With a celebratory theme of “Back to Business” and an assembly of more than 700, the Terry College Alumni Awards and Gala returned in triumphant style April 30 to the Intercontinental Buckhead hotel in Atlanta.
The star-studded event was co-hosted by Georgia head football coach and honorary co-chair Kirby Smart (BBA ’98), who joined former teammate Matt Stinchcomb (BBA ’98) for a funny, free-flowing discussion. The pair charmed the crowd by trading stories from their playing days, and Smart shared insights into what made last season’s championship team special.
To the delight of those gathered, the top Dawg didn’t arrive empty-handed. The Bulldogs’ 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship trophy was on display throughout the evening, and alumni queued up proudly — and patiently — to have their photo taken with the hardware.
After dinner, Dean Ben Ayers kicked off the awards program by stressing the importance of supporting student veterans at Terry, citing the “distinct leadership perspective” military students bring to the classroom and the boardroom.
President Jere Morehead echoed Ayers’ remarks and highlighted Terry’s track record of successfully developing business and community leaders, saying the college’s graduates “don’t just put the diploma on the wall, they lead the walk.”
During the main event, awards were presented to Distinguished Alumni Award winners Bonney Shuman (BBA ’80) and Cecil Cooke (BBA ’75) and Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner Will Keyes (BBA ’10, BS ’10, MA ’10, JD ’13).
The three reflected on the friendships and family support that contributed to their remarkable careers and spoke about the special relationships they formed at Terry and within the alumni community.
As the program wound down, attendees and honorees spilled out onto the hotel lawn and the celebration resumed well into the night.
Through corporate sponsorships and a silent auction featuring a trove of Bulldogs art, memorabilia and other alumni-donated items, this year’s Gala raised a record-setting $780,000 to benefit the Student Veterans Support Fund, which provides scholarships to Terry's student veterans.
Back to business, indeed.