The Oglethorpe University Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 2024 Alumni Award honorees. The awards will be presented to these exceptional alumni at the Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony on April 19 during Alumni Weekend.
Each year, members of the Oglethorpe community nominate alumni for four special alumni awards. The awards and recognition committee of the Alumni Board of Directors reviews each nomination and makes the award selections at the winter Alumni Board meeting.
Congratulations to these outstanding alumni who have contributed positively to the campus and community in myriad ways:
Carillon Award – Eli Arnold ’06
Formerly the School Bell Award, the Carillon Award recognizes a member of our alumni network, or past or present faculty member, who has made lasting contributions in education, civic engagement, or innovation. Eli Arnold ’06 embodies these characteristics, generously sharing his professional expertise and personal passion for Oglethorpe. In addition to being an Oglethorpe alumnus, Arnold has served as university librarian and director of the Philip Weltner Library at Oglethorpe University since 2017. In addition, he chairs the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education Library Council and sits on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed Georgia Library Quarterly. As Director of the Library, Arnold helps students research topics related to their coursework and teaches students how to access information related to their research projects or studies. Additionally, he is responsible for helping keep the history of Oglethorpe alive by managing the university archives and serving on the Oglethorpe traditions committee. He also teaches archival studies courses in the history, art, and urban leadership programs at OU. Arnold presents locally, nationally, and internationally on information literacy, the role of archives and primary sources in library instruction, and Oglethorpe University-related history. He is a proud supporter of numerous student initiatives on campus and is frequently seen at student-led presentations, athletic events, and lectures.
O.K. Sheffield ’53 Young Alumnus Award – Brian T. Cornelius ’15
The O.K. Sheffield ’53 Young Alumnus Award recognizes a graduate of the last 10 years who has shown leadership and inspired other young alumni through participation in career, public service, volunteer, or continuing education activities. Brian Cornelius ’15 was highly involved in campus as a student and has remained committed to the life of the university after graduation as an alumnus. Brian led the Black Student Caucus while in undergrad and helped to form and lead the highly successful Oglethorpe Black Alumni Network events. He has been an active mentor, a leader and an enthusiastic supporter of Oglethorpe. Professionally, he is the College Access Program Manager with the Scholarship Academy, through which he oversees earned revenue partnerships and & supervises a team of AmeriCorps members. Outside of his professional commitments, Brian is an active and engaged community member. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., reflecting his commitment to leadership, service, and academic excellence. In addition, he serves as the Advocacy Chair for the Urban League of Greater Atlanta-Young Professionals, where he continues to be a driving force in advocating for positive change and empowerment within his community.
Belle Turner Lynch ’61 Spirit of Oglethorpe Award – Stacey A. Chavis ’07
The recipient of the Belle Turner Lynch ’61 Spirit of Oglethorpe Award is an alumni member who lives by the Oglethorpe motto: Make a life. Make a living. Make a difference., and demonstrates the attributes of a liberal arts education by exhibiting creativity, purposefulness, and a commitment to improving the quality of their community. Stacey Chavis ’07 works at the intersection of politics, public policy and advocacy. She built her expertise through the years in previous work as Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Oglethorpe University, Southern Regional Director for the White House Project, Deputy Finance Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia, Finance Director for Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA 4th) and Constituent Services Representative for former Congresswoman Denise Majette (D-GA 4th). She has also worked for all three branches of the federal government. In addition to volunteering with many civic organizations, including Junior League of Atlanta, League of Women Voters Atlanta-Fulton County, Top Ladies of Distinction-North Atlanta Chapter, National Council of Negro Women-Greater Atlanta Section, and the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Chavis also served six years on Oglethorpe’s Alumni Board of Directors, mentors OU students, speaks on career panels, and is committed to giving back to the university that has empowered her to be of service to her community and others.
Talmage Award – Kevin D. Fitzpatrick, Jr. ’78
The Talmage Award is given to an individual who contributes time, talent or financial resources to one or more programs of the university and/or is distinguished in the business, philanthropic or professional world. Kevin Fitzpatrick ’78 is recognized for his steadfast involvement and strong philanthropic support of Oglethorpe for more than 40 years. His service to the university has included serving on the Oglethorpe Board of Trustees, serving as Alumni Board President, being a founding member of the Stormy Petrel Bar Association (SPBA), volunteering on the Weltner Award Essay committee, and actively participating in SPBA events. Each year Fitzpatrick returns to OU to speak to business and law classes about his expertise in arbitration and labor negotiations, and he has mentored students interested in attending law school. Professionally, Fitzpatrick is a member of the firm DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, LLC and served as in-house counsel for the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 3. He also spent 16 years as a staff attorney and negotiator for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the nation’s largest pilots’ union. Extending his service and expertise throughout Atlanta, Fitzpatrick also serves on the Carter Center Board of Counselors, is a past President of the Saint Thomas More Society of Atlanta, and has served as Chairman of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association.
In addition to the above honorees, the previously announced 2024 inductees to the OU Athletics Hall of Fame will also be honored on April 19.
Registration is open for both Alumni Weekend and the Alumni Awards and Athletics Hall of Fame Reception and Ceremony. To learn more about attending these events, please visit the Alumni Weekend website.