Paul Stringer is a 1953 graduate of the University of North Georgia and is well-known throughout Lumpkin and Hall counties. Stringer grew up on a farm in Lumpkin County and lives in the house built by his grandfather. Through determination and hard work, Stringer has succeeded in farming, real estate, banking, and insurance, currently owning the Stringer Insurance Agency with locations in Gainesville and Dahlonega. He has made a lifetime of friends during his 86 years in northeast Georgia. His deeds in honoring his alma mater, which are many, demonstrate his love for his community and UNG.
In 2016, Stringer endowed the Frankie K. Stringer and Richard P. Stringer Scholarship Funds to provide financial support for educational expenses for undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Science and Mathematics at UNG. One fund is named after Frankie, his wife of 55 years who passed away from cancer in 2014, and the other fund was established in memory of his son Richard.
Ten scholarships are awarded annually to two students in each major (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics) as well as two students enrolled in any major in the College of Science and Mathematics. This scholarship gives preference to students in the Corps of Cadets who have not received many other financial awards. Stringer hopes that the scholarships someday produce cures for mental and physical afflictions that face our nation today.
“Paul is a true philanthropist, someone who doesn’t think of themselves, but of the benefit they can provide for others,” said Donna Brazzell, development officer for the College of Science and Mathematics at the UNG Office of University Advancement. Stringer hopes these gifts will encourage cadets in science, pre-engineering and mathematics.
Stringer arrived at UNG in the fall of 1948 as a member of the Corps of Cadets, as were all male students at the time. He loved the discipline and camaraderie in the Corps of Cadets.
“Being in the corps meant more to me than the academics,” Stringer said. “I had so much respect for the corps because it taught me organization and leadership.”
He developed friendships in the corps that continued for many years especially with the group “Friends are Forever” from the late 40’s and 50’s. While a student at UNG, Stringer was a pitcher for the baseball team, a member of the school’s rifle team, a member of the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Club, and served as 1st sergeant of D company in the Corps of Cadets.
Stringer graduated from UNG in 1953 with a major in history and minor in economics. Completing school in the summer of 1952, he was commissioned, then assigned in November 1952 to the 30th Infantry at Fort Benning, Georgia. There he completed the basic officer’s course while on temporary duty from the 30th Infantry. In early 1954 he was assigned to the 40th Infantry Division in Chorwon, Korea, then was reassigned to the 5th Regimental Combat Team in Pusan, Korea.
After leaving the military in 1954, Stringer returned to Dahlonega and started a career as an insurance agent with Bill Towson and Bill’s sister, Mary Em. Towson’s Insurance Agency in March 1955. In 1959, Stringer married a ‘local girl,’ Frankie Kanaday, who had attended Brenau University, Georgia Baptist Nursing School and North Georgia College. Later, Frankie joined Stringer in running their insurance agency. The Stringers had two sons: Richard, a self-employed arborist who died in a work-related accident in 2011, and Steven, who manages the Stringer Agency’s Gainesville office.
Through the years, Stringer has contributed to UNG in many ways. He has served on the UNG Foundation for a number of years and the UNG Real Estate Foundation. Stringer has created an endowed scholarship in memory of Gen. Bill and Bena Livsey and 1st Lt. John H. Haddock; scholarships for the Corps of Cadets Patriot Choir and the athletic teams. He has also contributed funds for facility enhancement projects. Stringer was inducted into the UNG Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 as a financial supporter. For his dedicated service to the university, Stringer was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 and the Presidential Leadership Award in 2012.
The legacy that Stringer will leave for UNG can be summed up in one sentence by the man himself.
“There was a saying back then that boys and girls came to UNG and left as ladies and gentlemen and went out into the world to lead and make a difference.”