by Amy K. Lavender
The University of West Georgia will spend the weekend of April 9 through 11 welcoming home its alumni with the annual Alumni Weekend festivities.
The highlight of the weekend will be the annual Evening with the Stars, an awards gala honoring UWG alumni who have achieved marked success in their fields. This year’s gala will be hosted by Todd Grisham, who is a regular host of ESPN’s flagship program, “SportsCenter,” and the station’s boxing program, “Friday Night Fights.” The gala will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Townsend Center for Performing Arts. Admission is $10, the proceeds from which benefit the Alumni Legacy Scholarship Foundation.
Thirteen alumni will be recognized during the 39th annual gala. Six alumni will receive achievement awards: Neil Edwin Ruby of Carrollton; Dr. Ardith M. Bates of Dalton; Dr. James Woodall Jr. of Jackson, Miss.; Sean Patrick Crowell of La Canada, Calif.; John M. Dyer of Atlanta; and Richard F. Smith III of LaFayette. Seven other alumni will also be receiving awards: Bob Powell of Carrollton will be receiving the Honorary Alumnus Award; William Mallory of Manchester, Tenn., will be receiving the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award; Elmira Bell Barrow of Bremen will be receiving the Service to Humanity Award; Adam Waid of Alpharetta will receive the Spotlight Award; Ross Walter of Carrollton will receive the Thelma Harman Turner Alumni Loyalty Award; Bridgette A. Stewart of Cedartown will receive the J. Owen Moore Faculty Award; and Jim Martin of Carrollton will receive the J. Owen Moore Staff Award.
Of course, things will kick off on Thursday, April 9, with the fifth annual WOLFstock at the Campus Center Ballroom from 6 to 10 p.m. and An Evening of 10-Minute Plays at the Townsend Center at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, April 10, events begin at 7:30 a.m. with the McCalman Executive Roundtable at Sunset Hills Country Club with featured speaker Jenner Wood, Georgia president of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Registration is required for this event due to limited seating. At 11 a.m., Jenner will present at a second event – an informative Financial Literacy Workshop in room 1201 of the J. Mark Miller Building hosted by the Center for Economic Education – with the help of Kenneth Carrig, corporate executive vice president chief human resources officer for SunTrust Banks, Inc. At lunchtime, UWG’s alumni who have celebrated their Golden Reunion or are celebrating milestones (classes of 1933-1959) will come together at Sunset Hills Country Club. Lunch is $17 a person, and proceeds benefit the Alumni Legacy Scholarship Foundation.
Later in the afternoon, Dr. N. Jane McCandless, professor of sociology and dean of the College of Social Sciences, will welcome alumni and the public to Bonner Lecture Hall at 3 p.m. for a Women’s Leadership Development Workshop for an examination of the state of women in leadership. A registration fee of $25 will benefit the Women’s Studies Program Scholarship. Alumni and guests will then have a chance to wind down for the evening with some entertainment courtesy of two-time Emmy award-winning Alison Brown at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center at 7 p.m. The event is free, but seating is limited, so register early.
Saturday, April 11, alumni are welcome to tour the Antonio J. Waring Lab starting at 10 a.m. for demonstrations and a special open house. This is a family friendly opportunity to immerse you and your children in science and the art of the archaeological dig through fun demonstrations. At noon, guests have their choice of lunch events: an alumni luncheon with a brown bag lunch at the Townsend Center while listening to some words of wisdom on service and leadership, or the First Annual Anthropology Alumni Cookout at the Waring Lab.
The afternoon sees more activity as the current UWG Debate Team goes head-to-head with debate alums on the topic of marijuana legalization at the Townsend Center at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, the Alumni House will host the class of 1965 for their Golden Reunion. Of course, the weekend will end with a bang at the Townsend Center with the Alumni Awards Gala.
Alumni of all ages are welcome to return west for all the festivities. Reconnect with classmates, explore new developments on campus, or introduce your family to the university that you know and love. Registration is recommended for all events, even those free of charge, so we can plan for your access and comfort. For more information or to register for events, contact the Alumni House at 678-839-6582, or register online at alumni.westga.edu/events. Deadline to register is April 6.