UGA Foundation elects new trustees, creates scholarships

UGA Foundation Board of Trustees members met with UGA President Jere W. Morehead (fourth from right) at Delta Hall in Washington, D.C., as part of their annual meeting from June 8 – 10.

The University of Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees elected new board members and created a scholarship fund recognizing a UGA staff member at the board’s annual meeting held June 8 – 10 at UGA’s Delta Hall in Washington, D.C.

Last fall, the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees created a Distinguished Service Award recognizing a long-serving UGA employee or volunteer who the board deems to have a record of impactful and selfless service to others. The board allocates $100,000 from the foundation’s unrestricted operating surplus to establish a student scholarship in the honoree’s name.

Karin Lichey Usry, UGA director of board relations, was named the Distinguished Service Award winner at the annual meeting.

“The UGA Foundation has soared to new heights across all of its committees, and for years, Karin has played a very significant role in that success while never seeking any credit or recognition,” said UGA Foundation Chairman Neal Quirk. “She represents the true meaning of service to others”.

Usry’s need-based scholarship will give preference to students studying entomology, a focus of Usry’s family business, Southland Organics.

This was the second Distinguished Service Award the board has given. The first was awarded in the fall to Kathy R. Pharr, UGA’s vice president of marketing and communications and chief of staff to President Jere W. Morehead.

“Kathy has been very successful in every position she has occupied throughout her career, and her work ethic and extraordinary intellect have served UGA so very well,” said Quirk. “Kathy is a great role model to set the standard for recognition of the Distinguished Service Award.”

Pharr’s need-based scholarship will give preference to students from Northeast Georgia—particularly Rabun County—or students who are members of the Redcoat Band or enrolled in the Jere W. Morehead Honors College.

These new scholarship funds cap a fiscal year that saw the board make significant financial commitments to the university. In addition to the annual support provided by the board to support academic operations during fiscal year 2022, trustees allocated over $7 million of unrestricted operating reserved resources to support student scholarships, faculty professorships, facility projects and more.

The board’s annual meeting also brought a number of changes in board positions. The trustees unanimously voted to elect Seth L. Knight III and E. Howard Young as the operational and strategic vice chairs, respectively.

They also unanimously voted in four trustees: Middleton A. “Al” Parker Jr., Michael D. Patrick, Elizabeth M. Reid and John M. Turner Jr. They will join current members to comprise a 49-member board.

Additionally, two advisory trustees—Edward R. Castro and Mark L. Jennings—were elected to assist foundation committees in defining and achieving their strategic goals.

The board accorded five trustees emeritus status: David M. Battle Jr., Richard W. Courts IV, Hillel A. Feinberg, operational vice chair John F. Mangan Jr. and former secretary and strategic vice chair Steve C. Jones.

“We are grateful for these trustees who have unselfishly given their time and personal resources to help us support the university’s academic mission which has strengthened the Foundation and University immensely.” Quirk said.

Vice Chairs:

Seth L. Knight III, of Columbus, Georgia, co-founded Knight-Rawls, an insurance brokerage firm that specializes in executive and employee benefits. He was a letterman on the UGA men’s golf team from 1980 to 1982 and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from UGA in 1982.

E. Howard Young, of Atlanta, is the president of General Wholesale Beer Company, a multi-generational family business. He is the chairman of the Terry Dean’s Advisory Council, serves as a member of the TGen Foundation Board of Directors, chairs the TGen Pancreatic Cancer National Advisory Council and serves as an elder of Peachtree Presbyterian Church. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from UGA in 1982.

Elected Trustees:

Middleton A. (Al) Parker Jr., of Atlanta, is a managing director and private wealth advisor for Morgan Stanley Private Wealth. He is a four-time NCAA All-American singles tennis player and member of the UGA Circle of Honor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from UGA in 1993 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1998.

Michael D. Patrick, of Atlanta, works in marketing at Chick-fil-A leading the menu strategy team. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from UGA in 2003

Elizabeth M. Reid, of Annapolis, Maryland, is retired from teaching high school French at Key School, a private college preparatory school. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from UGA in 1981.

John M. Turner Jr., of Birmingham, Alabama, is the president and CEO of Regions Bank/Regions Financial Corporation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from UGA in 1989.

Advisory Trustees:

Edward R. Castro, of Atlanta, is owner and president at Ed Castro Landscape. He earned his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UGA in 1988.

Mark L. Jennings, of Athens, is owner of Athens Construction Group, a premier custom home builder. He studied business at UGA in 1983.

Associate Members:

Bryson A. Henriott, president of the UGA Student Government Association.

Luke Naeher, chair of the UGA University Council Executive Committee.

The University of Georgia Foundation

The UGA Foundation, established in 1937, stewards donor funds with a strong record of fiscal and financial management success. With an investment of over $1 billion and assets that total approximately $1.3 billion, the UGA Foundation provides an average of more than $65 million annually to UGA to advance its mission of teaching, research and public service.

The UGA Foundation Board of Trustees oversees the foundation’s work. Trustees lead and promote fundraising activities, accept and steward donor funds and manage the financial assets of the foundation for the long-term benefit and enhancement of the university. Trustees also offer broad advice, consultation and support to university leadership.