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University celebrates alumni, traditions during annual event

Cadet Brooke Mazur and the Corps of Cadets salute during the annual Memorial Retreat, held each spring during the University of North Georgia's Parents-Alumni Weekend.

From reconnecting with classmates to remembering deceased alumni and students, the 2013 Parents-Alumni Weekend, held April 19-21 on the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega campus, was filled with events celebrating the school's traditions.

Baseball dedication
The site of the former baseball field was dedicated
on April 20. From left are brothers George, Larry and
Richard Coleman.

Saturday's events included the dedication of a commemorative marker to honor the baseball field that was located near the current Student Center South for decades.

"The University of North Georgia is an institution that cares deeply about honoring tradition, and this field is a beautiful part of our tradition and history," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said.

The project began with an effort from alumnus Richard Coleman, who had his first experience with the field in the spring of 1953.

"There was no formal team, no scholarships; just a love of the game," Coleman said. "It is an honor and a privilege to dedicate this marker and pay tribute to all the players who found camaraderie and friendship here."

Coleman and his brothers, George and Larry Coleman, have been staunch supporters of UNG baseball and softball, and assisted with funding to build the current field houses.

Many also attended the annual Soccer Alumni Game—including friends, family, and many of UNG's current soccer players—and the first-ever All Greek Reunion.

"Our institution's soccer program has a rich history," said Chris Adams, head coach of the UNG women's soccer team. "Our men's program is in its 46th year, and our women's is in its 16th year. All of these people keep coming back because of the great experiences they had at UNG, and they are all still great supporters of these teams and our institution."

Bill Gilmore, a 1976 graduate, was among those catching up with former fraternity brothers at Saturday afternoon's All Greek Reunion.

"I didn't know anything about fraternities when I came here; I was only interested in the military programs. But my roommates got me into Pi Kappa Phi and it was one of the best experiences I had here," he said. "Just having a group of brothers who are willing to help each other out made a big difference in my time here."

Academics also was on display during the weekend as two academic departments—the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry—held open house events and several faculty members presented on topics ranging from military blunders to forensics. On Friday, the chemistry department also presented awards to outstanding students and recognized those who earned external awards and honors.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry held an event during
Parents-Alumni Weekend.

"Four years ago we had a department picnic instead of this awards ceremony, at the end of which I gave out four awards," said Dr. Michael McGinnis, head of the Department of Chemistry. "Tonight, we're recognizing 41, and for the first time all of our grads are American Chemical Society certified."

Another presentation on Saturday featured Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, a 1984 graduate and current commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. His briefing discussed how military intelligence has evolved during his career and where it is headed for an audience of students and alumni, both military and civilian.

The weekend turned somber Saturday afternoon, as hundreds joined the Corps of Cadets for the annual Memorial Retreat with Gen. (Retired) William J. Livsey, a 1952 graduate, as guest speaker. This year's retreat marked the 30th anniversary of the Alumni Association's Memorial Wall, built to honor former students killed in the service of our country. In addition, the names of all UNG alumni, faculty, staff and students who died in the past year were read aloud.

Gen. Livsey
Gen. William "Lipp" Livsey speaks during the
annual Memorial Retreat.

Saturday evening, the Alumni Association honored 11 people during the annual awards banquet. Those receiving awards were E. Paul Stringer ('53) and Mary Helen McGruder ('68), Alumni Hall of Fame; Linda Sumpter ('61), Col. Mike Pyott ('88), Col. Jack Peevy ('64), and Paul Lockard ('66), Distinguished Alumnus; the Honorable Joseph H. Booth ('74), Ralph Colley Spirit of North Georgia award; the Honorable Ben Miller Jr. ('92), Young Alumnus;  Dr. Mark Spraker, Distinguished Professor; Nicole Bronsted and cadet Col. Michael Carty, Paul M. Hutcherson Outstanding Students. Visit the News@UNG website for more information about the awards and award winners.

Parents-Alumni Weekend concluded on Sunday with the Corps of Cadets Military Awards Review, featuring Fogarty as guest speaker, and demonstrations by the Blue Ridge Rifles, the Golden Eagle Band, the Aggressor Platoon and the Mountain Order of Colombo.

The Annual Saints Club Golf Tournament, originally scheduled for Friday, April 19, was postponed due to inclement weather and has tentatively been rescheduled for June 10.

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