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Bill Dove, ‘56, wrote to the Office of Alumni Relations that at 82, he is doing well. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and enjoys his horses. He is an active artist, and some of his work can be seen at www.artofbilldove.com.
Gates Scoville, ‘57, annually presents a cadet with The Pearson Saber in memory of Maj. John R. Pearson, his friend and former company commander. Scoville shared some of the history with us this year. Pearson, whose nickname was “Peaches,” and Scoville both grew up in Thomasville, Georgia. Pearson was commissioned in Infantry, then went to Korea as a general’s aide. He was then assigned as the commanding officer of Company B, the Honor Company of the Old Guard. His company preceded JFK’s car in the inaugural parade. He was killed near Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam, in August 1966 while leading a Special Forces unit. Major Pearson is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Robert Scott Denson, ‘78, retired in September, following 32 years serving Whitfield County as a firefighter and another 10 years as a volunteer. He continues to substitute teach for the high schools in Whitfield County, where he often tells students about how wonderful UNG is and encourages them to consider UNG. He also plans to travel more.
Mary Cushing Owens, ‘80, serves as an alumni officer with the UNG Alumni Association.
Sen. Steve Gooch, ‘93, was recognized by James Magazine as a 2016 Legislator of the Year. Gooch was elected in 2010 and represents District 51 in north Georgia. Gooch was elected as the Majority Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus in 2014. Prior to serving as the Senate Majority Whip, he served as the secretary of the Senate Majority Caucus and as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. He currently serves on the Finance Committee, Appropriations Committee, and Regulated Industries Committee; he is ex officio of the Rules Committee and is vice chairman of the Transportation Committee. In 2011, Gov. Deal appointed Gooch to the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee. He currently serves as executive director for the Lumpkin County Development Authority.
Steven Neff, ‘95, was spotted at the Georgia Capitol this year. Neff is a lobbyist with the Neff Group.
Cliff M. Ward, ‘02, received a promotion to vice president of Metro Appraisals in February. Ward has a business administration degree from the University of North Georgia, a management degree from Georgia Southern University, and is pursuing additional education in accounting through UNG.
Two UNG alumni appointed to superior court judgeships
In April, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the appointments of two UNG alumni to Superior Court judgeships to fill vacancies. Mary Beth Priest, ‘01, was appointed as a Superior Court judge in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit. Priest is an associate with Clark & Clark, Attorneys at Law in Ellijay. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UNG and a law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law. She and her husband, Jeremy, have two children and reside in Ellijay.
Eric Norris, ‘90, was appointed as Superior Court judge in the Western Judicial Circuit.
Norris is a solo practitioner and serves as the Oconee County Magistrate Court judge. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UNG and a law degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children and reside in Watkinsville.
Caitlin Cole, ‘12, is a biology teacher at Kings Mountain High School in Cleveland County, North Carolina. Cole is in her third year of teaching. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree at UNG and a master’s degree from East Carolina University.
(Left) 1st Lt. Ashley A. Duffins, ‘12, adjutant general corps officer, currently serving as the Task Force Sinai S1/Adjutant.
(Center) Maj. Larry J Williams, ‘04, is serving with the Georgia Army National Guard, currently serving as the Medical Company Company Commander, 1st Support Battalion, MFO. His Parent unit is the 248th Area Support Medical Company (Commanding) in Marietta, Georgia.
(Right) 1st Lt. Patrick J McDermott, ‘12, is an armor officer, currently with Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2-70 Armor Regiment, 2/1 Infantry Division of Fort Riley, Kansas.
UNG Alumni keeping the peace in the Sinai desert
Maj. Larry Williams, Jr., ‘04, shared this photo of UNG alumni serving in the Sinai desert as part of the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO) mission, which is to observe, verify and report treaty violations between Egypt and Israel. The organization comprises 12 countries – Australia, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay. Some countries have very specific roles as well as large contingents, while others bring very few or very diverse personnel with particular skill sets to the mission. Williams noted that this mission has become increasingly difficult during the past year with the growing militant threat throughout the peninsula within the past year: “As a guest to Egypt and Israel, our goal is to continue to support both countries by upholding our responsibilities and not allow outside influences to dictate this long time peace treaty.” He added that, this is a unique and broadening assignment for U.S. soldiers – both officers and enlisted: “It has been an enlightening experience for each of us, and will be one that will confidently carry us further in our careers.”