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University of West Georgia Recognizes Outstanding Alumni

University of West Georgia Recognizes Outstanding AlumniUniversity of West Georgia alumni will return to campus April 15-16 for Alumni Weekend 2016. There are several events planned, including class reunions, departmental reunions, a baseball alumni reunion, and an After Hours Social at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel.

The weekend will end Saturday night with the 40th Annual Evening with the Stars Alumni Awards Gala at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center. Thirteen outstanding alumni, staff, faculty, and friends of UWG will be honored at this event.

A reception will be held in the lobby followed by the awards ceremony and presentation at 7 p.m. The event will be co-hosted by TV personalities Annalysce Baker '11 and Darryl Forges ’14. Entertainment includes performances by alumnus Sam Koon ’09. 

2016 Award Recipients

Judge Mary Staley Clark ’75, Achievement Award, College of Arts and Humanities
Judge Mary Staley Clark graduated cum laude from West Georgia in 1975 with bachelor’s degrees in history and English. She is currently the presiding judge for the Cobb County Mental Health Court. She is also actively involved in many civic and professional organizations, as well as a co-author of Georgia Jurisprudence Family Law. She was the 2014 recipient of the Cobb Schools Foundation Leaders & Legends Award.

Dr. Stephen L. Pruitt ’96, Achievement Award, College of Education
Dr. Stephen Pruitt started his education career as a high school chemistry teacher in Fayetteville and Tyrone. He later served as the science and mathematics program manager and director of academic standards with the Georgia Department of Education. In September 2015, the Kentucky Board of Education unanimously voted to hire Stephen L. Pruitt as Kentucky's sixth commissioner of education. 

Most recently, he served as senior vice president for Achieve, Inc., a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization based in Washington, D.C.

Robie York ‘92, Achievement Award College of Science and Mathematics
Robert York is a native of Carroll County and a 1992 West Georgia graduate with a bachelor’s degree in geology. He has more than 23 years of professional experience providing management and technical support for environmental assessment and remediation projects. He is a licensed professional geologist in Georgia and several neighboring states. In December 2008, Robie co-founded Prater & York with his partner, Mike Prater, of Rome, Georgia. Prater & York serves a wide array of clients on a national level from offices in Carrollton and Rome, Georgia.

Reginald G. “Ray” Moore ’82, Achievement Award, College of Social Sciences
Ray Moore recently retired from the United States Secret Service after 32 years of dedicated service. Ray’s career with the Secret Service began in 1984 as a special agent assigned to the Miami Field Office. Subsequent career assignments included duty in the Baton Rouge Resident Office, the Office of Training as a senior course instructor, the Presidential Protective Division for five and a half years during the Clinton Administration, and the Dallas Field Office. 

Missy Phillips Dugan ’87, Achievement Award, Richards College of Business
Missy Dugan is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta where she oversees the organization that includes 28 clubs in 10 counties.  Missy is the first female CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. She worked as the chief operating officer (COO) and vice president of marketing and development for the organization prior to her promotion as president and CEO. Missy holds a B.B.A. in office administration from the University of West Georgia and has received numerous achievement awards through her work with the Boys & Girls Clubs. 

Dr. Jan Keys ‘00 ’03, Achievement Award, Tanner Health System School of Nursing
Dr. Jan Keys has been chief nurse executive for the Erlanger Health System, a non-profit academic teaching center affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, since 2013. In this role, she is responsible for directing a workforce of more than 3000 nursing staff across a six-hospital system with oversight of daily operations, patient care and safety, medication administration, and appropriate care measures. Dr. Keys has also been the recipient of many state, regional, and national awards, including the Robert Woods Johnson Award, which is recognized nationally for research completed and applications implemented in transforming bedside care for nurses.

Dr. Charles Wilson, Sr., Honorary Alumnus
Dr. Charles Wilson arrived on the campus of West Georgia College in 1970. One of the first black administrators to be hired on the West Georgia campus, Dr. Wilson’s talents and abilities to advise, counsel, and mentor students soon became apparent. Over five decades before UWG adopted the aspiration to become the “best place to learn, work, and succeed,” Dr. Wilson was doing all he could to achieve such a climate on campus. His heart and spirit have been strong and unwavering in support of UWG initiatives, faculty, staff, and students.

Kim Holder ’08, J. Owen Moore Faculty Award
In 2010, Kim Holder came to West Georgia as a lecturer of economics and the director of the UWG Center for Economic Education, a collaboration between the Richards College of Business (RCOB) and the College of Education.  Kim is an enthusiastic educator, whose passion for her students is notable both inside and outside of the classroom. In 2014, she was honored by the UWG Student Government Association with their Faculty of the Year Award and recognized by the Richards College of Business with an Excellence in Teaching Award.  Additionally in 2015, she was recognized with the RCOB Excellence in Service Award and the Undergraduate Research Award, as well as the first place Best in Class Award by the National Economics Teaching Association and the UWG Strategic Imperative Best of the West Award.

Deborah Davison ’11, J. Owen Moore Staff Award
Deborah Davison is currently the skills/simulation manager in the Tanner Health System School of Nursing. In that capacity, she has helped design and manage two state-of-the-art simulation centers, which are recognized as some of the best in the southeast. She has been charged with managing and monitoring the safety and proper use of these very expensive laboratories and the mannequins used in our state-of-the art skills/simulation center. 

In spite of this heavy responsibility and workload, she has also assisted faculty as a nurse educator. She has often taken personal time, often on the weekends, to coordinate and assist in building tours. 

Kyle Newton ‘11, Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
Kyle Newton is currently director of external affairs for Anderson School District Five in Anderson, South Carolina. He is also an associate director at SC Public Affairs, a full-scale governmental affairs firm located in South Carolina. After his graduation from the University of West Georgia, Kyle served as a legislative aide in the Georgia State Senate where he was tasked with crafting education policy. 

He serves on the Board of Directors for Anderson Interfaith Ministries, a large non-profit that provides assistance to needy families in Anderson. He is also a board member for Foothills Alliance, an organization aimed at helping children who have suffered emotional and physical abuse.

Rev. Warren L. Jones ‘39, Service to Humanity
For Warren Jones, service to others has driven his purposeful life. Despite his health and being confined to walkers and wheelchairs, he is still going, doing, and serving. It has been his life, even from his days as a student at West Georgia from 1937 to 1939. He is an enthusiastic member of the Sons of the American Revolution, earning the Amercanism Medal.  He regularly appears on joint DAR/SAR radio programs, displaying an extensive knowledge of American history. 

In 2015, Rev. Jones established the Warren L. Jones Legacy Scholarship Fund, available to any student needing financial assistance with priority being given to a UWG cheerleader. 

Ruth Roberts Holder ’50, Spotlight Award
Ruth Roberts Holder attended West Georgia College from 1948 to 1950 and received a professional elementary teacher’s certificate. She then attended the University of Georgia where she earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist’s degrees in education. Ruth served as a teacher and librarian in the Paulding and Carroll County School Systems for 40 years prior to her retirement in 1993.  She and her husband authored a Temple History book in 1976 and then an expanded version in 1982. She published a third version in 2013. 

Bob White ’68, Thelma Harman Turner Loyalty Award
Bob White’s devotion to his alma mater has resulted in service to the institution through multiple avenues. He currently serves as a member of the UWG Athletic Foundation Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Senior President’s Club, as well as a member of the UWG Red and Blue Society. He is a past member of the UWG National Alumni Association, past president of the West Georgia Braves Booster Club, and a past member of the UWG Foundation Board of Trustees. He was also the recipient of the UWG Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. He has also assisted in planning several UWG alumni events in the Fayette County area. 


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Posted: April 8, 2016

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