Retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin "Randy" Mixon, an alumnus of the University of North Georgia (UNG) who served nearly 36 years in the U.S. Army, has been selected as this year's recipient of the UNG Presidential Leadership Award. President Bonita Jacobs will present Mixon with the award on March 21 during the university's 2015 Scholarship Ball.
"General Mixon embodies the UNG values of excellence, integrity and service," Jacobs said. "During his 36-year military career, he commanded infantry soldiers at every level in locations around the world, and his units often were called upon to provide humanitarian services in the countries where they deployed. I am grateful for his steadfast support of the University of North Georgia and our students."
Mixon earned a degree in political science and commissioned as a U.S. Army Infantry officer upon his graduation in 1975. Mixon served in combat three times and was charged with establishing a new unit, the 3rd Ranger battalion. He retired in 2011 as a three-star general and commanding general of the U.S. Army, Pacific and holds master's degrees in public administration and military art and science. Today, Mixon is a vice president at General Dynamics Information Technology, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, where he supports U.S. Army training.
"I'm humbled to be receiving this award. Certainly there are many, many graduates of the university who are deserving of the award, so I feel like I'm representative of all of those people in receiving it," Mixon said. "I am deeply honored and appreciate the honor bestowed upon me by the university and by President Jacobs."
Increasing scholarship support for students has been one of Jacobs’ top priorities as president, and the annual Scholarship Ball was first held as part of her inauguration in 2013. The first event, held at UNG’s Gainesville Campus, raised more than $212,000, and the 2014 Scholarship Ball, held in Cumming, Georgia, raised $340,498. During the 2013-2014 academic year, UNG raised more than $1 million for student scholarships, marking a 56 percent increase over the previous year.
"There is a belief in the state of Georgia that our students don't need scholarships because of the HOPE Scholarship, but that is a fallacy," Jacobs said. "Every year, we see students who drop out of college because of financial difficulties. Providing need-based scholarships will keep students in school and help them graduate on time."
Mixon encouraged his classmates and all alumni to support the university.
"UNG not only provides a world-class educational experience for citizens in the north Georgia region, but I would say that it is the premier military college in the state and in the nation," he said. "The future is bright for the University of North Georgia, and I would encourage all alumni to get active in supporting the university and assist in any way they can in ensuring that the standards of the university are upheld and provide support through other means to ensure the longevity of the university."
The 2015 Scholarship Ball will be held at the Cottrell Circle C Ranch in Dahlonega, Georgia. A reception before the ball begins at 6:30. The dinner and program begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person and available online via ungalumni.org/scholarshipball. A table of eight may be reserved for $1,000. Sponsorships, which include a reserved table of eight and recognition in the event program, are available at the $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 levels by contacting Jeff Boggan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 678-717-3570.