Monday March 18th, 2019 5:56PM

Gainesville lawyers fund social justice endowment at Brenau University

By AccessWDUN Staff

Attorneys Phillip and Lydia Sartain have established an endowment at Brenau University in Gainesville to explore and establish academic programs for addressing social justice issues and practices.

The Gainesville lawyers and civic leaders seeded the Fund for Community Engagement with a $50,000 gift that is part of the university’s ongoing $42 million ForeverGold campaign to finance extensive improvements to facilities, academics and student aid. The gift agreement leaves to the discretion of the university how Brenau will fulfill the Sartains’ desire to support students with majors from a variety of disciplines who plan to use their educations in fields like family and children services, social work or similar community service-oriented endeavors.

“Phillip and I both have been very engaged in our community for our whole lives,” said Lydia Sartain, who is a member of the Brenau University Board of Trustees. “Phillip in particular has been intensely aware of situations and conditions that adversely affect the people around us and strove to do something about it. He has always had a passion and a heart for helping folks out at a deeper level, so this is really his legacy.

“We believe that, with all that is happening in the world today, you can easily get overwhelmed and frustrated when you try to find a way to make a difference,” she added.  “But, when you break it down to what is going on your street or in your town, it is much more manageable.”

Brenau President Ed Schrader said that he is “extremely grateful, but unsurprised” by the Sartain gift.

“You would not have to know the Sartains long to completely understand that this compulsion for service is woven into the fabric of their natures,” Schrader said. “It is a gentle reminder that public service should be woven into the mission of the university as well.”

Although the purpose of the fund is very specific, Schrader said, the donors’ directive leaves it to the university to engage in a “deliberative, thoughtful process in developing programs and curriculum for engaging students in preparing to address whatever social justice issues they encounter in their lives.”

Gainesville native Phillip Bond Sartain from 1986 until his 2016 retirement was a partner in The Sartain Law Offices, the practice founded in 1959 by his father, the late Joe Bond Sartain Jr.  The Emory University and University of Georgia School of Law graduate specialized in workers compensation and Social Security disability claims and litigation. He actively served Hall County through his involvement with numerous charitable and civic organizations, including the Red Cross, the Gainesville Symphony, United Way, the Boys & Girls Club of Hall County, the Georgia Mountain Food Bank, the Arts Council (past president) and the Organizing Committee (chairman) for the 2003 Flatwater Canoe/Kayak World Championships held on Lake Lanier.

Lydia J. Sartain, who served for nine years as district attorney of the Georgia Northeastern Judicial Circuit, is a partner at Stewart, Melvin & Frost. She also has served in the elected position of solicitor for the State Court of Hall County. She is a Blairsville native and graduate of the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. She also has extensive experience in criminal law. Prior to her initial appointment as district attorney, she was director of Georgia's Children and Youth Coordinating Council under the leadership of Gov. Zell Miller. Governor Roy Barnes in 1999 appointed Sartain to serve on the State Board of Public Safety.

Throughout her career, she has been active in civic organizations and community efforts, particularly in those on behalf of children. She is a founding member and past board chairman of Gainesville's Edmondson-Telford Center for Children. Georgia Trend magazine in 1998 listed her as one of the state's "Forty Under Forty" leaders, and in 2006 she was named one of Georgia's top trial lawyers.


  • Associated Categories: Business News, Local/State News, Submitted News
  • Associated Tags: Brenau University, social justice, Lydia Sartain, Philip Sartain, ForeverGold campaign , endowment
© Copyright 2019
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gainesville lawyers fund social justice endowment at Brenau University
Attorneys Phillip and Lydia Sartain have established an endowment at Brenau University in Gainesville to explore and establish academic programs for addressing social justice issues and practices.
11:03AM ( 10 hours ago )
Opioid crisis taking a toll on Habersham County Government
Drug abuse, addiction and related problems are hitting Habersham County hard where it hurts — the wallet.
5:46PM ( 1 week ago )
Jacobs Media celebrates 69th anniversary with promotion, new radio station
Jacobs Media Corporation celebrated its 69th anniversary today by announcing the promotion of a longtime employee to lead the company and the addition of a new radio station.
1:20PM ( 1 week ago )
Business News
Volunteers needed in White County
A local Cleveland group needs helpers for an upcoming food distribution.
5:00PM ( 4 hours ago )
Grandmother from Hart Co. serving 10-year sentence for grandson's death in dog attack
A Hart County grandmother charged last summer with murder after her toddler grandson died in a dog attack has reached a plea deal in the case.
11:29AM ( 9 hours ago )
Twin brothers from Gainesville await sentencing on federal drug charges
Twin brothers from Gainesville have been convicted in federal court of conspiracy to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine, and now they await sentencing on the convictions.
9:05AM ( 12 hours ago )
Local/State News
Gwinnett County hosts event for potential vendors
Businesses interested in having Gwinnett County Government as a customer are invited to attend the 12th Annual Supplier Symposium on April 26.
3:02PM ( 2 days ago )
Maddox receives Lifetime Achievement Award from national group
Elton Maddox, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board for Wayne Farms LLC, recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from NFPDA
12:12PM ( 2 days ago )
Legacy Link to host input meeting for state Plan on Aging
Public hearings are being held across the state to gather input for the next Plan on Aging for the State of Georgia
9:00AM ( 2 days ago )
Submitted News
Brenau, UNG, Citizens' Cimate Lobby to host climate change forum
The topic will be climate change at a community forum on the Brenau University campus in Gainesville on April 12.
By AccessWDUN Staff
3:08PM ( 1 week ago )
Brenau delivers first Golden Tiger Scholarship Award by drone
Johnson High School senior Karla Villatoro had a truly one-of-a-kind surprise on Tuesday when a drone delivered a letter notifying her that she is the recipient of the first Golden Tiger Award, a $5,000 scholarship to the Women’s College of Brenau University.
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:37PM ( 1 week ago )
Foley named interim director of Brenau's School of Occupational Therapy
Brenau University has appointed longtime occupational therapist and Associate Professor Kathleen Foley as interim director of the School of Occupational Therapy.
By AccessWDUN Staff
2:07PM ( 1 week ago )
Flocks of BURDS will land in Gainesville, Hall County on Tuesday
In an effort organizers are calling "a public art adventure," flocks of small golden BURDS will show up across Gainesville and Hall County on Tuesday, March 20 - the first day of spring.
12:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Defining moments of UPS Customer Service President, local leader highlight women's leadership colloquium
Defining moments and indentity discovery was a common theme Friday afternoon at the fifth annual Women's Leadership Colloquium at Brenau University.
6:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )