What is your fondest memory of your time spent in Dawson Hall?
I loved my time at UGA. As a Child Development major, I spent many hours at the Child Development Center. Preparing my unit lesson plans on Babies, I got a fertilized egg from the poultry science department and kept it in an incubator at our townhouse. On the way to class, the biddy started pecking through the shell. “Please, little chicken,” I pleaded. Don’t peck too fast. I want the children to see you being born.” I got to class just in time for Chicken Little to pop out of the shell. The children were fascinated and....so was I! We kept the chicken in our backyard, and it followed me around like a puppy.
How did FACS prepare you for your career?
My degree gave me a skill set that offered flexibility, opening multiple doors of opportunity. I taught first grade, special education, middle-school drama and communications. UGA prepared me for all of those. But most of all, I gained selfconfidence. Three decades after college, I went into business. You need plenty of selfconfidence and an organized plan when you sign your name on a bank note. As coowner and co-developer of The Bottleworks on Prince, I got my first taste of historic preservation. Today, as owner of Historic Smithonia Farm, I find my FACS education irreplaceable.
What is the best advice you can share with current FACS students?
Take charge of your future. Make a list of what’s important to you. Focus on those priorities. Just like a company, select people you trust and respect. Invite them to be on your personal board of directors. Surround yourself with mentors who believe in you. Their advice and encouragement—in good times and bad—will be priceless.
How often do you come back to campus? For what events?
We moved back to Athens from Jesup 25 years ago. When our family gathers for a meal, all sixteen of the adult feet under the table have stepped forward to receive a total of 10 UGA degrees. And on the days our 8 grandchildren were born, they, too, became lifetime members of UGA’s Alumni Association. Our children grew up spending Fall Saturdays in Section 106 of Sanford Stadium. Now, their children are joining them there. We take advantage of as many UGA cultural events as possible. Those are among the rewards for living in Athens. Taking walks on campus with grandchildren keeps us young. We tease President Jere Morehead that he can’t retire until everyone in our family has at least one UGA degree. Granddaughter Stella just turned 1.