The annual Founders’ Day Convocation on Tuesday (Jan. 29) was the perfect blend of the old and the new at Georgetown College.
Andrea Chadwick, a junior Biology major/Chemistry minor, made her public debut as the new SGA President and introduced her executive council from the John L. Hill Chapel stage; and Dr. Eric Fruge, Director of the Capital Campaign, gave an entertaining keynote presentation of some of the recent discoveries he’s unearthed about the early days of Georgetown College (watch for more in future Insights).
The coveted Curry Award for Faculty Excellence this year went to Dr. Will Harris, an associate professor of Mathematics and coordinator of the math program. Provost Rosemary Allen – here presenting the award along with President Bill Crouch – praised Harris, a Georgetown teacher for 16 years, as a scholar and campus leader – especially for his work on the faculty and curriculum committees during challenging times.
The award is given in the names of Dr. Gwen Curry – who was proudly in attendance – and her late husband, Dr. Ralph Curry, two long-time leaders of the College faculty and former chairs of the English Department.
And, as has been the tradition since 1993, four were inducted into the Hall of Fame – an Air Force general, a journalist/pastor, a bank president, and a professor. Jesse Auton, Alexander Warren LaRue, and Rhodes Burch Thomas were all Georgetown College graduates, while Jonathan Farnam was a professor of the natural sciences. All four men possessed the desire to better their community and world.
- Auton rose to the rank of Brigadier General after serving as a White House aide to President Franklin Roosevelt and then flying missions in both World War II and the Cold War.
- LaRue, who was in the first graduating class at Georgetown (1842), pastured Kentucky churches in Louisville, Bracken County, Harrodsburg, Stanford, Georgetown and Christian County. He was also an associate editor The Baptist Banner, which would become The Western Recorder.
- Thomas, Class of 1882, became president of Georgetown’s Farmers Bank and Trust in 1911 and served as chief executive until ’24. He also served 18 years on the College’s board of trustees, five as chairman. He established the Danford Thomas Lecture Series in memory of his father, a longtime professor of languages here.
- Farnam was named a professor of natural sciences here in 1839; in 1846 he founded Farnam the Georgetown Female Seminary. Soon after the Civil War, women from the seminary were integrated into the College’s student body.
Descendants of Auton may have set a Georgetown Hall of Fame record with 23 attendees at Tuesday’s ceremony and luncheon. Here, 21 relatives posed with President Crouch in Hill Chapel. Descendants of Thomas had a big showing as well with 11 – including latest legacy Gentry Hambrick, a sophomore from Georgetown, in the leopard print dress.
Inductees – outstanding alumni and friends who have made distinctive contributions to the College – are memorialized by marble plaques placed in their honor in the Hall of Fame Room of Cralle Student Center. For more on each, visit the release: Four Inducted into GC Hall of Fame.