time with many of our 2013 Distinguished Alumni. I was so impressed by the accomplishments of this prestigious group, and it struck me that some common threads woven through the fabric of this gathering deserve to be noted: n A heartfelt commitment to their alma mater n A passion for their profession n A continuous pursuit of excellence in all endeavors n A genuine interest in paying it forward to the next generation As I watched each alumnus receive a Distinguished Alumni Medallion, I was moved by the honorees’ reactions as they stood on the stage. Their pride in standing side by side and representing the colleges they hold so dear was a testament to the rich history of our university and the bright future that lies ahead for so many future alumni. On another note, I’ve included a snapshot from the 2013 Alumni Weekend Signature Event above. The distinguished alumni posed for

a quick picture with our keynote speakers, Bob and Lee Woodruff, and proved once again that we have the most dedicated and photogenic alumni around. This was quite a lineup of our alumni star power, and we are so grateful for their ongoing support of our university. Speaking of stars, I encourage you to check out some of our other star alumni in this issue, including Erwin Reid (Business, ’83), who balances his high-ranking Chickfil-A career with not one, but two sets of twins, and Dr. Phyllis Pendergrast (Dental Medicine, ’76), whose career in beautiful Fairbanks, Alaska is a culmination of a lifelong commitment to public service. We also highlight a historic milestone reached in May, when we welcomed the inaugural graduates of our consolidated university to our alumni community during our 2013 Commencement Ceremony. No doubt among them are many future alumni stars. I hope that you’ll be as riveted by their stories as I have been. Once again, our alumni prove to be our university’s greatest legacy. n

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Lee Woodruff with President Ricardo Azziz and Provost Gretchen Caughman (center) with Distinguished Alumni Robert Mullins (from left), Ramani Ramchandran, Shannon Nix, Roxanne Padgett, Stacy Tallent, Jane Swanson, Sandra Freedman, Murray Freedman, Harvey Levy, Janet Bush Tankersley, and Michael Pruett. Not pictured: Distinguished Alumni Jimmie Keenan, Summer Finley Bell, and Ronnie Strength.

Kristina Baggott, M.B.A., ’03 Associate VP, Alumni Affairs and Special Events Georgia Regents University Office of Advancement


A Growing GRU Augusta campuses in April for a variety of programs and events as part of Alumni Weekend. n We created a GRU Advocates program, with more than 300 alumni statewide receiving regular updates on RICARDO AZZIZ, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. key legislation and Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, advocating to their Medicine and Medical Humanities; local legislators the importance of funding President, Georgia Regents University; CEO, Georgia Regents Health System for higher education and health care programs and services. n We continue to make strides in providing highquality care to our patients. n We continue to refine the conceptual facilities plan for our campuses. There’s so much going on at GRU, and I’ve given you but a snapshot of all the wonderful successes being achieved by the university and its friends and supporters. We are moving boldly into the future, and the state of Georgia and our philanthropic community is investing in that future. The University System of Georgia’s 2014 budget includes $64 million in funding for GRU projects (see Alumni Advocacy, page 17). And we have been raising record support from philanthropists like you, including the wonderful gift exceeding $66 million from the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Family Foundation in support of the academic mission of the Medical College of Georgia, our premier medical school—support from individuals who believe strongly in our mission and the promise of our future. I know you are as proud of our institution as we are, from our roots in the early 1800s to our presentday mission of providing leadership and excellence in teaching, discovery, clinical care, and service. You, our alumni, are products of that mission. You are part of our history, and we invite you to be part of our very exciting future. n

SUMMER 2013

On May 10, we celebrated the first graduating class of Georgia Regents University, welcoming more than 1,000 new alumni to our university family. (See page 20.) These new graduates, like you, are among the elite in this country. According to the most recent Census figures, only 28 percent of all Americans 25 and older have earned a four-year higher-education degree. Fewer than that have finished a graduate program. Our new graduates, through perseverance, hard work, and discipline, have beaten the odds. I know you join me in celebrating their accomplishment. In a letter I wrote to GRU’s Class of 2013, I reminded our newest graduates that the world needs their intellect and ideas, their energy and enthusiasm, their positive outlook, their hopefulness about the future . . . and their leadership. GRU needs that, too, as the success of our university greatly depends on the support of our alumni. I also reminded them that their institution is on a grand path of growth and transformation. As an example, we recently shared with the GRU community our progress and our successes over the first 100 days of our consolidation; and, they are many. A few examples: n We have completed a strategic plan, Transition Forward. n We have identified and begun building a sustainable and differentiating brand. n We initiated a comprehensive, statewide undergraduate student recruitment and enrollment effort—and will reach close to 10,000 highly capable students in both existing and many new market areas. n We are launching four new bachelor’s degrees this fall, and other new degree programs are in development. n We created opportunities and funding for graduate students to develop and strengthen their teaching skills through graduate teaching assistantships. n We created five presidential scholarships for highpotential freshmen. n We completed phase 1 of an athletics strategic plan that will guide our intercollegiate sports program. n We are supporting all disciplines through a new intramural grants program to fund larger collaborative research efforts and program grant applications. n We created an enterprise-wide Employee Advisory Committee and held the first service awards ceremony for the consolidated university. n We hosted close to 1,000 alumni and visitors on our

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APRIL & MAY

APRIL

25 Night Light The 17th annual “Take Back the Night” rally, sponsored by GRU, Paine College, and Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services, celebrated the triumphs of survivors and raised community awareness of sexual victimization.

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CAMPUS Happenings Walking Tall

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APRIL

The GRU Obstetrics/Gynecology Interest Group hosted a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” race, challenging men to walk in women’s high heels to raise awareness of Augusta’s support and recovery services for victims of sexual violence.

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APRIL

27 Fired-Up Race GRU hosted the “Good Boats for Goodwill Dragon Boats Race” at Augusta’s Lake Olmstead in recognition of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

Driving Home the Message Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver participated in a GRU driving simulation to demonstrate the dangers of driving while distracted or impaired. He also presented a proclamation to Georgia Regents Medical Center in recognition of 30 years of trauma care.

MAY

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27 A Day to Remember Col. Robert A. Barker, Fort Gordon Garrison Commander, was the guest speaker at a Memorial Day celebration at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home.

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AUG SEPT OCT 2013

UPCOMING EVENTS

AUGUST

19–23 AUGUST 19-23

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Alumni Mixer Augusta, Ga. 5:30-8 p.m.

SEPTEMBER 28

Jaguar Jaunt 5K Summerville Campus 7 a.m. registration; 8 a.m. race

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Week of Welcome GRU Campuses

SEPTEMBER

For more information: 706-737-1759 or alumni@gru.edu

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UPCOMING EVENTS

OCTOBER

Medical College of Georgia Alumni Reception Doublegate Country Club, Albany, Ga., 6 p.m.

OCTOBER 11 OCTOBER 3

The Russell A. Blanchard Distinguished Lecturer in Ethics Sherron Watkins, Enron Whistleblower Summerville Campus, 6 p.m.

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Alumni Barbecue Summerville Campus 5:30 p.m. fireworks at dark

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OCTOBER 15

Medical College of Georgia Alumni Reception Coosa Country Club Rome, Ga., 6 p.m.

SUMMER 2013

OCTOBER 3

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ADVANCEMENT Update Leaders in Action; Leaders to Follow Collegiality, compassion, excellence, inclusivity, integrity, and

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leadership. These are the values of Georgia Regents University... the foundational principles we have embraced as a university community focused on becoming a destination of choice for education, health care, discovery, creativity, and innovation. In the inaugural edition of GRavity, I wrote about the transformative power of alumni giving and how leadership takes many forms ... from making financial donations, to serving on university boards and advisory groups, to advocating for the university within your respective spheres of influence. Your Alumni Association Presidents—Sam Richwine, Ralph Cohen, Krishnan Dhandapani, Thayer McGahee, Stevie Redmond, and Adam Williams—serve in vital leadership positions for GRU’s alumni community. But they are not the only leaders among you. If you are partnering with us to preserve the traditions of the past while building bridges to the future ... you are leading.

If you are helping us understand who we are and what we can become as a unified alumni community ... you are leading. If you are working to help us identify the most important ingredients of our shared culture so that we don’t end up with a bland, flavorless soup ... you are leading. I heard from so many of you during Alumni Weekend about what you cherish, the memories you hold dear, and your ideas for the future. More than once I was told, “We’re behind you.” That’s music to my ears, because your university needs your support. We need your enthusiasm, your time and talent, and your innovative and motivational leadership. As our largest constituent group, you—our alumni—can make a significant difference in the future of our university... the difference between being the little engine that could or the big engine that did. Whether you are behind us, beside us, or leading the way, we are so very glad you’re on our team. n Susan Barcus Senior Vice President, Office of Advancement

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ADVANCEMENT Update Gilbert Manor Dedication Ceremony Honored

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eorgia Regents University received an Award of Excellence at the National Professional Development Conference of the Group on Institutional Advancement, one of only 10 such awards given this year to recognize outstanding creative work by member institutions. GRU’s submission, “Honoring a Community—Gilbert Manor and Georgia Health Sciences,” was awarded in the Special Projects, Programs, or Campaigns Category: Development. A Visionary Gift to Medical Education The judges described the Gilbert Manor Dedication Ceremony, held By now, many of you have heard that one of our very Feb. 25, 2012, as “a beautiful and own, the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison (MCG, ’48), left his alma moving tribute,” commemorating the mater an astounding leadership gift: $66 million to fund residents of the Gilbert Manor housing student and faculty initiatives. community and their sacrifice. Our university has benefited greatly from the support When the University needed to of Dr. Harrison and his wife, Sue. Last year, the Harrisons increase clinical training space for the donated $10 million to support our new Education state’s only dental school, it looked Commons building, which has been named in Dr. Harrison’s to land that was contiguous to our honor. His recent donation is, as far as we can determine, the property for expansion—Gilbert largest gift ever received by a public university in Georgia Manor. Named in honor of John and among the largest gifts ever received by a U.S. medical Wesley Gilbert, a noted Africanschool. American teacher, administrator,   We are extraordinarily grateful to once again benefit from and classical scholar, this historically the Harrisons’ generosity. As MCG Dean Peter F. Buckley black neighborhood was home to noted to his faculty and staff, Dr. Harrison’s gift will help approximately 3,500 families over its secure the best students and the best faculty for Georgia’s nearly 70-year history. public medical school. Recognizing the significant sacrifice   The impact of this level of investment in scholarship of the Gilbert Manor residents, the support is clear: We are now much better equipped to President of the University pledged attract outstanding medical students with diverse talents to honor them and the property’s and experiences. And endowed chairs? They are among the namesake. best ways to attract top professors from other institutions The judges lauded the thought, and to retain and reward existing faculty. Dr. Harrison’s consideration, and community generous support ensures our competitiveness in an involvement evident in the design increasingly competitive environment. process of the monument and in   We are humbled by Dr. Harrison’s abiding commitment to planning the dedicatory event, which the future of his alma mater—indeed the commitment of all was hosted by President Ricardo those individuals, businesses, and foundations who invest in Azziz, Senior Vice President for the future of Georgia Regents University. Advancement Susan Barcus, and Vice   Our vision is to be a top-tier Provost Roman Cibirka. university that is a destination GIA is one of the Association of choice for education, health of American Medical Colleges’ 15 care, discovery, creativity, and professional development groups innovation. Transformational and the only national institutional gifts like the $66 million advancement group devoted received from Dr. Harrison exclusively to issues affecting will serve as an example of academic medicine. Members include leadership in action for future medical school and teaching hospital generations to follow. n professionals working in alumni affairs, development, marketing, public affairs, Dr. J. Harold Harrison and wife Sue and public relations. n


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Branching Out for Your Alma Mater

A TRUE

BY DEB BARSHAFSKY

BY PHIL WAHL

Barshafsky, a 1985 graduate of Augusta College, is Associate Vice President for Communications and Donor Relations.

Wahl, a 1987 graduate of Augusta College, chairs the Augusta State University Foundation.

Many years ago, I had a cocker spaniel I walked to the Summerville Campus in the evenings so she could “put the squirrels to bed,” which meant chasing them up the Arsenal Oak before it succumbed to wood bores and Hypoxylon canker in 2004. As a student in the 1980s, a longtime employee of GRU’s Health Sciences Campus, and a neighbor of the Summerville Campus, I have come to appreciate the abundant flora our university has to offer— the Bradford pears in front of the Greenblatt Library, the prolific loquat tree near Boykin Wright Hall, and the holly trees next to the Kelly Administration Building that attract noisy, colorful flocks of cedar waxwings every year, to cite just a few examples. GRU’s campuses are filled with hundreds of beautiful trees that hold memories for our students, alumni, faculty, and staff . . . and now members of the GRU community can honor a loved one, pay tribute to a friend, mark a special event or milestone, or simply enhance the beauty of the university’s grounds by participating in the new GRU Commemorative Tree Program. Commemorative trees are available for a $2,500 donation to the university. A portion of the gift is used to purchase and plant the tree. The remainder is added to the GRU Tree Fund to maintain donated trees and fund GRU scholarships. I made a donation to GRU’s tree program, and a white oak will be planted on the Summerville Campus this fall. The plaque will read: In Memory of Honey 1986 – 1999 Rest Easy, Girl The Squirrels Have Been Put to Bed n

Help grow GRU: Contact Drew Dixon, Office of Advancement 706-721-9394 or adixon16@gru.edu

giving.gru.edu/trees 10

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he Arsenal Oak, the Teardrop, the Quadrangle, the Blanchard Fountain—these are just some of the threads inextricably woven into the fabric of university life on the Summerville Campus. And even though the Arsenal Oak no longer stands and the Teardrop has been rebuilt in a new location, these images live on in the minds and hearts of so many. So it is with Helen Hendee. Prior to retiring in April, Helen had a long and distinguished career at Augusta State University as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. It was in this role that I first met Helen. I had been asked by a board member to serve on the Alumni Association board and had agreed to do so. Helen quickly followed up with a phone call and welcomed me into the fold. I have felt welcomed ever since. Helen has a way of putting people at ease right away with her everpresent and infectious smile, warmth, and sincere Southern hospitality. But make no mistake; behind that genteel demeanor is a person who is passionate about many things. She works tirelessly on behalf of those things she loves—and it is evident that she loves the university, its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Helen, uniquely gifted at building relationships, made genuine friends during her 30 years of service. She motivates and inspires others to take part in the exciting things happening at their alma mater. She is driven and goal-oriented, to be sure—creating the “A Day” annual campaign, which has raised more than $8 million since its inception and boasts 90 percent


ADVANCEMENT Update

FRIEND Hendee’s Tenure Stressed Relationship-Building other community organizations. She and her family have a long and storied history of service to the Family Y and to the YWCA before it; she is a Leadership Augusta alum, a member of the Augusta Rotary Club, and a founding member of Women in Philanthropy—to name just a few of her affiliations. She also helped launch the Georgia Education Advancement Council, a consortium of advancement, marketing, and public relations professionals. Helen received the

2012 GEAC Lifetime Achievement Award, having been nominated by 16 of her then-current and former colleagues. Helen walks the walk. And others follow. During her career, Helen mentored and guided her employees and introduced them to the intrinsic rewards of a career in philanthropy. Many of these employees are still in the Advancement field and, like her, are active members of the community. I like to think that, in retirement, Helen will continue to rescue stray dogs (they always seem to cross her path), to vacation regularly with friends (some of whom she met as far back as elementary school), and to continue to enjoy her hobbies of boating, swimming, gardening, and woodworking. But we know that no matter how close by she is or how far she travels, she will be among us, for a true friend never says goodbye. Helen is a true friend. n

“She works tirelessly on behalf of those things she loves—and it is evident that she loves the university, its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.” –PHIL WAHL

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employee participation. Helen also raised multimillion-dollar gifts. But that is not what she would personally choose to highlight. If you ask Helen, and I did, she will tell you very quickly that her business is all about relationships. She genuinely cares about people. And she wants them to love the university just as she does—with passion, commitment, and dedication. In addition to the university, Helen has given tirelessly to


A U G U S TA GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

Alumni Come Home Nearly a thousand visit campus during Alumni Weekend Hundreds of alumni—representing the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta College, Augusta State University, and Georgia Health Sciences University—returned to campus to celebrate Georgia Regents University’s inaugural Alumni Weekend April 26-28. The weekend was filled with opportunities for alumni to reconnect with classmates and recapture memories of life on campus— events like class reunions, campus tours, collegespecific gatherings, and the President’s Cookout. The weekend also featured the premiere “Alumni Weekend Signature Event”; highlights included a keynote address from ABC journalist Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee, and a celebration of the 2013 alumni award recipients. Please enjoy the following stories and photos from this year’s Alumni Weekend, and don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year: April 25-27, 2014. n

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Paying it Forward Sandwiched between many bustling Alumni Weekend activities was a small but mighty gathering of individuals. GRU quietly launched its inaugural consolidated scholarship recognition event—pairing donors and recipients to highlight the farreaching impact of scholarship support. Only a small percentage of scholarship donors and students were invited to this pilot event, allowing the Advancement team to gauge interest and plan for future events. We expected 50 or so attendees—there were just over 100! We thought a few donors and students would connect in a meaningful way—they all did! We hoped the speakers would be able to convey the importance of scholarship—they did that and so much more! Some touted the gathering as the best scholarship recognition event they had ever attended.

n Erik Ewing, an Augusta State University graduate and secondyear GRU medical student, gave a compelling account of how he was able to fulfill his dream of medical school only because of scholarships, then pay it forward by assisting fellow students as a tutor.

n Dr. Marc Miller, Dean of the Hull College of Business and emcee of the event, reflected on his long-term experience regarding the impact of scholarships.

n President Azziz made the surprise announcement that he is establishing five Presidential Scholarships for undergraduate students. Every year, five freshmen will enter as Presidential Scholars, receiving the scholarships for all four years of their undergraduate education. Within the first four years of this program, 20 Presidential Scholars will be enrolled in GRU’s diverse and expanding academic programs.

n Dr. Lucy Marion, Dean of the College of Nursing, who has established several scholarship funds at GRU and other universities, noted that the scholarship support she and her two sons received motivated her to establish a fund to honor her then 90-year-old aunt.

TO SUPPORT SCHOLARSHIPS at GRU: Contact Ralph Alee, Associate Vice President for Major Gifts, at 706-755-3713 or ralee@gru.edu.

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WHY I COME HOME Dr. Roy Witherington (M.D., ’53), Professor Emeritus of Surgery (Urology) How long have you been coming to Alumni Weekend? For as long as I have been a graduate of MCG except from 1953-56 for service-related reasons. I was absent only one other time when I was on a trip out of the country. So basically, when I was in the United States, I was at Alumni Weekend.

Why is it so important to you? I want to come back to reunions to see people and maintain some sort of connection, because you form friendships and you want to continue that always. There is always a loyal core that will come back, and those are the ones who are usually your loyal friends.

What is your favorite Alumni Weekend memory? When I received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Loyalty in 2005.

What events/activities do you most look forward to? The Friday night events: Dean’s Reception and the MCG Alumni Association Banquet are my favorites. Of course, the class reunions would top everything. SUMMER 2013

Has the university’s name change caused you any hesitations to come back? No! I could never understand why a person would not want to come back to his/her alma mater.

Would you encourage other alumni to support their alma mater? Yes, I certainly would—I owe my good fortune to MCG; it has made me what I am today. MCG did not have to accept me as a student. By doing so, it allowed me to have a distinguished career, and the best part of it all is that I loved my work.

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Presented by

Thank You!

We would like to extend a special thank you to our 2013 sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without you! A U G U S TA

PRESENTING SPONSOR

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EVENT SPONSORS

Einstein Bros Bagels Phoenix Printing

Fat Man’s Cafe The Fresh Market Ranco Tent Rentals Starbucks

Interested in sponsoring Alumni Weekend 2014? Contact Samantha Mellinger at 706.667.4979 or smellinger@gru.edu

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ALUMNI

Advocacy Update The Office of Government Relations

STATE:

FEDERAL:

Georgia’s 2014 budget allots $64 million for GRU projects, including $45 million for a new Cancer Center research building, $5 million for the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons, $10 million for cancer research, and $4.6 million for other institutional priorities including faculty, staff, and programmatic growth.

Heather Ross, a GRU senior majoring in political science, is interning in U.S. Rep. John Barrow’s office this summer. Rep. Barrow graciously worked with GRU to recruit and interview interested students. The internship program is expected to grow, enabling select GRU students to get a taste of a beltway career while bolstering their resumes.

Other state legislation enables the University System of Georgia to: n Write off small amounts and carry forward unexpended revenue from several sources n Determine employee and employer contribution rates to the Optional Retirement Plan annually and review the rates every three years n Supervise Georgia archives (previously a function of the Secretary of State) to identify and preserve the state’s most valuable documents n Remove students’ requirement to complete a FAFSA form to quality for the HOPE scholarship and allows for a one-time transfer from the Optional Retirement Plan to the Teachers Retirement System. (The fiscal impact of the latter legislation is being studied this summer.)

Also at the federal level, Dr. Craig Albert, GRU Assistant Professor of Political Science, recently testified to a U.S. House Foreign Affairs joint subcommittee about Islamist extremism in Chechnya and its implications in the United States. To hear his opening statement and testimony, visit foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/ joint-subcommittee-hearing-islamist-extremismchechnya-threat-us-homeland.

College of Allied Health Sciences Dean Andrew Balas met with representatives of Morehouse School of Medicine, Albany State University, and the U.S. Department of Defense June 6 at the Pentagon to discuss civilian physician assistant education programs for former service members. U.S. Reps. John Barrow and Tom Graves visited GRU this spring. GRU looks forward to hosting more legislators on campus. If you see them touring campus, please offer a warm welcome. n

Get Involved. To learn more about GRU’s alumni advocacy program, email gruadvocates@gru.edu.

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Health care-related state legislation includes: n Allowing prescription pad or paper that is approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with regulations regarding compounding pharmacies and remote-order entry n The requirement of ongoing education for registered nurses’ licensure renewal starting in 2016, allowing hospitals to verify competency for employed nurses and requiring the reporting of suspected violations of licensing regulations to the state Board of Nursing n Establishing that payor guidelines and criteria under federal law will not establish a legal basis for negligence or a standard of care for medical malpractice

President Ricardo Azziz also visited Washington this spring, meeting with members of the Georgia delegation to discuss consolidation and the GRU Cancer Center and participating in a White House roundtable discussion about translating military experience into advanced medical occupations. He also participated in a research roundtable recently at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to discuss the importance of National Institutes of Health funding.


COLLEGE Catch-Up

College of

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ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES has created an advisory board of influential community leaders who inform strategic planning, develop and implement community outreach and service, secure support for education and research, and serve as ambassadors for the college. In other news, Dr. Bonnie Dadig, Chairwoman of the Physician Assistant Department, recently participated in the Advanced Medical Operations Industry Roundtable in Washington, D.C., part of the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing.

Katherine Reese Pamplin College of

ARTS, HUMANITIES, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Twenty-five students competed among more than 5,000 from across the world at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City last spring and received awards in every possible category. Three Pamplin students won individual awards: junior Heather Ross, sophomore Casey Ratliff, and senior Fady Tawadrous. The GRU team also received honorable mention as an overall delegation.

College of

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS Four students earned a national award from the American Physiological Society for their original production, “Hillbilly Hypoglycemia.� Science majors Michael Ridlehoover, Alexis Wren, and Zachary Minter starred in and produced the video, and Trent Arant, a freshman TV/cinema major, filmed, directed, and edited the piece. The winning short film explains the cellular mechanism of insulin uptake in general terms.

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James M. Hull College of

BUSINESS

Four students received national recognition during the 2013 Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference’s Awards of Excellence held June 25 in Anaheim, Calif. Recipients include Erica Playford, Austin Hixenbaugh, LeRoy Ramsey, and Yat Wang Ying.

College of

DENTAL MEDICINE A May 15 farewell roast was held to honor Dr. Connie Drisko, who recently concluded her decade-long tenure as Dean. The roast was light-hearted, but the sentiments— expressing appreciation for an era that included constructing a new building, more than doubling student applications, growing the class size from 54 to 80, and almost tripling patient visits, among many other accomplishments—were purely heartfelt.

The

GRADUATE SCHOOL GRU’s graduate school welcomed a new dean in June, Dr. Mitchell Watsky, formerly the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Watsky also joins the faculty as Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy in the Medical College of Georgia, where he will continue to direct his research program, which includes several grants from the National Institutes of Health to investigate corneal wound healing.

EDUCATION The PRESTIGE program, funded by the National Science Foundation, enables select students majoring in biology, chemistry, math, or physics to earn a fast-track master’s degree in teaching. Scholars announced in May were Ashley Zappitell, Eriq Hearn, Alexandra Bitere, and Hannah Wingrove.

MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA One-hundred and ninety MCG students participated in Match Day on March 15, an annual event that pairs fourth-year students nationwide with hospitals where they will complete a residency program in their chosen specialties. This year’s theme was “I love the ’90s.”

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College of

NURSING has launched two new Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees and, this fall, will begin accepting students with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in nursing. The university’s original postmaster’s DNP program was the first in Georgia. GRU has offered a DNP degree for acute care nurse practitioners since 2010, the first doctorate of its kind in Georgia. The family and pediatric programs, offered at the master’s level, will be phased out.

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COMMENCEMENT 201

Once-in-a-Lifetime Gravitas GRU’s Inaugural Graduates Symbolize History in the Making

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BY CHRISTINE HURLEY DERISO and ADRIAN GREER

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he sense of history in the making was palpable as 875 graduates filed into their seats during the May 10 Commencement Ceremony at Georgia Regents University. College graduations are always marked by a sense of solemnity and awe—proud parents dabbing tears from their eyes, family members snapping photos, graduation gowns rustling during the procession, hearts soaring to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance—but GRU’s 2013 commencement carried a once-in-a-lifetime gravitas. Those in the procession were the inaugural graduates of a university both steeped in history and bursting with potential. The students began their college careers at Augusta State University, Georgia Health Sciences University, or the Medical College of Georgia, but their unity on graduation day was the ultimate symbol of a consolidation characterized by a whole that is exponentially greater than the sum of its parts.

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Commencement 2013

The significance was duly noted by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who delivered the commencement address. “Today, you will become the first graduating class of this great university that is new in the name but old in tradition,” Deal said. “You are also the beneficiaries of the efforts of thousands who have preceded you and have established through their successes the inherent value of the education you have received here.” That very history, he said, has its own standards by which others will judge the graduates. “The pedigree of your diploma is truly outstanding and is recognized in academia and

the professional world into which you will enter,” he said. “Pedigrees, however, carry with them expectations. When patients, or clients, or friends see your diploma on the wall, they will have those expectations. It is your responsibility to meet or exceed those expectations. “Your diploma is evidence of an illustrious pedigree. As the first graduating class from Georgia Regents University, you will be expected to add to that pedigree through your triumphs and successes,” he said. “You must overcome fear and be willing to be an adventurer who will take the knowledge you have acquired and illuminate the dark corners of this world. And you must never

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be satisfied with less than your best, for good enough is never good enough.” GRU President Ricardo Azziz also addressed the graduates. “You are our future business and political leaders,” he said, “the authors of the books we will read . . . the composers of the songs we will hum . . . our physicians, nurses, and health providers . . . our dentists and our artists . . . the scientists who will discover cures for the diseases that plague us or who will further our understanding of the fundamental underpinnings of our cosmos. And so much more,” he said. Azziz imparted the following advice: n Never lose your desire to learn. n Dream. Aspire to things you do not think are possible. n Beware of the “easy.” If it is easy to achieve, then it is likely not even worth attaining in the first place. n Always try to do the right thing. n Appreciate your competitors. They make you who you are and ensure that you are always giving your very best. n Value your setbacks and mistakes. They have much to teach us. n Recognize and admit your weaknesses. Our failings are part and parcel of our human fabric. n Never allow yourself to think, “I can’t do this.” The principal reason for failure is not believing we can do it. Azziz also counseled optimism. “It is a time of great strain and discord in our nation and our world, but also a time of great hope and promise,” he said. “You and your generation will be responsible for leading and managing this nation, this earth, very soon, and ensuring that it is left to future generations in better shape than you found it. “Your institution has amply prepared you for the path ahead, and whatever degree you leave here with, please remember that your state, your country, the world, needs you. We are proud of what you have accomplished. And rest assured that we will continue to work, as faculty and staff, day after day, to ensure the growing value of Georgia Regents University to our community, state, and nation.” n

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Commencement 2013

Alma Mater Editor’s note: GRU’s new alma mater premiered at the 2013 Commencement Ceremony, with lyrics by James W. Garvey and music by Martin David Jones, retired and current faculty, respectively. Following are the lyrics:

BY JENNIFER HILLIARD SCOTT

“More than deserving.”

That is a sentiment used to describe this year’s recipient of the John F. Beard Award for Compassionate Care, Georgia Regents University Physician Assistant Program graduate Elizabeth Prince-Coleman. Prince-Coleman, a native of Carrollton, Ga., entered the PA program after earning her bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from Berry College in Rome and quickly stood out among her peers, ultimately serving as Class President. Those who nominated Prince-Coleman for the award wrote of her exemplary leadership, her compassion for others, and her extraordinary efforts to provide service and care. Wrote Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior Resident James A. Murphy, “When Elizabeth Prince-Coleman she learned a patient was homeless and was going to be discharged, she spent her entire day making arrangements to house her in a shelter and even worked with the shelter manager to grant her an extended stay.” The $25,000 annual award, established in 1998, is endowed by William Porter “Billy” Payne and his wife, Martha, to a graduating GRU student who exemplifies caring and compassion in health care. n

They settled by the river, they planted, built, and bled, Groping through the darkness, seeing light ahead. Some of them were healers, with healers’ hands and heart. Antony began a school to teach the healer’s art. CHORUS We seek the truth that heals, the truth that sets us free, We are Georgia Regents University. They settled by the river, and in the early light, Walton dreamed a college on the sand hill’s height; But soldiers with their weapons stood guard and watched until The swords were turned to plowshares by dreams on the hill. CHORUS Healers in the hollow, dreamers on the hill, We have come together and together will Seek the ways of healing, make the dream come true. The dreamers and the healers, Georgia Regents U. CHORUS

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A Leader in Compassionate Care


Hull Receives the University’s First Honorary Doctorate BY DANIELLE WONG MOORES

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n another noteworthy first, lifelong Augustan James M. “Jim” Hull became the first in Georgia Regents University’s history to receive the honoris causa as Doctor of Humanities. “An honorary doctorate sends a clear signal from a university about the values and aspirations the university community holds close,” said Dr. Ricardo Azziz, GRU President, in presenting the degree at the May 10 commencement. “Mr. Hull’s generosity, his vision, his innovative spirit, and his selflessness are values we want to instill in future generations of students.” Hull’s connections run deep to both the university and the city it inhabits. At 17, Jim Hull obtained his real estate license and started a lifelong career. A few years later, he served in the U.S. Air Force and later the Air Force Reserves. He and wife Karen Newton, a teacher, raised four children: daughters Coles and Caroline, and sons Jim and Frank. In 1977, Hull returned to Augusta and founded Hull Properties, ultimately developing more than 40 shopping centers and freestanding commercial buildings and restaurants. In the late 1990s, he and Barry Storey launched Hull Storey Retail Group (now Hull, Storey, Gibson Companies, LLC), one of the largest privately owned retail real estate companies of its kind in the Southeast. While cementing his legacy of business success, Hull began a civic and philanthropic tradition of giving

James M. Hull and wife Karen

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President Ricardo Azziz and Provost Gretchen Caughman present James M. Hull with GRU’s first honorary degree.

“Mr. Hull’s guiding hand and his willingness to invest in the missions of organizations that make a difference are indeed gifts of a lifetime. His service, always, is rendered humbly, gracefully, and without fanfare. I cannot think of anyone better suited to receive the first honorary degree to the President. In that role, Hull was also part of the university’s consolidation working group, appointed by University of Georgia Board of Regents Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby. A member of the Junior Achievement’s CSRA Business Hall of Fame and Beta Gamma Sigma’s Honor Society, he received the Augusta Bar Association’s prestigious Liberty Bell Award and in 2008, along with wife Karen, was named the Society of Fundraising Professionals’ Philanthropist of the Year. n

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to be awarded by Georgia Regents University than Mr. James Hull.” –PRESIDENT RICARDO AZZIZ

SUMMER 2013

back to his community. One area of special interest has been education, and students in Augusta have many times been grateful beneficiaries. In 2006, Hull donated $2 million to Augusta State University—the largest single gift in the school’s history—to establish the James M. Hull College of Business, subsequently named by The Princeton Review as among the nation’s best schools of business. He helped obtain another $2 million gift from the Knox Foundation and later gave an additional $1 million to support the College of Business’ accountancy program. This past year, Hull and Augusta businessmen Clay Boardman and Will McKnight, led the charge to raise $5 million in philanthropic support from the Augusta community to construct the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons on GRU’s Health Sciences Campus. Hull serves on boards of the ASU Foundation and the MCG Foundation, and is a member of the GRU Board of Visitors, whose members serve as external advisors


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Hull College of Business, ’83 PHOTO: WINGATE DOWNS

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

Erwin C. Reid Vice President of Real Estate for Chick-fil-A

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ALUMNI

SPOTLIGHT BY PAULA HINELY

SELL MORE CHIKIN Alma Mater Helped Alum Hatch a Great Career

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I

n the sweltering 110-degree Dallas summer, sweat poured from Erwin C. Reid under his Doodles the Chicken costume. As a junior at Augusta College on a 1982 summer internship, Reid was the featured attraction as he cruised to a local movie theater in a limousine with the winner of a Chick-fil-A “Date with Doodles” contest. The contest was just one of many marketing tools that Reid (B.B.A. in Management, ’83) and the internship “Blitz Team” used as they traveled to lowperforming Chick-fil-A restaurants at malls throughout the country. In some stores, their efforts boosted sales by as much as 60 percent. Now, as the company’s Vice President of Real Estate, Reid finds his efforts much more widespread. He’s had a hand in opening more than 1,000 new restaurants across the country.


A U G U S TA GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

and Reid’s responsibilities, as part of a two-man real estate department, grew along with the company. That growth extended overseas in the 1990s, when Reid helped establish Chick-fil-A’s International Division. The division focused on Latin America, where no restaurants opened, and then post-apartheid South Africa, where Reid oversaw three restaurant openings. However, the country’s economy was still in turmoil, and those restaurants, and ultimately the division, were shortlived. The experience taught Reid valuable lessons to bolster the company’s growth strategy. “We realized we had a long way to go in the U.S., and although international growth sounds intriguing, we found that it takes four or five times the amount of money and time that you think it will take before you start,” Reid said. “It was a great learning experience for all involved.” Today, as the Vice President of Real Estate, Reid heads a 30-member team and oversees growth strategy and its execution for Chick-fil-A nationwide. His focus is finding new markets with significant population growth and a healthy business atmosphere with nearby shopping, bustling daytime population, and residential development. Reid’s ability to execute the company’s growth strategy is enhanced by his years of experience as a frontline team member and district manager, said Reid’s colleague and friend of 35 years, Tim Tassopoulos, Executive Vice President of Operations. “Erwin has a winning combination of experience, judgment, and business acumen,” Tassopoulos said. “He’s not only strategic in real estate, but he also brings perspective from the front-line customer service standpoint and not just what’s good for

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we luv Erwin

PHOTO: WINGATE DOWNS

“It’s unreal how much Chick-fil-A has grown, and I’ve been fortunate to be involved with it since it was a small, upstart company,” Reid said of the restaurant chain, which opened its first location in an Atlanta mall in 1967. “It’s remarkable to think that I’ve been able to contribute to its growth, and it all started with [my alma mater].” Reid’s choice of college and, ultimately, his 35-year career with Chick-fil-A both happened because a bright-eyed teenager, fresh out of high school in Fort Campbell, Ky., came to Augusta to visit a friend. One week turned into two, and before long, he was searching for a job so that he could stay indefinitely. So in 1978, Reid took a part-time job at the Augusta Mall Chick-fil-A, where he cooked, cleaned, and worked the counter. “Pretty soon after getting used to living on my own with my buddies, I realized I needed to get my act together and start school. I loved being in Augusta, and Augusta College was the logical choice,” Reid said. He liked the size of campus and classes that were small enough to foster meaningful interaction with his professors. So Reid spent five years balancing college with a 50- to 60-hour workweek at Chick-fil-A. His schedule didn’t allow time for extracurricular activities, but most Sunday afternoons were spent on campus studying in Reese Library, thanks to Chick-fil-A’s policy of not operating on Sundays. Reid’s five years working behind the counter at the Augusta Mall paid the bills, but he also enjoyed the work and the extra responsibility given to him through the summer internship and winning a oneyear Chick-fil-A scholarship, which motivated him to stay his course. In February of his senior year, Reid drove from Augusta to Atlanta in a snowstorm to interview with Bubba Cathy, son of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy and the company’s Senior Vice President, for a position in the company’s career development program. He got the job. “My last quarter of college was nice knowing that I had a career starting right after graduation,” Reid said. He spent two years as a district manager in the operations department before settling into real estate. Chick-fil-A’s restaurants were then limited to mall food courts, where Reid learned the ins and outs of mall lease negotiations. In 1986, the company opened its first stand-alone restaurant,


Alumni SPOTLIGHT

What’s on Erwin Reid’s Menu?

Reid in corporate headquarters’ restaurant simulating the original Chick-fil-A.

FOOD Reid’s favorite thing to order at Chick-fil-A is the Original Chick-fil-A sandwich—just don’t forget the extra pickles!

FAMILY Reid and Allison, his wife of 15 years, have five children: 11-year-old twins Carolyn and Ruthie, 10-year-old

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Elizabeth, and 5-year-old twins Clare and Lance.

Fun Reid enjoys golf in his spare time (which isn’t much with a demanding career and five children, including two sets of twins). He hasn’t missed attending the Masters Tournament in more than 30 years.

Education He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the Hull College of Business in 1983 and is a 2001 graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

Service Reid serves on the Advisory Board of the Shepherd Center, Atlanta’s renowned spinal cord and brain injury hospital. He’s also on the Foundation Board of Trustees for Atlanta Youth Academy, a Christian school for underprivileged children in prekindergarten through eighth grade.

SUMMER 2013

corporate. That’s incredibly valuable.” When Reid started at the Augusta Mall Chick-fil-A 35 years ago, the company’s annual revenue was around $80 million. It now hovers around $5 billion, and Reid’s colleagues laud his role as part of the team that achieved that success. “Erwin’s contribution to Chick-fil-A is dramatic when you think of our growth,” said Tassopoulos. “When he started, there were 70 or 80 restaurants and now there are 1,700. He’s been accountable for much of that real estate.” And Reid sees a lot more expansion in the near future. “We’re opening more new markets in the next four years than we ever have. We’ll pretty much be in every state besides Alaska and Hawaii by 2017,” Reid said. Chick-fil-A restaurants currently operate in 39 states. Reid also thinks that at some point, the company will use lessons learned to revisit the international stage. While Chick-fil-A has grown tremendously, Reid also has come a long way since his days moonlighting as Doodles, the company’s original mascot which was replaced in 1995 by cows convincing customers to “EAT MOR CHIKIN.” Augusta College, Reid insists, paved the way. “[My alma mater] has afforded me the type of career that lots of people from the finest universities might dream about,” Reid said. “With a goal of education and a vehicle of hard work, you can accomplish things beyond your imagination without going to the most expensive school in the country. I got a great education while working behind the counter at Chick-fil-A.” n


PHOTO: COURTESY PHYLLIS PENDERGRAST

A U G U S TA GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

Dr. Phyllis Pendergrast, DMD, ’76 Private Practice Dentist, Fairbanks, Alaska

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ALUMNI

SPOTLIGHT BY DANIELLE WONG MOORES

The Right Place, the Right Time Alumna Battles the Elements to Serve Remote Alaska Villages

Inside the makeshift dental clinic in the heart of Alaska’s bush, Dr. Phyllis Pendergrast and her assistant, Deb Carlson, were performing a complicated surgical extraction when the village’s generator suddenly sputtered, then died, plunging them into darkness. “We actually were in a precarious position with this patient because the electricity was off for the day; it was gone,” said Pendergrast. The generator was out of fuel, and with the only way in or out by plane, snowmobile, or dogsled, the tiny village of only a few hundred people had no resources to get more until the following day. The rest of the extraction had to be completed—successfully—with a single flashlight. The result might have been much different “had it not been for the extra training that my Dean, Dr. [Judson] Hickey, saw to it that we received when he learned I was going to Alaska,” said Pendergrast (Dental Medicine, ’76). “And of course, Alaska was definitely that wild place.” Pendergrast in 1977 Spring Carnival race. She and dog Happy won the Red Lantern Award for last place.

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Fort Yukon, Alaska, late ’70s


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North to Alaska Pendergrast’s family hails from Swainsboro, Ga. (she herself was born in Augusta), and returned there after a short stint in Orlando, Fla., when she was a girl. Growing up, she wanted to be a doctor—and at that time in the early ’70s, oddly enough it was far more common for women to enter the medical field than dentistry. She was working as a medical technologist at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta before applying to medical school when she realized the field just wasn’t for her. It was not only the hours—“I wanted to have a life”—but also the emotions tied up in the loss of patients. “There was a moment when literally I was holding someone in the emergency room when they died, and I came back to the lab and just kind of sat there, and I said, ‘You know, I think I’m just going in the wrong direction.’” It happened that her work included supervising dental students. One of them looked at her and asked, “Why don’t you become a dentist?” “Are you kidding?” Pendergrast replied. “There aren’t women dentists.” “Sure there are,” he said. “There’s one in my school.” With her ties to Augusta, Pendergrast applied to the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry (now the Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine)—and to her surprise, she got in. And to her even greater surprise, she loved everything about dentistry: “I think it was one of those divine moments where the planets lined up and someway, somehow, it was meant to be.”

She was one of only three women dentists in the class of ’76. “It was a new school and it was a very progressive school,” said Pendergrast. “It was like they sat down and said, ‘If we could have the perfect dental school, what would it be like?’ and that is what they tried to put together. I did not really appreciate that until I came to Alaska. There wasn’t a day that went by that I did not appreciate the education I received at the Medical College of Georgia.” During her first year of dental school, Pendergrast had applied for a scholarship from the U.S. Public Health Service, a commissioned corps that provides essential health services to underserved and disadvantaged populations across the country. She was only a few months from graduation when she got a call offering a retroactive scholarship in return for at least two years of service. Because she and her husband both enjoyed outdoor activities, when they asked Pendergrast where she’d like to go, she responded, “Well, I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska.” A dead silence followed as her caller absorbed this unusual reply. But then it was agreed—in June, Pendergrast would leave Augusta’s summer heat for the extreme highs and lows of Fairbanks, where low temperatures during the winter can fall to minus 60 degrees F and the air can literally freeze.

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Dr. Phyllis Pendergrast at home in Fairbanks, Alaska


PHOTO: TODD PARIS

Alumni SPOTLIGHT

“It was a new school, and it was a very progressive school. It was like they sat down and said, ‘If we could have the perfect dental school, what would it be like?’” –PENDERGRAST

During her first three years, Pendergrast was based at a clinic in Fairbanks, but two weeks out of every month would find her taking a prop plane to villages in Alaska’s nearly impenetrable interior, known as the bush. They were memorable days—riding a snowmobile on Brooks Range in the north part of the state; going skiing and taking photographs; spotting caribou against a brilliant blue sky surrounded by snow and mountains. She even sewed and wore mukluks made from caribou hide, chopped chum, and competed in her first dogsled race, earning the coveted Red Lantern for coming in last place. And in nearly every village, she was sure to come across someone who would seek her out to proudly show off a pair of forceps—not meant to be used anywhere near teeth— in their role as official extractor when a trained dentist was unavailable.

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SUMMER 2013

Northern Exposure


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“What kept me in Alaska was just a love of Alaska, a love of the community and the sense of

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community here and the people that I worked with and worked for.” –PENDERGRAST

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PHOTO: TODD PARIS

PHOTO: COURTESY PHYLLIS PENDERGRAST

Pendergrast treats a child in 1982 in a school cafeteriaturned-makeshift clinic.

Those days also challenged every skill and technique she learned at MCG. All supplies and equipment had to be brought in to each village, where she and her assistant would establish a mobile clinic inside a classroom or community center. During the day, they would treat children, and during the late afternoon and evenings, adults. Dentists typically went to each village only once a year, so the days were long, often up to 12 hours. Much of what Pendergrast did was surgical—from working on impacted molars to wiring a jaw together after a fracture—all in undreamed-of conditions and with the closest medical or dental support around 300 miles away. “At the time, I didn’t think anything about it because you just do what you need to do,” said Pendergrast. “But had I not had that extra training and confidence [from MCG], I don’t think I would have lasted very long in that job.” But she did last. After three years in Fairbanks, the public health service asked Pendergrast if she would consider moving into an even more remote location—the tiny town of Galena, where the service was opening the first of several hubs to make it easier for dentists and other medical professionals to reach Alaska’s interior—even tinier villages home to fewer than 100 people. “I actually could think of more reasons to go than reasons not to go,” she said. “What kept me in Alaska was just a love of Alaska, a love of the community and the sense of community here and the people that I worked with and worked for.” She spent the next four years in Galena, during which time she gave birth to her daughter, who spent much of her babyhood strapped to her mother or in a car seat on a single-engine plane. But after Hannah was born, Pendergrast started thinking about a change—not leaving Alaska, but resettling in a city. During a plane trip, the field team, along with her infant daughter, was caught in a sudden whiteout—literally unable to see


20 feet in front of them. She remembers turning around and looking at her baby, and thinking, “Wow, we may not make it.” The whiteout lifted just enough to allow the pilot to make the landing. But that single moment cemented her decision. Her family took six months off to travel New Zealand, and when they returned to Alaska, she joined a clinic for two days a week before opening her own practice in 1984. During the past 19 years, she’s stuck to a certain practice philosophy—heavily influenced by her time in the harsh climate and remote area of the bush. “I’ve really found that the more you give, the more you do, the more it gets returned somehow, if not to you directly, then someone else,” she said. “I watched these folks [in the bush] over the years, that they truly help each other, [so] I have this goal to give back as much as I can and hopefully someway, somehow pass it on to other people who in turn, obviously, pass it on themselves—as corny as that sounds.” Pendergrast has given back to the profession, serving as President of the Alaska Dental Society and President of the Alaska State Dental Board; to her staff, providing mentoring and a familyfriendly office environment; and to her community, offering free clinics, reducing or writing off dental work for those in need, and volunteering with local non-profits, particularly the arts. She doesn’t always see the results of her “pay it forward” philosophy. But one day a few years ago, Pendergrast was down in the lower 48 assisting dental students with exams at a local school, when a beautiful young girl came up to her. “She said, ‘Dr. Pendergrast, I know you don’t remember me, but you were my first dentist out in bush Alaska. You told me that when I grow up, I should think about being a dentist. And I grew up, and I thought about it, and here I am.’ “That made it all fall into place then—the reason why I came to Alaska.” n

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Alumni SPOTLIGHT


CAREER

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ALUMNI

When is the

last time you updated your

Resume? 36


SERVICES BY AMANDA J. BOLAND, M.S., L.A.P.C.

Guide to a Resume

Career Center 706-737-1604

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Used to be:

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Tailor it for each job, highlighting keywords and skills cited in job description.

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Bullet accomplishments with specific details.

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Don’t list, but be ready to discuss in interview.

List marital status, age, and hobbies

Keep it professional—no personal information. List hobbies only if relevant to position.

“References Available Upon Request”

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SUMMER 2013

Think 2013


Where we are, what we’re doing...

30s 60s

1930s

Dr. William T. Herrington (MCG, ’79)

Caroline Bailie Scott (’33) recently celebrated her 99th birthday.

1960s

The Hon. J. Phillip Gingrey (MCG, ’69) is vying for the U.S. Senate seat

being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

has been elected Vice Speaker of the American College of Radiology. He has practiced radiology in Athens, Ga., since 1986 and is a past President of the Georgia Radiology Society. Herrington was a member of the committee of the class of 1979 that began the hooding ceremony for the Medical College of Georgia, inviting author and surgeon William A. Nolen to give the inaugural keynote address.

Patience (Patty) Woodall (Nursing, ’71) has retired as Director of Albany Community Hospice and the Wilson Hospice House. She is considered a pioneer in hospice health care in southwest Georgia. Dr. C. Emory Johnson Jr. (MCG, ’67) recently retired from OrthoGeorgia in Macon, Ga. Johnson and wife Wendy will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary this summer.

70s

Patricia Barber (Nursing, ’80) received the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Alumni Association’s 2013 Outstanding Health Care Award.

Dr. Joseph J. Burch (MCG, ’85)

1970s A U G U S TA

80s

1980s

The Hon. Louisa Abbot (History, ’79)

is serving a one-year term as President of the Council of Superior Court Judges. She was appointed to the Superior Court bench in 2000 and has been re-elected three times since.

has been inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Radiology. This is one of the highest honors the college can bestow on a radiologist, radiation oncologist, or medical physicist.

Dr. Michael A. Burke (MCG, ’89) recently left a long career in academic psychiatry and joined the United Psychology Center.

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The Honorable Paul C. Broun Jr. (MCG, ‘71) has announced that he is running in 2014 for the open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. He has been a Republican House member since 2007.

Dr. Paul Edward Cundey III (MCG, ’89) married Tanya Dawn Nix on May 11 in Aiken, S.C. He is a cardiologist with University Cardiology Association. The couple lives in Augusta. Caryl Griffin (Nursing, ’80), founder of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation, recently spoke at King University as a part of the Beuchner Institute Lecture Series. The foundation is named in memory of her daughter and supports projects in the United States, Africa, and the Middle East by developing laboratory biosafety and biosecurity as well as occupational health for laboratories in hospitals, public health, and research facilities.

Jean Dirksen (Medical Record Administration, ’76) and husband Tom recently presented “The North and South of the Lincoln Rocker,” which explores the secret of Abraham Lincoln’s rocking chair in the Presidential Box of Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., at various locations across the country.

Helen Heiskell (B.S.N., ’83 and D.N.P., ’07) recently joined American Sentinel University as Chair of Nursing for graduate programs.

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CLASS notes Dr. Jon Jones Jr. (MCG, ’86) has

Dr. W. Curt LaFrance Jr. (MCG, ’95), Director of Neuropsychiatry and

joined Russell Medical Center in Alabama as a general surgeon after helping develop a transplant program at the Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee.

Behavioral Neurology at Rhode Island Hospital, has received the American Academy of Neurology’s DreifussPenry Epilepsy Award recognizing outstanding, independent contributions to epilepsy research early in one’s career.

Joseph Vignati (Political Science, ’87) has been appointed Co-Chairman of the new Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program Funding Committee. The committee was created by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to review and fund local community programs designed to reduce youth recidivism across the state.

Maureen Grady Lewis (Education, ’93) is Principal of Aquinas High School in Augusta.

The Hon. Benjamin L. Watson (MCG, ’67) is running for an open Georgia State Senate seat. Watson is currently the sole physician in the Georgia House of Representatives and a primary care physician and a co-founder of SouthCoast Medical in Savannah, Ga.

Dr. Karl A. Sillay (MCG, ’99) recently joined Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis. Sillay uses adult and pediatric deep brain stimulation to treat for illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome. He is also an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee. He and his wife have three children.

90s

1990s

Robert “Bob” Dykes (Physical Therapy, ’92) has joined Elbert Memorial Hospital as a physical therapist. He worked for 17 years in Albany, Ga., including 10 years as President of a private therapy practice, Advanced Rehab Center. Since 2009, he has been a Vice President with Innovative Therapy Concepts.

Dr. Michael George Geci-Black (MCG, ’93) recently joined Saratoga Emergency Physicians, providing medical coverage at Saratoga Hospital’s Alfred A. Solomon Emergency Center.

Dr. Sonya Taylor Acree (Dental Medicine, ’94) was the keynote speaker at the Albany State University Founder’s Day Convocation. She is CEO of the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in Albany and Ashburn, Ga., and a senior dentist with Albany Area Primary Health Care and Glover Dental Center.

surpassed the 33-gallon mark at Shepeard Community Blood Center. She made her first donation at a campus blood drive in 1980 and has been donating platelets regularly since 1999. She also received Shepeard’s Most Flexible Donor Award.

Dr. Linda Hendricks (MCG, ’95) recently published The Rainbow Egg (WestBow Press, 2012), a children’s book about adoption through the eyes of the birthmother. The book demonstrates the selfless act of love involved in placing one’s child in an adoptive home. Hendricks practices oncology in Georgia and has two adopted children.

Jackie Cummings Koski (Communications, ’95) received the 2013 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education Award for Book of the Year in the Adult Money Management category for Money Letters 2 My Daughter (XLibris, 2012).

39

Dr. James E. White (MCG, ’90) was named Top Doctor in the Chattanooga region and Top General Surgeon in Tennessee by HealthTap. The HealthTap Top Doctor Competition brings together the world’s best and most helpful online and mobile medical experts.

SUMMER 2013

Lillian Wan (Art, ’84 and Criminal Justice, ’90) recently


CLASS notes

Have exciting news to share?

00s

Dr. Bethany Jackson (MCG, ’05)

2000s

has joined Floyd Primary Care Network as a pediatrician after five years in private practice in Atlanta. Jackson and her husband, Dr. Chas Jackson, a cardiologist, live in Rome, Ga., with their four children.

Meredith Lea LeGrand (Occupational Therapy, ’09) married Jacob Nelson Raven Danielle Bennett (Psychology, ’05)

Youngblood on April 14 in Augusta.

will marry D’Andre Hinton Wilson Oct. 19 in North Augusta, S.C.

Dr. Kristine McDonald (MCG, ’06) has joined the Douglasville office of Georgia Cancer Specialists.

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

A U G U S TA

Dr. William Bennett (MCG, ’05 and Dental Medicine, ’10) completed an orthodontics residency at the University of Colorado and joined Foundations Orthodontics, LLC in Rome, Ga.

Dr. Logan Nalley III (Dental Medicine, ’08) is the lead dentist at the new Aspen Dental Garner’s Ferry Office in Columbia, S.C. The practice is one of nine Aspen Dental locations in South Carolina. Dr. Kerri Newton (Physical Therapy, ’01) received the

Jennifer Gagnon (Marketing, ’04, and M.B.A., ’09), District Sales Manager of Automatic Data Processing, was selected as a 2013 outstanding young professional by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Augusta Magazine. Dr. Shelle Glover (MCG, ’09) is the primary-care physician at the recently opened family practice office run by Turlock-based Emanuel Medical Center in California.

Outstanding Technical Teacher Award by the American Technical Education Association. Newton is an Associate Professor and Director of the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Darton State College.

Michelle Peace (Spanish, ’04) was named the 2013 Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Peace teaches Spanish at Early County High School.

Dr. Lee M. Perry (MCG, ’04) was named the Top Allergist and Immunologist in Tennessee by HealthTap. The HealthTap Top Doctor Competition brings together the world’s best and most helpful online and mobile medical experts.

Lani Nykel Hold (Nursing, ’09) married Justin Aaron Hendrix on Feb. 2 in Roswell, Ga.

Dr. Edward Rhim (MCG, ’05) is the cardiologist at Saint Thomas Heart at Middle Tennessee Medical Center’s new patient cardiology office in Smyrna, Ga. Services include coronary stents, angioplasty, pacemaker/defibrillator implantations, and electrophysiology procedures.

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Contact: Samantha Mellinger, Alumni Affairs Coordinator, smellinger@gru.edu

Dr. Heerain Shah (MCG, ’05) has joined Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Psychiatry. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Allison Elizabeth Moye (Nursing, ’10) married Brandon Webb Campbell on April 20 in Augusta.

Catherine Stewart (Marketing, ’06), Children’s Miracle Network Development Coordinator with the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, was selected as a 2013 outstanding young professional by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Augusta Magazine.

Henrik Norlander (Marketing, ’11) recently experienced his best finish on the PGA Tour with a tie for 15th at The Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Norlander is a former Augusta State University All-American who helped lead the golf team to back-to-back national titles.

Dr. Timothy Brian Wallace II (MCG, ’09) married Megan Jene’ Berley on April 27 in Savannah, Ga.

Adam Williams (Accounting, ’03),

Dr. Alpesh Patel (Dental Medicine, ’10) and Dr. LeAnne Trotter (Dental Medicine, ’10)

certified public accountant and tax services manager at Cleveland Group, was selected as a 2013 outstanding young professional by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Augusta Magazine.

have opened Trotter & Patel Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Canton, Ga.

Wesley Zamzow (Finance, ’02 and Educational Leadership, ’05), Director of Annual Giving at Georgia Regents University, was selected as a 2013 outstanding young professional by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Augusta Magazine.

memorium

Charles Akin (M.B.A., ‘77) Dr. Kenneth W. Carter (M.D., ’69) Dr. Lamar P. Collie Jr. (M.D., ’51) Dr. David Dubose Egleston Jr. (M.D., ’38) Dr. Lawrence J. Freant (M.D., ’67) Georgia Greenan (B.A. in Sociology, ’70) Dr. Rice R. Holcombe (M.D., ’59) Dr. Hudson J. Powell Sr. (D.M.D., ’78) Roseann Hudson (A.A.C.C. in Nursing, ’74) Dr. Fred C. Meadows (M.D., ’43) Dr. Henry G. Mealing Jr. (Fellow) Dr. Jerry Peagler (M.D., ‘52) Dr. Ernest A. Perry (M.D., ’43) Margaret P. Pittman (B.S. in Health Information Management, ’71) Dr. Harlan M. Starr Jr. (M.D., ’47) Dr. Worthy E. Strickland (M.D., ’66) Mary Lee Toole (Core Curriculum ’62) Dr. Samuel A. Vickery (M.D., ’66) George S. Washington (B.A. in Sociology, ‘81)

10s

2010s

McKenzie Jane Dicks (Nursing, ’13) married Joseph Stuart Carter on June 22 in Augusta.

Dr. Adam Z. Goldberg (Dental Medicine, ’10), a third-generation dentist, was selected as a 2013 outstanding young professional by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Augusta Magazine.

Dr. Matthew Preston Hughes (MCG, ’11) married Erika Nicole Bandy on April 6 in Atlanta. The couple resides in Little Rock, Ark. Rachel Christian Lamb (Nursing, ’11) is engaged to Bryce Thompson Wyatt, a third-year MCG student.

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SUMMER 2013

In Memorium


A U G U S TA

The GRU Augusta Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is growing and prospering as the Jaguars continue their transition into a new university, a new name, and a new mission. In 2012-13, the Jaguars were nationally ranked in six sports (women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s tennis, men’s tennis, women’s golf, and men’s golf) and were regionally ranked in five sports. We enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history in men’s cross country, volleyball, and women’s basketball and made great strides in the first year of women’s and men’s outdoor track and field.

Cross Country n Head Coach Adam Ward served as head coach of both track programs in their inaugural seasons. In his first eight years, Ward has earned Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors six times. Under Ward’s tutelage, junior distance runner Dustin Ross advanced out of the NCAA Regionals and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 1,500-meter run.

Golf n Both Jaguar squads were represented in postseason competition. Senior Natalie Wille and junior Casey Kennedy earned at-large bids to the women’s NCAA East Regional in Auburn, Ala. On the men’s side, junior Alex Wennstam and freshman Maverick Antcliff received at-large bids to the men’s NCAA Tallahassee Regional in Florida.

Awards Banquet

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

n Honorees during GRU’s May 2 Athletics Awards Banquet included Freshman of the Year Hunter Boose (Baseball), the only Jaguar to start in all 48 games. He paced the squad in doubles (20), RBIs (31), total bases (87), hits (58), and at bats (199).

Nate Teymer, our third-year Women’s Basketball head coach, was unanimously selected the Dick Wallace Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Jaguars to a 21-6 record and to the winningest regular season in school history. He was named the PBC Coach of the Year while guiding the Lady Jags to the PBC East Division title and to their first national ranking in nine seasons.

42


PRIDE

Jaguar

BY JOEY WARREN

Athletic Media Relations Director

Male Student-Athlete of the Year Ryan Weems (Men’s Basketball) paced the squad in six offensive categories, including scoring (15.7 points per game). He led the team in scoring 14 times and poured in a careerbest 32 points against Clayton State University on Feb. 7 en route to All-Peach Belt Conference honors.

Female Student-Athlete of the Year Natalie Wille (Women’s Golf) registered a team-high eight top-20 finishes, including six top-10s. She won medalist honors at the Central District Invitational, hosted by Michigan State, and fired a career-low 67 in the opening round of the UCF Challenge.

A Message from Clint Bryant D I R E C T O R

O F

AT H L E T I C S

The Jaguar Club has played a major role in the success of our to attend college without the club’s assistance. We sincerely appreciate your past gifts and hope you will continue to help prepare our exceptionally talented young student-athletes for n The Gerald Daise Leadership Award, named after the former men’s basketball standout guard, went to fifth-year senior Travis Keels (Men’s Basketball). n Tommy Werrick Scholar-Athlete Award recipients—those with the highest GPAs among all 175 Jaguar student-athletes— were Lauren Yeargan (Softball) and Jan Labas (Men’s Tennis).

a competitive world. We are the Jaguar Nation! Take pride in it, embrace it and by all means join me in supporting it.

To join the Jaguar Club, call 706-737-1626.

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SUMMER 2013

athletics program. Many of our student-athletes would be unable


GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

A U G U S TA

A Look Back

Classes were once held on the Summerville Campus in what was commonly referred to as “the six-pack,� a set of converted World War II-era arsenal buildings. Hardy and Butler Halls, shown in the photo inset, the Science Building, and three additional academic buildings in the six-pack were demolished in 2004 after the construction of Science, Allgood, and University halls. The space is now occupied by the beautiful D. Douglas Barnard, Jr. Amphitheatre and green space. The building to the right is Science Hall, which opened in 2000.

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l One hassle-free day, while in the comfort of your beautifully designed private suite. l A relaxing commons area equipped with the day’s news, Wi-Fi, a computer workstation with Internet access, kitchenette, and private restroom. l A dedicated Executive Wellness Navigator will work with you to customize your visit and schedule any additional consultations.

Your time is valuable. Your health is priceless.


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Office of Advancement FI-1000, 1120 15th Street Augusta, Georgia 30912

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facebook.com/GeorgiaRegentsU & facebook.com/GRUJaguarNation

2013 Summer - Gravity  

Vol. 1 No 2. - Georgia Regents University’s Alumni and Friends magazine is published three times a year by the Office of Advancement and the...

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