ATHENS - The University of Georgia Alumni Association will present awards to five distinguished graduates and faculty members during its annual Alumni Awards Luncheon on April 11 at the Classic Center in Athens. Now in its eighth decade, the event allows the Alumni Association to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a deep commitment to bettering the university.
The list of honorees includes two with Gainesville ties: the Abit Massey family and former Coca-Cola CEO Douglas Ivester.
The Massey Family has been named the 2014 Alumni Family of the Year. Abit and Kayanne Shoffner Massey of Gainesville are known for their commitment to the community, poultry industry and UGA.
Abit, a 1949 graduate of UGA, became president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation in 2008 after serving as the organization's executive director for 48 years. Often referred to as the dean of the poultry industry, he was presented with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
Among many distinguished volunteer roles held in his life, Abit continues to be most fond of his time as a Jaycee. He served as Georgia Jaycees President in 1956-1957. He remains a staunch supporter of the Jaycees, serving as one of several keynote speakers at the 2014 Georgia Jaycees State Convention this past January.
Abit and Kayanne, a former Miss Georgia, have two children, Lewis Massey and Camille Massey. Camille is a human rights lawyer in New York City and has one child, Lucia. Lewis graduated from the University of Georgia in 1984 and is a former Georgia secretary of state. Lewis and his wife, Amy, have three children: Chandler, an Emmy award-winning actor; Cameryn, a third-year student at UGA and member of the UGA Student Alumni Council; and Christian. The Masseys have more than 18 relatives who attended UGA.
Ivester, a New Holland native, will receive an Alumni Merit Award. He graduated cum laude from UGA in 1969 with a bachelor of business administration in accounting. Ivester is president of Deer Run Investments LLC. He joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1979, and in 1981, became the youngest vice president in the company's history. Two years later, he was elected senior vice president of finance, and in 1985, he was elected CFO. From 1997 to 2000, Ivester served as CEO.
Ivester, an executive-at-large with UGA's Terry College of Business, chairs the audit committee of SunTrust Banks and is a trustee of both Emory and Brenau universities, chairman of the board of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and a retired managing trustee of the UGA Foundation.
Others who will be honored by the UGA Alumni Association at the luncheon are:
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Tom Landrum and Anne Sweaney. (You can read more about them and their contributions to UGA by clicking on the link below.)
Tickets for the 2014 Alumni Awards Luncheon are $35 per person or $275 for a 10-person table. The deadline to purchase tickets is April 4. For more information, see www.alumni.uga.edu/alumniawards.