Featuring engaging speeches, vibrant videos, and speed painting (yes, speed painting), the annual Terry College Alumni Awards and Gala attracted a record crowd on a fine April night in Atlanta. The gathering of 700+ extolled the achievements of the Terry College and the night’s three alumni award honorees.
Themed “We’re Just Getting Started,” the Gala included speeches by UGA President Jere Morehead, Terry College Dean Ben Ayers and videos highlighting the university’s Entrepreneurship Program and burgeoning innovation district. Former Georgia football great Kevin Butler served as the night’s honorary co-chair and master of ceremonies and led a lively program punctuated by performance speed painter Tim Decker.
Decker delighted the diners by quickly painting a trio of canvases — portraits of Frank Sinatra, Uga and the Statue of Liberty — in 15 minutes. Butler auctioned off the paintings for more than $30,000.
But the main event was the three alums celebrated for their professional achievements. Distinguished Alumni Award winners John Schraudenbach (BBA ’81, MAcc ’82) and Scott Colosi (BBA ’86) joined Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner Latham Saddler III (BBA ’05) in offering heartfelt anecdotes and fond memories about their families and a college that meant so much to them.
Schraudenbach, the Americas Assurance senior client service partner at EY, spoke how the importance his own family — and the ties he shares with UGA, Terry College and EY — have helped in his success. Colosi, president of Texas Roadhouse, noted how important it is to give back, and how his degree from Terry continues to strengthen year after year. And Saddler, a Navy SEAL now serving as a White House Fellow, talked about leadership and how much he learned from those who taught him at Georgia.
Through sponsorships and the silent auction, the Gala, hosted by the Terry College Alumni Board, raised a record-breaking $500,000 for Terry’s Excellence Fund.
As usual, the night ended with a surprise dessert — on this night a small box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts — to cap an evening that was already quite a treat.