Monday, April 22, 2013
“My wish for you, and my wish for West Georgia, is to ‘live long and prosper,’” said Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, University of West Georgia president, at the conclusion of a formal event on Thursday, April 18. His charge to ‘live long and prosper’ is the same now as it was 19 years ago when he completed his inauguration speech and started his journey as president. To say Sethna has inspired this motto at UWG would be an understatement.
The event, held in his honor, was filled with delicious food, fond memories, well wishes and sincere appreciation. As guests arrived to the UWG Campus Center Ballroom, it became increasingly clear that Sethna’s influence stretched far beyond the campus’ boundaries. From students, faculty and staff to community members and local officials, guests attempted to express their deep gratitude.
To begin the presentation, a retrospective video of his presidency offered a glance into the vast reach of Sethna’s tenure. It showed him breaking ground on numerous occasions, ever expanding the university. It showed him as an advocate for the university and largely for the students, who were his main priority. It even showed his sense of humor. Daniel Jackson, president and CEO of Carroll Tomorrow and Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, served as the emcee for the evening, offering opening remarks and an introduction of several speakers including Chancellor Hank Huckaby, from the University System of Georgia; Bob Stone, founder of Systems and Methods, Inc.; A. Paul Cadenhead, UWG alumnus and renowned Georgia attorney; former University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll Davis; and Carrollton Mayor Wayne Garner.
Each speaker delivered a unique perspective of Sethna’s service to UWG, the community and more, but one thing remained certain in every speech, his devotion to the university is unparalleled. Huckaby recalled his positive attitude, and his persistent and hardworking nature. Stone spoke to Sethna’s availability to students and how his first impression was of Sethna helping students unpack on moving day at UWG. Cadenhead quoted Robert Browning in saying that “a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,” and recalled a multitude of examples in which Sethna had done just that. Garner presented Sethna with a key to the city.
When it seemed as though the presentations were coming to a close, choral students began to appear in the audience, singing a personalized song that emphatically repeated, “Dr. Sethna, thanks a lot!” As the song continued, suddenly the marching band appeared, joined by the cheerleaders and dance team. Soon, UWG mascot Wolfie was taking the stage to shake Sethna’s hand.
In closing, Sethna expressed his appreciation to all those who were – and were not – in attendance, who made not only the evening a great success but also his entire tenure as president. He made certain to express that his presidency was a compilation of hard work by a great number of people, and that without them he couldn’t have accomplished anything. Sethna will as president in June 2013, but will continue as a professor of business at UWG, a position he has maintained throughout his presidency.
Sponsors for the event include: Advantage Office Solutions, Aramark, UWG College of Social Sciences, RA-LIN and Associates, Inc., UWG Richards College of Business, R.K. Redding Construction, Inc., Tanner Medical Center, Southwire, Systems & Methods, Inc., The Times-Georgian, United Community Bank, UWG University Advancement, UWG Alumni Association, UWG Division of Business and Finance, University of West Georgia Real Estate Foundation, Burton Appraisal Group, Inc., Carroll County Board of Commissioners, Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative, Carroll Tomorrow, Charter Bank, Community & Southern Bank, UWG College of Science and Mathematics, University of West Georgia Deans, UWG Division of Academic Affairs, Greenway, MetroBank, Morgan Oil Company, Newnan Utilities, UWG Development and Alumni Relations, University of West Georgia Athletics, Steve Adams of West Georgia Ambulance, Bank of North Georgia, The City of Carrollton, J.P. Morgan & The Alison Group, Mindpower, Inc., Oak Mountain Academy, OFS Fitel, Park Street Dental, Willis and Glenda Potts, Charlie and Deirdre Rouse, Rebecca L. Smith and Erica N. Hart, Tisinger Vance, UWG University Communications and Marketing, and Thomas S. and Patsy H. Upchurch.