And the race begins…

Oglethorpe University encourages its students to think outside the box, solve problems, get involved in their communities and become movers and shakers.

So it’s no wonder that the university had three alumni running for local political offices, and one alumnus who had served 18 years in office.

Dar’shun Kendrick ’04 ran for State Representative from House District 94 representing Lithonia and Conyers, Ga. She focused on education, transportation, economic development and ethics. After Dar’shun graduated from Oglethorpe University, she obtained a law degree from the University of Georgia. She owns Kendrick Law Practice in Lithonia, Ga.

Christopher McFadden ’80 was a candidate for Judge, Court of Appeals of Georgia. Some interesting facts about Chris: he was the first author of Georgia Appellate Practice, the leading reference book on Georgia appeals; he was an appellate lawyer with more than 20 years experience handling a wide variety of cases in the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals; he was a defender of the ideal of a fair and impartial judiciary; he was the founder of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Georgia; and he authored part of the Appellate Practice Act.

Alex Johnson ’07 ran for the State Senate District 41 seat in Georgia. Alex graduated from Oglethorpe University with a BA in politics, and he is a graduate of Georgia State University College of Law.

With three running for office, one Oglethorpe University alumnus left a political office he’s had for 18 years in 2010.

Robert “Bobby” Baker ’79 was the longest serving member of the state Public Service Commission and the commission’s best known advocate for utility consumers. He has been recognized on numerous occasions by both Georgia Trend magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the city and state’s most influential leaders. He has served on the board of directors for the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT) and also as Vice-Chairman of the Gwinnett County Planning Commission. Read the AJC article about Bobby’s decision to not run again after 18 years on the PSC.

Savannah, here we come

When I started working in the Alumni Office at Oglethorpe University, I had recently moved from Savannah, Ga., to Atlanta (followed a boyfriend who’s now my husband). Savannah is my hometown – I grew up there, moved away for college for four years and then immediately returned to my coastal city.

And while I do love living here in Atlanta, one of the things I’m most proud of is Savannah.  I am always ready to tell someone all about Savannah. I love it. It has so much to offer: breathtaking live oak trees with Spanish moss dangling from them; the coastal waterways; the gorgeous architecture; the rich history. And that Southern cuisine. Mmmmm…

I am so happy to blog about this news….

In honor of the university’s 175th anniversary of its founding, Oglethorpe University alumni, faculty/staff and friends were invited to visit Savannah, the landing point of James Edward Oglethorpe – the university’s namesake.

The fall weekend (Friday, September 24 – Sunday, September 26) was an absolute treat.

Here’s some of the things we did: stayed two evenings at the award-winning Mulberry Inn; dined at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House; visited City Market and River Street; caught some Savannah Jazz Festival events; enjoyed a historic tour of the Downtown Historic District; enjoyed wine and refreshments at the private home of historian John Duncan who lives on Monterey Square; heard from an urban planner/architect about Savannah’s squares; left the Historic District one morning to tour Savannah’s Lowcountry (Bethesda Home for Boys, Wormsloe and Isle of Hope); dinner at the Olde Pink House – a Savannah favorite; and even crept around the city for a Haunted Pub Crawl. All of this – and plenty of “free time.” 

Ring my bell…

On Thursday, May 6, Oglethorpe seniors prepping for graduation got the opportunity to finally see what all the fuss is about and climb the Lupton bell tower and ring the Carillon bells.

Why such a big deal, you ask? The bell tower stairwell is off-limits to just anyone. There are just a few keys tucked away in various places on campus that open the secret doorway to the Lupton bell tower. The only people authorized to climb the bell tower are graduating seniors (a couple days before they depart campus and set out into the real world!) and alumni who celebrate reunion years during Alumni Weekend.

Here’s a brief (and interesting!) history of the bells here at Oglethorpe University… Continue reading

OUr kind of Monday…

Who says Mondays are no good?

This Monday (March 15), why not make it yOUr kind of Monday?

Bernice A. King

Visit the Conant Center from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., to meet Bernice A. King, the youngest child of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She’s also the president-elect of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

King will be interviewed by several OU students about the topic Women as Leaders and Peace Makers in a Time of War and Economic Crisis. Following the program, she’ll sign copies of her books, available for purchase at the event. Brought to us by the Oglethorpe Women’s Network (OWN) and is co-sponsored by OU’s nationally-recognized Center for Civic Engagement and the Rich Foundation Urban Leadership Program. There is no cost to attend.

Poet Linda Bierds (photo: mary levin)

You can then stroll across the parking lot to the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA) for two more events.  From 5:00-6:30 p.m., national award-winning poet Linda Bierds will read from her most recent book Flight: New and Selected Poems, followed by a reception and book signing. 

Then you can stick around for a couple cocktails, the current Matisse exhibition, and some scrumptious food by Two Urban Licks. OUMA hosts Mondays in March: Martinis with Matisse, presented by Grey Goose, every Monday this month, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. This event is $15.

Is there a better way to spend a Monday? We think not.

OU alum making a difference in Chile

Oglethorpe University’s motto is Make a Life. Make a Living. Make a Difference.

While our students are here on campus and in Atlanta (and on Alternative Spring Breaks and volunteering in New Orleans), it’s our hope that they’ll turn this motto from words into action.

And when they leave campus after graduation, we hope they go out into the world as alumni and continue to Make a life. Make a living. And most of all, make a difference.

That’s just what Matt Suggett ’08 did.

Matt Suggett

Matt Suggett '08

He was in Chile volunteering at an orphanage. He experienced the February 27 earthquake.

Instead of trying to describe what he and the people of Chile experienced and are currently going through, I’ll let you read it for yourself. And see the heartbreaking photos for yourself.

Read Matt’s account of the moment the earthquake happened.

You can also follow Matt on Twitter: @suggett.

And Facebook.