The University of North Georgia inducted four former student-athletes into the UNG Athletics Hall of Fame at a luncheon Feb. 15. The honorees included Spencer Boyd ('60), Galina Dimitrova Courson ('01), Paul Stringer ('52), and Katie Williamson ('06).
"Each of the members of this class has left both a distinctive mark on University of North Georgia athletics and the entire Nighthawk community, and each is incredibly deserving of this honor," Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves said. "I was extremely honored to welcome our newest inductees as well as current Hall of Fame members back to campus for our induction ceremony and Hall of Fame games this past Saturday."
The UNG Athletics Hall of Fame honors individuals who have earned outstanding athletic achievement or made substantial contributions to the university. A nine-member board of directors serves as selectors for all honorees, based upon nominations.
Boyd played basketball from 1958-60 and scored 1,014 points in his two-year career, earning team MVP and Georgia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GIAC) All-Conference honors both years. After his senior year, Boyd was named the Atlanta Tip-Off Club Player of the Year and landed a spot on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Georgia team. Boyd finished his senior season as the state's leading scorer in all divisions with an average 29.7 points per contest, a mark that remains a UNG record.
Courson was a member of the women's tennis team from 1998 to 2000 and helped the university achieve a top-25 ranking all three years. Individually, she climbed as high as fifth nationally in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' (NAIA) singles rankings and carried a top-20 ranking each year. She was crowned the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) champion in 1998 and 1999. She represented the university in the NAIA National Tournament event and was named NAIA National Player of the Year in 1999. In 1999, she earned the university's first All-American honor in women's tennis and repeated the honor in 2000. She earned NAIA All-American Scholar honors all three years and graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 3.95.
Stringer played baseball from 1950 to 1952, and he was a member of the rifle team and the Non-Commissioned Officers' Club. However, his selection honors his long-term support of the athletic programs at UNG. Stringer has been very involved as a supporter of various projects, including scholarship gifts for athletic teams, the Corps of Cadets, Patriot Choir, and facility enhancement projects. Stringer was awarded UNG's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 and the Presidential Leadership Award in 2012, and currently serves as secretary of the board of trustees for the University of North Georgia-Dahlonega Foundation, Inc.
Williamson, who scored more than 1,000 points in her career, anchored a women's basketball team that earned four consecutive conference championships from 2002 to 2006. The team had a record of 109-24 during her career, which coincided with the school's transition from NAIA competition to NCAA Division II. In 2005, she was named the SSAC Freshman of the Year and garnered All-American distinction as a NAIA second team selection. In 2006, she captained the team that secured the university's first-ever Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship and was selected as an NCAA third team All-American. She also earned ESPN Academic All-American honors following her senior year. She graduated summa cum laude as valedictorian in May 2006, and her season and career free-throw percentage records still stand as UNG records.