Notable Alumni

It is known that many fraternity men hold high positions in business, sports and academics. Nationally, Greek men make up 70% of the people in the Who's Who, 86% of the CEO's in the nation's top 50 corporations, 75% of the United States Congressmen and 85% of the Supreme Courts Justices since 1910.  The alumni from the University of Georgia Greek System are no exception. Fraternities have been present on campus since 1865, and ever since, they have been producing many reputable men who have gone on to achieve great accomplishments.

 

Academics


Fred Davison

Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Upon graduation, Fred Davison went to Iowa State University where he taught and conducted research for the Atomic Energy Commission. He then went on to be the Dean of the UGA Veterinary School, Vice Chancellor of the Georgia Board of Regents and then President of the University.  Davison was charged with overseeing the explosive growth of the University’s Physical Plant. In the years of his tenure, the University budget tripled, faculty ranks swelled by 600, and student enrollment grew by 68%. Davison took as his personal goal the growth of all aspects of scientific endeavor at UGA, from the increased commitment to teaching to the expanded role of service and research undertaken by University scientists and students. 

 


David Barrow

Chi Phi
David Barrow Jr. served as chancellor of the University of Georgia from 1906 to 1925. When Barrow retired in 1925, he had turned UGA into a modern institution, with an established college of agriculture, much-strengthened versions of the 1906 departments, new schools of education, commerce, and journalism, and a structured graduate school. Regular enrollment had more than quadrupled because of Barrow's efforts and the admission of female students. Faculty size had tripled, funding had increased greatly, and several new buildings had been constructed on campus.   Additionally, Barrow was known for having an amiable attitude and strong work ethic.

 


Sonny Seiler

Sigma Chi
Sonny Seiler was a recently married Georgia law student working in the athletic ticket office in 1956 when he and his wife, Cecelia, were given a bulldog puppy. They brought the dog to the next football game.  The first Uga, the famed line of Bulldogs mascots, was photographed in the stands by an Associated Press photographer. The next week, coach Wally Butts asked Seiler if the school could use the dog as the regular mascot.  Ever since, it has been the school’s mascot and appears at everything from games to Georgia promotional publications.

 


Dean William Tate

Delta Tau Delta
From 1924 to 1929 William Tate was an instructor in English and Debate Coach at the University of Georgia. From 1929 to 1936, he was Head of the English Department and Track Coach at the McCallie School in Chattanooga. In 1936, William Tate returned to the University of Georgia as Dean of Freshman and Assistant Professor of English. He went on to become the Dean of Students, Assistant to the President and, in 1946, the Dean of Men. Tate was to hold the latter for the next two decades.  Dean Tate was often described as "one of the University's ablest and most popular staff members"; serving as the communication bridge between the University's administration and its student body. During his tenure as Dean of Men, Tate had nearly unlimited authority over student conduct. He devoted most of his working hours to personal conferences with students both individually and in groups. 

 


Trey Paris

Lambda Chi Alpha 
Thomas "Trey" Paris of Gainesville is a former president of the University of Georgia Alumni Association. Paris led the effort of an alumni base comprised of approximately 285,000. In the role, he travels all over the country to help garner support from the Alma mater. He is also the executive of government relations at General Electric. 

 

Government


Jack Kingston 

Lamda Chi Alpha
Starting off in agribusiness insurance and moving up through the Georgia State Legislature, Kingston assumed the role of congressman representing the 1st district in 1993. Throughout his public service, both at the state and national levels, Congressman Kingston has fought to lower taxes, balance the budget, and reduce government size.   Now a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for deciding how the federal budget is spent, Congressman Kingston serves on the Defense Subcommittee which oversees all military-based funding.

 


Eugene R. Black, Jr.

Chi Phi
In his thirteen years at the Bank, Eugene Black led the institution from these tentative beginnings to broad recognition as an important, well-functioning, effective and profitable development institution. He established the Bank's credit in the capital markets of the United States, ensured the acceptability of its bonds to the country's institutional investors, and obtained the highest commercial rating for its paper. His career also included fighting in World War I with the Navy and being on the board of many institutions. 

 


Braswell D. Deen, Jr. 

Pi Kappa Alpha
Braswell Deen was the Chief Judge of the Appeals Court of Georgia. During World War II he served in the U.S Marine Corps, where he earned a Purple Heart for his distinction during the Okinawa Invasion. He started off his professional as a State Representative to the Georgia Legislature. Deen then went on to practice law at Deen & Powell and Deen & Jacques. He then went on to be a judge on the Appeals Court where he reached the position of chief judge in 1980. Deen also placed 2nd in the state of Georgia for chess playing and taught Constituional Law and Appellate Advocacy. 

 


Keith Mason

Phi Gamma Delta
Keith Mason served as Deputy Assistant and Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs in the White House, making him President Bill Clinton's principal liaison with the nation's governors. He also served as Chief of Staff to the Governor of Georgia Zell Miller and has assisted various governors' offices across the country on a variety of issues. Mr. Mason remains actively involved with the nation's governors as a leader of the Democratic Governors Association, having served as Deputy Treasurer and Counselor to the Chair for a number of years during the past decade.

 


Saxby Chambliss

Sigma Chi
Saxby Chambliss has served as senator for two terms. Chambliss is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; the Senate Rules Committee; the Senate Special Committee on Aging; and presently serves as the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Long before his election to Congress, Chambliss specialized in representing farmers' legal interests in South Georgia. During his four terms in the House, he was instrumental in drafting two farm bills and reforming the federal crop insurance program. In 2009, Georgia Trend named Chambliss its Georgian of the Year.

 


Eugene Talmadge

Sigma Nu
Eugene Talmadge was the 67th Governor of Georgia from 1933 to 1937 and 1941 to 1943. He was known for being an animated figure and had a great influence on politics.  Starting off as agricultural commissioner, Talmadge worked hard to provide the necessary funds for farmers. He then fought vehemently against Roosevelt’s New Deal. As governor, he was known for running the government economically, balancing the state budget, lowering utility rates, and reorganizing the state highway board. 

 


Herman Talmadge

Sigma Nu
The son of Eugene Talmadge, Herman Talmadge served as governor in 1947 and from 1948 to 1954 and as senator from 1956 to 1980. He began his career in the navy, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Pacific theater of World War II.  Following in his dad’s footsteps, Talmadge was able to jump into the governorship early in his career. In this role, he was credited for improving the state educational system and attracting new industry to the state. As senator, Talmadge was a great advocate for assisting rural farmers. He also was a very influential leader with on the Senate Finance Committee, where he was one of earlier proponents of the balanced budget amendment.

 


Earnest Vandiver

Phi Delta Theta
As governor of Georgia from 1959 to 1963, Ernest Vandiver proved successful in fulfilling his campaign promise to remove the blight on Georgia, perpetuated by and associated with the administration of his predecessor Marvin Griffin. Under Vandiver's capable leadership the legislature implemented sweeping changes in Georgia's segregation policies and revised the county unit system for nominating officeholders. Without increasing the state's tax base, Vandiver made significant improvements in the areas of services, building programs, tourism, business and industrial development, educational expansion, and mental health.

 


Charles A. Beckwith

Sigma Chi
Charles A. Beckwith was the founder and first Commander of the United States Army's Counter-terrorist 1st Special Operations Detachment - Delta, also known as "Delta Force". He was also a Green Beret (Army Special Forces) officer and decorated hero of the Vietnam War, where he earned a purple heart. Additionally, Beckwith led the famous hostage rescue mission in Tehran in 1980 which was ordered by Jimmy Carter. An innovative thinker and creative soldier, his concept of a counter-terrorist force would has been seen as years ahead of its time.

 


Nathaniel E. Harris

Chi Phi
Nathaniel E. Harris was a state legislator and reform-minded governor whose improvements to education included founding the Georgia School of Technology (later the Georgia Institute of Technology). Harris served a term in the state senate from 1894 to 1895 and also sat on the bench in Macon. His legislative agenda as governor was largely oriented toward improving public services and social welfare in the state. While governor, Harris signed legislation requiring that all motor vehicles in Georgia be licensed. He also lobbied for and gained authorization for the formation of a state highway commission to regulate road construction and repair. A reform-minded politician during the Progressive Era, Harris worked to pass legislation that permitted Georgia state banks to become part of the Federal Reserve System. After his retirement, he went on to practice law and be on the board of many Universities in Georgia. 



Pierre Howard

Sigma Alpha Epsilon
At UGA, Pierre Howard made an impact on the tennis team. He then went on to be elected to the ninth Lieutenant Governor of Georgia in 1990 and won a second four-year term in 1994. Before taking statewide office, Howard served in the Georgia Senate for 18 years. He now is President of the Georgia Conservancy, which connects advocates around the state of Georgia to help save its natural resources. He is also a Senior Public Service Associate in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia.

 


Alec Poitevint

Theta Chi
Alec Poitevint served as a director of UIH, an insurance holding company that writes and services property and casualty policies. He has been the Chairman and President of Southeastern Minerals, Inc., who is the manufacturer and distributor of mineral ingredients. Poitevint also served as a Director of Agri-Nutrition/Virbac Corporation and at various times during his tenure held the positions of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Chairman of the Audit Committee. He has also served as the Chairman of the American Feed Industry Insurance Company and is the former Chairman of the American Feed Industry Association and National Feed Ingredients Association. Poitevint serves on the Republican National Committee (RNC) as Committeeman for Georgia and was the RNC Treasurer from 1997-2001. While in the position, he was in charge of the 2012 National Republican Convention. 

 


Joe Frank Harris

Lambda Chi Alpha
Joe Frank Harris was governor of Georgia from 1983 to 1991. He started off working for a family concrete business. Eventually, he was convinced by local leaders to run for the Georgia State Legislature. There he earned the respect of many in his party, and was accordingly backed in a gubernational race in 1983. Harris was known for bringing a businesslike approach to the role of governor, and he achieved great results. He is credited for securing education reform, the Georgia Dome, and education reform. Harris was also very influential in receiving the bid for the 1996 Olympic Games. After his time in the public sector, he went to serve on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

 

Business


Dink NeSmith

Pi Kappa Phi
Dink NeSmith is co-owner and President of Athens-based Community, Inc., publisher of 30 newspapers in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. He is past president of the Georgia Press Association, Leadership Georgia and UGA’s Alumni Association. Nesmith has also served as chairman of Grady College’s advisory board and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fanning Leadership Institute. He is currently Chairman of the Richard B. Russell Foundation, an emeritus member of UGA’s Athletic Association’s Board of Directors, as well as emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation.

 


Kessel Stelling

Phi Gamma Delta
Mr. Kessel D. Stelling Jr. has been President at Synovus Financial Corp. since February 2010 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since October 2010. Mr. Stelling now serves as Chief Operating Officer at Synovus Financial Corp and Acting Chief Executive Officer. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Bank of North Georgia.  He is also Chairman of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

 


Billy Payne

Phi Delta Theta
Billy Payne is the current chairman of Augusta National and also the managing director of Gleacher & Company, a New York based investment firm. He also is credited for gathering support of Atlanta hosting the 1996 Olympics. After winning the bid, Payne served as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the games. As Chairman of Augusta National, he has made reforms to the golf course, instituted a Junior Program to view the Masters Tournament, and expanded its online reach greatly.

 


Tom Johnson

Sigma Nu
Johnson started off as a press agent in Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. He then worked his way to become a personal aide to the president. Johnson then left his post at the White House to work for the Los Angeles Times, where he became publisher. After a few years, Johnson was tapped to be the CEO of CNN. He is credited for the expansion of the news company into what it is today.  During his tenure, he was responsible for the reporting of everything from the Persian Gulf War to the Bush/Gore Election. 

 


Fran Tarkenton

Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Fran Tarkenton was an All-American athlete at the University of Georgia. As quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, he took his team to the 1973, 1974 and 1976 Super Bowls. He set the all-time NFL passing records for the most touch-downs (342), the most yards gained passing (47,003) and the most completions, which stood for 17 years. After football, he went into the private sector. He has launched 20 companies over the last 25 years, the largest one reaching revenues of $142 million. He was a founding board member of Coca-Cola Enterprises. He also served on the Board of Directors of Sterling Software, Blimpie International and Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.

 


Daniel Amos

Sigma Nu
Named Chief Executive Officer in 1990 and Chairman of the Board in 2001, Amos has made a large impact on one of the premier supplemental insurance companies in the world. He started his career in 1973 with sales. He then moved up through the ranks of president and chief operating officer before his current position. During his duration, Amos has taken the company from revenues of $2.7 billion to $20.7 billion as of December 31, 2010.  The company has also been honored in lists of “Most Ethical Companies” and “Best Company to Work For” during his tenure.

 


Henry W. Grady

Chi Phi
Henry W. Grady, the "Spokesman of the New South," served as managing editor for the Atlanta Constitution in the 1880s. A member of the Atlanta Ring of Democratic political leaders, Grady used his office and influence to promote a New South program of northern investment, southern industrial growth and diversified farming.  In 1887 he successfully lobbied for the establishment in Atlanta of the Georgia Institute of Technology, a state school devoted to vocational and industrial education. The Grady School of Journalism at UGA, Grady County and Grady Memorial Hospital are all named after him. 

 


Frank Lane

Pi Kappa Phi
Frank Lane started off with marketing at S.C Johnson Wax. Under his direction, the department posted 500% increase in profit over three years. He then went on to direct many other marketing campaigns for Procter and Gamble, General Electric, and then Neutrogena. Lane had much success at the latter, and he eventually rose to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at the young age of 34. Under his direction, the company developed products that grew parts of the company as much as 3600%. 

 


Jesse Lamar Outlar

Pi Kappa Phi
Jesse Outlar was named Georgia sportswriter of the year and five times Georgia sports columnist of the year. The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame inductee was one of the first recipients of the Dan Magill Award for his contributions. Outlar wrote two books, "Between the Hedges: A Story of Georgia Football" and "Caught Short."  

 


Drew French

Pi Kappa Alpha
Drew French is the founder of Your Pie, an oven-fire pizza making company that started in Athens and has spread all over the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Starting the first store in Beechwood in April 2008, Your Pie now has locations ranging from Tampa, Florida to Columbia, South Carolina. The company engages the community in many philanthropy events that sponsor the Red Cross and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

 


Frank Hanna

Phi Gamma Delta
Frank Hanna has served as CEO of administrative services firm HBR Capital, Ltd. since 1992. He has held the position of CEO of investment firm Hanna Capital, LLC  and Director of the Atlanta-based CompuCredit Corporation. He was previously a corporate attorney position with Troutman Sanders, an Atlanta law firm. Hanna was one of three entrepreneurs profiled in the Acton Institute's documentary film, “The Call of the Entrepreneur”.

 


Jimmy Blanchard

Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Jimmy Blanchard began his service with Synovus Financial Corp. in June 1970 and served as CEO of Synovus from 1971 until being named Chairman of the Board in 2005. Blanchard retired from Synovus in 2006. He then went on to partner with the Jordan Company, a Columbus-based real estate and investment firm, to create Jordan-Blanchard Capital.  He also serves on the board of many organizations, including the AT&T Corporation, Global Teen Challenge, and Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators.

 


Charles Kelley

Lambda Chi Alpha
Charles Kelley is one of three members of Lady Antebellum. The group was founded in Nashville and released its first album in April 2008. Since then, Kelley and the band have won 6 Grammys, Academy of Country Music’s Song of the Year, and a BMI award. He and bandmate Dave Haywood have also wrote award winning songs for Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert. 

 


John Bell

Sigma Phi Epsilon
John Bell is lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Widespread Panic. He attended UGA in 1980, where he met Michael Houser and Dave Schools. The three went on to form Widespread Panic in 1984. They now tour all over the world and have very strong followings in Colorado and the South. Bell is also a large advocate for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and has helped raise $2 million for the cause. 

 

Athletics


Frank Sinkwich

Pi Kappa Alpha
Frank Sinkwich was honored as being the first Heisman winner from the University of Georgia. He played under coach Wally Butts, where he led the Bulldogs to an 11-1 season and a national championship. In his three-year college career, Sinkwich rushed for 2,271 yards, passed for 2,331 yards, and accounted for 60 touchdowns–30 rushing and 30 passing. He was honored as being voted the Number 1 Athlete of 1942 in the Associated Press’ annual poll. He then went on to play at the Detroit Lions, where he was voted NFL MVP of 1944. After his two years in Detroit, he went into the Merchant Marines and the Air Force. Vince Dooley stated that "we've lost one of the great legends in football history," about Sinkwich’s death in 1990.

 


Nolen Richardson

Sigma Chi
Richardson played 6 seasons in the majors (1929, 1931-1932 with the Detroit Tigers, 1935 with the New York Yankees, and 1938-1939 with the Cincinnati Reds). In 168 career games, Richardson had 117 hits in 473 at bats (.247 average). He was the shortstop and captain of the 1937 Newark Bears team that is widely regarded as the best in minor league history. Richardson later became the head baseball coach at the University of Georgia..

 


Charles Trippi

Lambda Chi Alpha
Trippi helped the Bulldogs win the Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship and earn a bid to the Rose Bowl, where Trippi rushed for 130 yards en route to a 9-0 victory over the University of California at Los Angeles and Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player honors. Trippi missed the next two and a half seasons serving in the Air Force in World War II (1941-45). He returned for the last six games of 1945 and, in the season finale against Georgia Tech, set the SEC records for passing yards and total yards in a single game. Trippi then went on to win a world championship with the Cardinals in 1947. He ended his prolific career coaching with the Cardinals and taking an assistant coach position of baseball with UGA. 




Bill Kratzert

Sigma Alpha Epsilon
The son of the longtime Fort Wayne Country Club pro, Bill Kratzert was a two-time All-American at University of Georgia. He fulfilled his potential by turning professional in 1974 and making the PGA Tour in 1976. Kratzert became the 52nd PGA player to earn more than $1 million in his career in 1985. His 20-year PGA career ended in 1996 with four tournament titles and almost $1.4 million in earnings. Kratzert entered 465 tournaments, finishing in the money 283 times and in the top ten 59 times. He was inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame and now works as an ESPN golf analyst.

 


Spud Chandler

Alpha Gamma Rho
Georgia native "Spud" Chandler was one of the best pitchers in the American League from 1937 to 1947, when he won 109 games and lost only 43. Playing his entire career with the New York Yankees, Chandler never had a losing season, and his .717 winning percentage is the highest in major league history among all pitchers with 100 or more victories.  Chandler was named an American League All-Star 4 times and is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.



Larry Rakestraw

Sigma Chi
While playing football at UGA, Rakestraw was twice All-Southeastern Conference, passed for more than 3,000 yards, led the SEC in pass completions and passing yardage as a senior, played in the Senior Bowl and was named most valuable player in the Blue-Gray All-Star game. His shining moment, however, came in 1963 when he smashed one NCAA, two Orange-Bowl and three SEC records to lead the Bulldogs in a victory over the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl. After his time at UGA he went on to play five seasons with the Chicago Bears.