Georgia Law’s first Black graduate, Chester C. Davenport, passes away

Chester C. Davenport and UGA Law students

Davenport, center, with law students during a visit to the UGA School of Law in 2016.

The following message was shared by Georgia Law Dean Rutledge. We join Dean Rutledge in expressing our condolences to the friends and family of Chester Davenport, and are proud of the legacy he leaves on campus–and beyond.

It is with profound sadness that I share that Mr. Chester C. Davenport (LLB ’66), the University of Georgia School of Law’s first African-American graduate, passed away this past Friday, August 7.

Mr. Davenport was an incredibly important figure in our school’s history. He was a leader. He graduated in the top five percent of the Class of 1966 and served as a founding member and Executive Editor of the Georgia Law Review. He was a successful attorney, public servant and businessman. Mr. Davenport was also a regular supporter of the School of Law and the university throughout his life. The UGA chapter of the Black Law Students Association bears his name, and he received the law school alumni association’s highest honor — the Distinguished Service Scroll Award — in 2016. These are only a few highlights of his life.

We are in communication with Mr. Davenport’s family and will share information about memorial services as it becomes available. In the meantime, please keep his family in your prayers and thoughts during this time of mourning.

Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge
Dean & Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law

A message on recent events

From the desk of Alumni Relations Executive Director Meredith Gurley Johnson:

Fellow Bulldogs,

I write today to share in the grief and frustration of continued racial discrimination and injustice in our country. My heart aches for the countless African American victims of violence and for their loved ones. The UGA Alumni Association exists to bring together Bulldogs–from all walks of life, cultures and beliefs–year-round, worldwide and lifelong. This moment calls for us to come together. We are taking this week to pause, listen and reflect on ways we can strengthen the bonds between our alumni. The Bulldog spirit is stronger because of our diversity and as one powerful voice, we can overcome today’s circumstances. Together, we can build a better world and move forward. We are UGA Alumni, and we Never Bark Alone.

Our Black Alumni Leadership Council president, Ericka Davis, shared a heartfelt message earlier this week, and it eloquently expresses what we’re feeling.

Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16)
Executive Director, Alumni Relations
University of Georgia

From the desk of Black Alumni Leadership Council President Ericka Davis:

UGA Community,

These are unprecedented times in our country right now. The recent tragic, violent and inhumane deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor has shocked, angered and hurt us to our core. It has left many of us feeling helpless and powerless as we cry out and steadily wait for the wheels of justice to turn. But that doesn’t mean that we are helpless or powerless.

As protests take place around the country, this is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those who peacefully advocate for justice, one of the pillars of the Arch. We can support programs and initiatives that uphold the tenets of our best and defining historical legacy of nonviolent social change exhibited by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Hamilton Holmes and Mary Frances Early. We can advocate for public policies that will truly create that “more perfect union” we all strive for.

Part of our motto is to serve and inquire into the nature of things so it is incumbent upon us to take that charge and find better solutions to address equity and inclusion for current and future generations to come both on and off campus. Never has there been a more critical time than this to affirm and support each other, students and alumni alike through both words and actions that express our humanity, compassion, understanding and empathy.

You are not alone. You do matter. Your value is immeasurable and your contribution can never be diminished.

Stay safe, stand for what is right and never lose hope.

Ericka Davis (AB ’93)
President, Black Alumni Leadership Council
University of Georgia

Finding humor in the little things during shelter-in-place

By Ericka Davis (AB ’93), president of the UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council

This pandemic took us all by surprise.

One minute, I was celebrating the naming of the Mary Frances Early College of Education and returning from a great weekend at the Alumni Leadership Assembly. It seems like the next minute, I was back on campus in a mask moving my daughter out of her dorm two months early.

These are unprecedented times and they can easily be overwhelming. The good news is that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and it burns in our hearts as bright as Sanford Stadium at the start of the fourth quarter. The light inspires us to persevere, never lose hope, stay strong and be encouraged. I have found that light shining in the most unexpected places like Zoom meet-ups, FaceTime conversations and GroupMe chats. I have found that light within the Bulldog Nation where, even in a pandemic, we Never Bark Alone.

I have especially found it in daily adventures with my favorite Bulldog as we shelter-in-place together. I’m hoping that wherever you are as you read this and watch our vlog (below), you’re finding that light as well and that you never lose sight of it.

Athens, je t’aime: a UGA love story

Written By: Leigh Raynor Arndt
Photo Credit: Steven Wallace of Steven Wallace Photography

Athens might not be universally known as the “City of Love,” but the Bulldog Nation might have something to say about that. More than 25,000 couples have met and fallen in love at the University of Georgia. And in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing just one of many love stories that began in our beloved college town.

Coincidentally, Teman Worku (ABJ ’16) and Kevin Steele (AB ’17, AB ’17) both studied in Morocco while students at UGA. But Marrakech can’t lay claim to “Chapter One” of this recently engaged couple’s story. Instead, as Teman tells it, she and Kevin have one thing to thank for their near-at-hand nuptials: an overly air-conditioned UGA bus.

Teman Worku + Kevin Steele Rooftop Engagement

Photo: Steven Wallace of Steven Wallace Photography

Once Upon a Time …

Teman Worku + Kevin Steele with President Morehead

Teman (left) and Kevin (right) with UGA President Jere W. Morehead during a 2015 UGA Student Alumni Council event when they were students. Photo: Christopher Mark Sorrow

On a freezing bus from Athens to Atlanta, Teman and Kevin were headed to the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon. Both were members of the UGA Student Alumni Council, a group of committed student leaders that organizes events and volunteer opportunities that current students with alumni.

For reasons she’ll “never understand,” the bus’s air conditioner was on full-blast despite the early morning chill. Teman and Kevin shared a blanket to keep warm. They had become friends through their involvement with SAC and the Student Government Association. On this bus ride, their conversation went beyond the passion they shared for these organizations. A deeper connection blossomed.

For Kevin, this opportunity was long in the making. As a first-year student, he was impressed with Teman when she attended an SGA Freshman Board meeting to talk about her semester studying in Morocco. Back then, he doubted that Teman, a third-year Grady College student, would take notice of a freshman like him. Nonetheless, he was soon headed to Morocco on a Maymester program, so he suggested they grab coffee. Unfortunately, before they could nail down a date, Kevin was boarding a plane to Marrakech and their meeting never happened.

Fast forward one year, Teman and Kevin had become an official couple. As college sweethearts do, they planned date nights on a student’s budget. On Wednesdays, it was Amici for 50-cent wings. In the summers, it was Fuzzy’s tacos or a slice at Automatic Pizza after a Saturday spent poolside.

In 2016, Kevin, an international affairs and Arabic double major, spent a semester in Jordan on a Boren Scholarship. Teman met him for a week-long vacation in Bulgaria where their money stretched further. There, they “ate like kings and queens,” said Teman. “We had appetizers, a full meal, and dessert, too!”

One of the most memorable meals during the couple’s first overseas trip together was at a Moroccan restaurant. The dinner brought them full circle to the shared experience and love for travel that initially brought the two together.

From Chapel Bell to Wedding Bells

Today, Teman and Kevin happily live in Arlington, Virginia. Kevin works in national security for the U.S. government. Teman is a video producer for 2U, a company expanding access to higher education through online learning. This past November, they got engaged.

Teman Worku and Kevin Steele at graduation

Kevin and Teman celebrate Kevin’s graduation from UGA in 2017.

It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and Teman was traveling home to Atlanta, where Kevin would join her the next day. As she headed to the Glenn Hotel’s chic rooftop, she was under the impression that she was meeting some close friends and a close friend’s mother. Instead, as the elevator doors opened to a noticeably quiet terrace, Teman found Kevin, calm as can be.

The last time Teman and Kevin stood on this Atlanta rooftop, they joyfully talked about the future on a casual night out. Now, Kevin kneeled before Teman, asking her to put those plans into action. Knowing how much Teman loves a sunset, Kevin timed the proposal to the sky turning pink and orange.

“All of these places that we’ve traveled to—Bulgaria, California, Miami—I’ve always made sure to find a spot where we can enjoy the sunset together,” said Teman. “And Kevin kept that in mind when he planned this amazing proposal. He put a lot of thought into it.”

Afterward, the couple headed to a restaurant where Teman was in for another surprise: their families and friends gathered to celebrate their engagement. Now, Teman and Kevin are beginning to plan an even bigger celebration. With lots of relatives on both sides, they anticipate a well-attended wedding. And though they’ve formed a close network of friends in D.C.—many of whom are also Bulldogs—they’ll recite their vows at home, in the state of Georgia.

Teman Worku and Kevin Steele Rooftop Engagement Photo

Kevin and Teman celebrate their engagement on a rooftop in Atlanta in November 2019. Photo: Steven Wallace of Steven Wallace Photography

Albany State president to give Mary Frances Early Lecture

This was written by Hayley Major and originally posted to UGA Today on Feb. 5, 2020.

Marion Ross Fedrick (BSED ’94, MPA ’02) will deliver the 20th annual Mary Frances Early Lecture at the ceremony naming the College of Education in Mary Frances Early’s honor. The event will take place Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. in Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center.

“I am honored to provide the keynote address for such a special occasion,” said Fedrick. “Ms. Mary Frances Early paved the way for myself and many others at the University of Georgia. Her courage and bravery continue to serve as an inspiration.”

Fedrick was appointed president of Albany State University on Aug. 14, 2018, after serving as interim executive vice president and interim president for the university. Prior to that, she served as vice chancellor for human resources at the University System of Georgia. In this role, she led initiatives relating to university administration, leadership development and human resources planning. Fedrick has led staff development efforts at Clark Atlanta University, Emory University and Emory University Hospitals. She also served in leadership roles in the state of Georgia’s Office of State Personnel Administration, AT&T and BellSouth.

During her tenure at ASU, the university has seen significant growth and improvement. Efforts have included restructuring academic colleges, evaluating the academic curriculum and making needed changes to better serve students, as well as implementing a university-wide strategic effort to increase student retention and academic success.

Fedrick earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia. A believer in lifelong learning, Fedrick is currently pursuing a doctorate from the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education.

The Mary Frances Early Lecture honors the first African American to graduate from UGA. Early earned her master’s degree in music education in 1962 and her specialist in education degree in 1967. In 2013, she was presented with an honorary doctorate from the university. The Mary Frances Early lecture was established in 2001 by the Graduate and Professional Scholars student organization to honor Early.

Approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on Oct. 16, 2019, the naming of the Mary Frances Early College of Education celebrates Early’s impact as a civil rights advocate and music educator. After helping integrate the university, she taught in Atlanta Public Schools, Morehouse College, Spelman College and served as head of the music department at Clark Atlanta University.

A livestream of the Mary Frances Early College of Education naming ceremony and Mary Frances Early Lecture will be available at https://maryfrancesearly.coe.uga.edu.

50 years of the Zeta Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta

Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. who were initiated through the Zeta Psi chapter at the University of Georgia will be celebrating 50 years of sisterhood, scholarship and service the weekend of October 25–27, 2019, in Athens. To commemorate the anniversary, members have established a scholarship fund and will hold a community run/walk and health fair.

“We’re extremely excited about this historic milestone, not only for our organization, but for the University of Georgia and Athens community,” said L.D. Wells (AB ’96), president of the Anniversary Committee. “Through the Fortitude 1969 Fund, we have a unique opportunity to lead the campus toward funding need-based scholarships for students and faculty who meet the appropriate criteria. It’s a win-win for all involved because we get to celebrate our wonderful sisterhood by paying it forward and helping UGA students.”

Sorority members are inviting the UGA and Athens community to their “iRun & Walk for the Health of It” 6.9K race and health fair on Saturday, October 26 at 8:30 a.m. at Trail Creek Park. The health fair will be held in conjunction with the race, and proceeds will benefit the Fortitude 1969 Fund.

“Not only has this chapter made an impact at UGA, but we’ve been serving the Athens community for 50 years as well,” said Jennifer W. Richardson (BSHE ’88), president of the Delta Sigma Theta Athens Alumnae Chapter and member of the Anniversary Steering Committee.

The Zeta Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was chartered at the University of Georgia on November 11, 1969. Eight courageous women worked diligently to establish what would be the first Black Greek Letter Organization for females on campus, paving the way for more than 600 minority women to serve the university and Athens community: Carolyn Baylor Reed, Helen Butler (BBA ’72), Carrie Gantt (BSED ’71, MED ’78), Beverly Johnson Hood (BBA ’72), Cheryl Walton Jordan (BBA ’73), Barbara Atkinson Moss (BSED ’71), Debra Bailey Poole and Bendel Love Rucker (BS ’72).

“We’re definitely looking forward to reconnecting with everyone back in Athens where it all began,” said Francene Breakfield (BS ’95), vice president of the Anniversary Committee. “We’ve planned a full weekend of events, and we’re very fortunate that all of our living charter members are expected to celebrate our anniversary with us this year.”

Zachary Faison: The Millennial President

Zachary Faison At A Glance

Getting Started

This summer, Zachary Faison was named one of the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 honorees. He was selected for his impressive accomplishments and commitment to his alma mater. A 2006 graduate, Zachary attended law school at the University of Georgia. After graduation, Zachary earned his Certificate of Fundraising Management from Indiana University. In 2015,  he joined a small group of higher education administrators at Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management. “It was a very intensive institute that gave us expanded insight on being leading administrators at colleges and universities around the country,” says Zachary. “It really helped to support my trajectory as an academic administrator and leader in higher education.”

Making an Impact

Zachary serves as president and CEO of Florida’s first historically black college or university, making him the youngest HBCU president in America. “It’s inspiring work. Every day I get to see the impact upon the lives of students, particularly students of color.”

While at Edward Waters College, Zachary has established an honors college, a center for undergraduate research and is in the process of launching an online degree program. Looking forward, Zachary wants to see the institution grow, not only in enrollment numbers, but “in the expansion of academic profiles and offerings.” Edward Waters College has plans to offer graduate-level programs and become more engaged in the local Jacksonville community.

About 90% of EWC’s students, while academically successful, are eligible for Pell Grants and struggle to pay tuition. Last year, Zachary established a program to help meet this need. If students have an outstanding balance of up to $3,500, EWC will match the balance. “We wanted to do whatever we possibly could to ensure students wouldn’t get this close to the finish line and not finish.” Because of this new program, a significant number of students are able to return to school and continue earning their degree.

Proud to be a Dawg

When asked about the first time he set foot on UGA’s campus, Zachary recalls a feeling of awe. “My eyes were wide open at how expansive the campus was … how beautiful it was … the amazing history that goes along with it. It was incredible.”

During his time at UGA, Zachary was involved in the law school’s Moot Court, a mock trial team that competes nationally. “For me to have the chance to compete with students that have gone on to do such extraordinary things is something I will always remember and cherish,” says Zachary.

Zachary Faison will be honored during the ninth annual 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon in Athens on September 13.

Be sure to check out the other impressive 40 Under 40 honorees.

Meet Black Alumni Council President Dr. Ericka Davis (AB ’93)

Dr. Ericka Davis (AB ’93) became the UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council president on July 1. We invited her to share a few words with you, our alumni family, as she enters this role:

Ericka Davis (AB '93)When I first stepped onto UGA’s campus in the spring of 1988, I never imagined that the experience would be so life changing. When my parents drove off, and I walked through the doors of Brumby Hall to explore my new home, one student, Cameo “Cami” Garrett (AB ’92), approached me and asked if I was new to UGA and did I know anyone. I said yes that I was new, and no that I didn’t know anyone. She immediately said that I could come with her and that was the beginning of my meeting many other students who became more than just classmates but family both during my time at UGA and through the years since graduation.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was joining more than an institution of higher learning, but a family and a nation at the same time. The Black Alumni UGA family and Bulldog Nation has served as a great source of love, support, development and encouragement to me since that day in 1988. The people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had and the memories that were made are priceless to me.

That’s also why I wanted my daughter, Jessica Davis ’20, to attend UGA and after completing her first year, she’s just as passionate about “Her UGA” as I am about mine. I’m even more proud of being a part of the rich legacy of courage and determination that belongs to all African American alumni. That legacy began on January 9, 1961, with our founders, Charlayne Hunter-Gault (ABJ ’63), Hamilton Holmes (BS ’63), and Mary Frances Early (MMED ’62, EDS ’71). The doors they opened for us is a debt that I feel I could never repay and am morally obligated to do my part to pay it forward. That’s how the 1961 Club began. It’s a tribute to the sacrifice those three made and a reminder that the sacrifice, nor the purpose behind it, should be forgotten or taken lightly. We have one unifying goal: to keep the Arch open to all.

As the incoming president of the Black Alumni Leadership Council (BALC), I am committed to that goal and to being an advocate for UGA. I have been honored to work with the “Originals,” the pioneering members of the BALC during the last 3 years. The strides we made have been phenomenal, but there is still work to be done. This council is committed and passionate. Within their first week of service, they took immediate action to fund an additional student scholarship, bringing our total to nine students receiving scholarship funding for four years while attending UGA.

Please know that we can’t do this great work alone. Your help is critical to continuing the legacy. We need your gifts, your time, and your talent. We look forward to having you join us in our goal to keep the Arch open. Charlayne, Hamilton, and Mary would expect no less of us.

Go Dawgs,

Ericka

ABC’s Deborah Roberts pledges $100K to UGA

Deborah Roberts

ABC’s Deborah Roberts pledges $100K to UGA for scholarship

Award-winning correspondent and University of Georgia alumna Deborah Roberts has committed $100,000, matched by the UGA Foundation, to establish a need-based scholarship through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program.

“We are thrilled that such a distinguished alumna has committed to supporting need-based aid at UGA,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Her generosity is an example of the tremendous alumni support that continues to move our university into the future. Deborah’s gift will open the door to higher education for students today, tomorrow and in perpetuity.”

Roberts has risen through the ranks of television news, received numerous awards and been a regular reporter and contributor for programs such as “Dateline NBC,” “20/20,” “Nightline” and “Good Morning America” to name a few.

“I feel honored, privileged and, indeed, blessed to be able to offer a student who’s dreaming of success the opportunity to make those dreams come true,” said Roberts. “Growing up in small-town Georgia, I know the value of education and embrace this opportunity to change lives and futures.”

Roberts’ scholarship will provide aid to graduates of Perry High School, which she attended, as well as other high schools in middle Georgia.

Through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, the UGA Foundation matches—dollar for dollar—any gift in the amount of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 to establish an endowed, need-based scholarship for undergraduate students. The scholarship is awarded within a year of the donor making their gift, and from that point forward, the endowment grows—increasing the size of the scholarship award over time and helping student after student earn a UGA degree.

Since the matching program’s creation in 2017, over $54 million has been dedicated to new need-based scholarships, with over 265 donors giving to the program. Scholarship recipients also benefit from academic support in the form of tutoring, workshops, academic coaching and more.

Born in Perry, Georgia, Roberts began her post-UGA career at WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and her connection to the university has remained through her many positions since then. In 1993, she received the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award, presented annually to high-achieving young alumni.

In 2006, Roberts delivered UGA’s Holmes-Hunter lecture, and in 2016 she presented an Alumni Seminar. Earlier this year, she participated in a panel discussion entitled “Grady Greats: A Conversation on the Enduring Values and Power of Journalism.” She will deliver UGA’s spring undergraduate Commencement address on May 10.

As a major component of the Commit to Georgia Campaign’s effort to remove barriers for students, the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program has been a critical element of UGA’s fundraising success over the past two years. To find out how you can contribute to that success, visit give.uga.edu/georgia-commitment.

Father, daughter share in graduation celebrations

Jacksons

Jenna Jackson has a law degree from UGA. Her father John Jackson has a business degree from UGA. (Photo by Chad Osburn/UGA)

Originally posted on UGA Today on May 2, 2019. Written by Sara Freeland.

When John W. Jackson gives the address at Terry College of Business Convocation May 10, it will be an event almost 50 years in the making.

Jackson first stepped onto campus in 1972. He was one of the first 10 African Americans to play football for the University of Georgia. He walked on to the football team as a free safety the year after the team was desegregated (in 1971) when UGA was a different place.

The same day he is giving his convocation speech, Jackson’s daughter, Jenna Jackson, will be graduating with a Master of Public Administration and Policy in the Graduate Commencement ceremony.

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for people like my dad,” Jenna Jackson said. “There’s no me getting a degree if there’s no John Jackson in the ’70s who will brave hostile conditions.”

John Jackson

John Jackson, front row, third from left, played J.V. football for UGA in 1972. (Photo from 1973 Pandora)

1972-1976

John Jackson was one of around 600 African American students who earned UGA degrees between 1972 and 1976. “I had an incredible learning experience,” he said. “There were so many acts of kindness from professors.”

When there was a fire in his residence hall, Payne Hall, and his books were water damaged, one of his professors offered up his own book for Jackson to use to study.

“The environment at Georgia was very encouraging to me. More people wanted me to succeed than fail,” he said. “The problems I had at Georgia were so insignificant I discarded them. It prepared me for life after college—the barriers you had to overcome, that you had to be prepared. I left Georgia ready to compete in the corporate world.”

Why UGA?

John Jackson, who graduated from UGA with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1976, was the youngest of eight children. His father had a sixth-grade education and worked in the mailroom of a prominent Atlanta law firm staffed by many UGA-educated attorneys. His father saw the value of an education and encouraged his children to attend college.

“When you’re growing up, parents want you to be the very best that you can. They want you to be far better than them,” he said. “The best way to do that was to become educated.”

Two of John Jackson’s older brothers attended Morris Brown College, and Jackson was the first to attend the University of Georgia.

After his first year of college, his father encouraged him to give up football in order to more fully focus on his education. He even received a scholarship from his father’s law firm.

For extra spending money, Jackson worked the morning shift at McDonald’s. He’d come in at 4 a.m. and then go to his 8 a.m. business policy class with William Tate, now namesake of UGA’s Tate Student Center. Tate was a notoriously tough professor who took an interest in Jackson. He remembers Tate asking him, “Have you thought about going to banking? I would give you a recommendation.”

John Jackson went on to raise $60 million to co-found Bank of Atlanta. It’s the accomplishment he’s most proud of—founding the bank and keeping it profitable during the Great Recession.

Second-generation Bulldog

Jenna Jackson attended law school at UGA not because of her father’s influence, but partly because of her mom. She was looking at area law schools and wanted to stay close enough to check on her mother, who was battling breast cancer in Atlanta. She went on to work in football recruitment for UGA during and after law school and was named Miss UGA in 2013. In 2015, she was named Miss Georgia, but said Miss UGA was her favorite title.

Jenna Jackson

Jenna Jackson at the School of Law. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

“I got to see how the University of Georgia makes positive changes for all different types of people,” she said.

Jenna Jackson was also the third black Miss UGA. She said that like her father before her, there was some pressure that came with the role.“He was very quietly in the background,” she said.

“He had been through it. He was under immense pressure. You have to be twice as good to go half as far—he taught me that so subtly that it wasn’t a burden.”

Now, she’s finishing her second UGA degree—this time from the School of Public and International Affairs. “I really want to help people be the best version of themselves, and I thought the Master of Public Administration would help me to do that.

“It’s an honor to be graduating the same day he speaks. To hear him, to see him,” she said. “I understand the sacrifice he made for his family.”

Convocation speech

Jackson has spent more than 30 years working in banking, including 15 years at Bank South. At SunTrust, he had an $800 million loan portfolio. He co-founded Bank of Atlanta in 2004, which was acquired for $3 billion by State Bank and Trust in 2014. He currently serves on the UGA Terry College of Business’ Dean’s Advisory Council.

He also started the Emerson W. Jackson Scholarship Foundation to honor his father. He’s given out 10 or 11 small grants to students who embrace some of his father’s core values of respect, integrity and kindness.

When he received the offer to be the Terry Convocationn speaker, the timing was right.

“Sometimes you wonder if you’ve made a difference,” he said. “My name is not widely known outside the banking arena. But it reenergized me, reaffirmed that what I was doing was right, that I was making difference.”