2009 Alumni Award Recipients
Georgia Military College alumni and friends met October 23 and 24 to celebrate Alumni Weekend 2009. One of the highlights of the weekend was the honoring of a select group of individuals with Georgia Military College Alumni Awards. The recipients of these prestigious awards are selected annually from submitted nominations.
This year’s award recipients are: Mr. Randall A. New (President’s Award), Dr. William H. Prosser (Distinguished Alumnus Award), Mr. Gerald D. Cowart (Alumni Achievement Award), Mr. Jacob Lewis (Jake) Goldstein (GMC Service Award), and Mr. Don W. Taylor (Community Service Award). These five extraordinary people are representative of the fine character and countless acts of excellence displayed by the alumni and friends of Georgia Military College. GMC is fortunate to have been a part of the lives of each of these fine people. The contributions of the 2009 Alumni Award recipients have, without a doubt, made the world a better place.
Mr. Randall A. New
HS 1971 & JC 1973
Mr. Randall A. New, a GMC graduate and the chairman of the GMC Board of Trustees, was selected as the first recipient of the President’s Award during Friday evening’s GMC Alumni Awards Presentation.
The President’s Award is presented to an alumnus or friend of Georgia Military College who has rendered exceptional service to Georgia Military College, to the community, and to the nation. The recipient will have demonstrated excellence in character and exemplary leadership, serving as an inspiration to others and exerting a positive influence over their lives.
Mr. New, a life-long resident of Baldwin County, graduated from GMC Prep School in 1971 and from the Junior College in 1973. He subsequently received his Bachelor of Science in Economics and Management from Georgia College & State University. Following three years of service in the U.S. Army, he settled in his hometown of Milledgeville where he is currently vice president and co-owner of Bayne’s Army Store as well as co-owner and managing partner for B & N Investments.
Mr. New’s service to Georgia Military College in his current role as chairman of the Board of Trustees has been exemplary. He has served on the Board since 1992 and has been chairman since 1998. In the past ten years, he has led the Board to new heights as, together, they have joined in furthering the mission of GMC, overseeing unprecedented growth and improvement for the institution. This GMC graduate has truly come home to serve his alma mater and his community in ways that have made a tremendous difference. Moreover, he has become a member of the Oak Leaf Society at GMC through his generous commitment toward securing the future of the institution.
Randy New’s involvement in community affairs and events includes membership on the Exchange Bank Board of Directors. He is a founding board member and former treasurer of Milledgeville Main Street/DDA, a founding member of the Downtown Merchants’ Council, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. For the past 19 years he has served as the chairman of the Empty Stocking Fund, a project that feeds needy families in the community. In addition, he has served as a volunteer coach with the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Recreation Department for 10 years, and his qualifications as an NRA qualified instructor serve him well in his role as a mentor for youth involvement in the hunting sports.
Lastly, but no less importantly, he has faithfully served his country in the U.S. Army.
Although he seeks no recognition or glory, the first recipient of the President’s Award is truly deserving of this honor and any recognition that accompanies it. In character, leadership, and service, he continues to excel and to impact his world in positive and lasting ways.
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Dr. William H. Prosser
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni whose lives have embodied the ideals of Georgia Military College including discipline, moral character, and learning, whose accomplishments have made a conspicuous and positive impression on those who will follow their lead, and whose lives are examples of extraordinary accomplishment.
Dr. Prosser is a Milledgeville native who followed in the footsteps of his father, Brad Prosser (HS 1954) and older brother, Randy Prosser (HS 1976) in attending GMC. He subsequently received his B.S. degree in Math and Physics from the College of William and Mary and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Prosser then joined NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in 1987 as an Aerospace Technologist in the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch. In 2005, he joined the NASA Engineering and Safety Center as Discipline Expert for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) and in 2007 was named a NASA Technical Fellow.
He has served as technical lead and program manager for the research and application of NDE and Structural Health Management (SHM) systems for aerospace vehicles. Dr. Prosser’s research has been in the field of ultrasonic and acoustic emission sensing techniques. His work contributed to the successful development and implementation of a system to detect impacts on the Space Shuttle wing leading edge in response to the Shuttle Columbia accident. He has led NASA, industry, university and government agency teams to implement NDE and SHM systems for a variety of NASA programs including the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, X-33, and Aerospace Vehicle Systems Technology Program.
Dr. Prosser was the 1997 recipient of the NASA Floyd Thompson Fellowship, a 2003 recipient of a NASA Superior Accomplishment Award for efforts during the Columbia Accident Investigation, and a 2005 recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal. He is past Chair and a Fellow of the Acoustic Emission Working Group and is also the Scientific Editor of Structural Health Monitoring: An International Journal.
Dr. Prosser has authored over 70 referenced publications and internal technical reports and has received four patents.
He and his wife, Karen, now live in Poquoson, Virginia with their two children, Drew, 16 and Kayla, 14.
Alumni Achievement Award
Gerald D. Cowart
The Alumni Achievement Award is designated for an alumnus who has attained notable success in his chosen field or profession, and whose achievement might serve as an inspiration to anyone considering entering that chosen field or profession, or might serve as inspiration to anyone to excel in his chosen field or profession because of the example set by the recipient of this award.
In 1969, Mr. Cowart’s father, an Army LTC, was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. Then a high school freshman, Cowart realized that his father would be retiring and the family moving back to their home in Georgia in his junior year. Rather than his having to attend high school in multiple locations, his parents agreed that he could move back to Georgia early and attend a boarding school to finish his high school years in one place.
Everyone was mutually pleased to agree on GMC, which was close to Cowart’s grandmother in Swainsboro and his father¹s brothers in Atlanta.
Between 1970 and 1972, Cowart attended high school at Georgia Military College, but then he entered junior college in Savannah on an early admissions program, skipping his senior year at GMC. After a couple of years without clear direction, he discovered his calling in architecture. It combined two of his loves: science and art. In 1975, Cowart was accepted to Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture where he earned both undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Architecture. While his undergraduate interest was in alternative energy, his graduate focus was on urban design and historic preservation. In 1981, he and his wife Sally moved back to Savannah to start their family and his professional career.
In 1987, he founded Cowart Group, PC Architects and is presently Senior Partner of Cowart Coleman Group, Architects. Over the years, his firm has won two Urban Design Awards, eleven Historic Preservation Awards, twelve American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design Excellence Awards, and numerous awards for service to his profession and his community. He has been published over 35 times both for his design work and articles he has authored. Cowart¹s career also includes a long commitment to education and mentorship.
He has also long been a proponent of Sustainable “Green” Design and is one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) accredited architects in the country. In 1996 and again in 1997, Cowart was awarded the prestigious AIA Georgia Sustainable Design Award. In 2008, he authored AIA Georgia¹s Sustainable Design position paper.
He is currently President-Elect of AIA Georgia and Chairman of the AIA Georgia Committee on the Environment. He has been a member of the American Institute of Architects for the past twenty-two years, serving on the State Executive Committee from 1993-1997. In 2010, Cowart will serve as President of the Georgia American Institute of Architects. He has also served in numerous local leadership roles, twice as President of the AIA Savannah Chapter. He is a founding member of USGBC’s (United States Green Building Council) Savannah section and a board member of the Ogeechee Canoochee Riverkeepers.
GMC Service Award
Jacob Lewis (Jake) Goldstein
HS 1940, JC 1942
The GMC Service Award is designated for an alumnus or friend of Georgia Military College who has rendered special service to the school or to any of its ancillary organizations including the GMC Alumni Association, the Bulldog Club, the Booster Club, or the GMC Foundation, Inc.
Mr. Goldstein was born in Milledgeville and attended GMC from the age of five, going through elementary school, high school, and junior college. He then attended the University of Georgia, graduating from there with a B.B.A.
During W.W.II, he served as a Captain in Patton’s Third Army and received two Bronze Stars and the Combat Infantry Badge during that time. According to Mr. Goldstein, GMC prepared him for the reality of life and, during the war, perhaps even saved his life.
Back at home in Milledgeville, putting his business degree to good use, Mr. Goldstein has been associated with C. Goldstein and Sons (a department store and wholesale business) for over sixty years, serving as president. He was also co-founder of First Federal Savings and Loan of Milledgeville as well as a member of the Board. Later he became Chairman of the BB&T Bank Board.
Tremendously active in organizations in the community, Mr. Goldstein has held leadership positions in the Chamber of Commerce and both locally and internationally in the Kiwanis Club; has served on several governmental bodies both at local and state levels; is actively involved with the Democratic Party; and is co-founder of Harriet¹s Closet, which provides items for patients undergoing cancer treatment, just to mention a few of his many involvements.
It is, however, his commitment to GMC for which he is receiving this award. Mr. Goldstein and his wife Maxine were recognized in 2005 for their legacy gift with the naming of the Goldstein Center for the Performing Arts and again in 2007 for their generous donation toward the purchase of additional stage curtains along with much-needed microphone systems, selected to enhance choral and band performances as well as theatrical performances. Currently, they are providing for the refurbishment and furnishing of the dressing rooms in the Center. Their generosity and their dedication to excellence continue to impact GMC in meaningful ways.
In addition to generously supporting GMC, Mr. Goldstein has been integrally involved in volunteer service to the school. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees, past president of the Alumni Association, and former chairman of the GMC Foundation. Yet, according to him, the gifts he and his wife have received from GMC total a debt they have yet to truly repay; in fact, he feels it can never truly be paid in full.
Community Service Award
Don W. Taylor
HS 1957, JC 1959
The Community Service Award is given to Georgia Military College alumni who, through leadership, inspiration, teamwork, or hard work in the spirit of volunteerism or in their professional activities, have taken the lessons of GMC’s Character Education beyond the classroom and whose actions are characterized by a history of exemplary service resulting in unquestionable improvements within their community.
After graduating from GMC in 1959, Mr. Taylor went back to Pine Mountain in Harris County and started a plumbing and electrical business. Beginning as a young man he has always been very passionate about his community. Over the years, through his leadership in organizations like the Pine Mountain Chamber of Commerce and Pine Mountain Tourism Association, which he actually helped organize and for which he served as president a number of times, or on his own as a volunteer, Taylor achieved many goals for his community.
In 1961 he went to work for Callaway Gardens, beginning a career in the hospitality business that would span almost five decades. He worked many years at Callaway Gardens Resort before purchasing the Davis Inn, also in Pine Mountain. Taylor became known to many people as “Mr. Hospitality” because he knew how to take care of the visitors just as he took care of his neighbors and friends. During his hospitality career, he has been a member of the Georgia Travel Association, Presidential Pathways Travel Association and Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Division. He retired from the lodging industry in 2007; however, this by no means has stopped Taylor from doing good works for tourism in the community. He continues to serve as an Emeritus Board member for the Tourism Association.
Continuing his good work in other areas in the community, he serves on the board of the Harris County Family Connection. During their drive for school supplies for the community this year, he was responsible for serving lunch to all the volunteers that gathered the supplies and gave them to the school kids. Taylor is also very involved with Christ the King Catholic Church, for which he has served on the Parrish Council since 2007.
For Pine Mountain, Don Taylor has always been the person who was not afraid to say, “Let’s find a way to do this.” Everyone close to him, or those who have worked with him, knows he has passion and love for all people, good causes, and his community.
He and his wife, Margot Van Lennep, from Wassenar, Holland, and known to most of the community as DiDi Taylor, have two children, Patrick and Carla, and eight grandchildren, four boys and four girls, ages 6 to 16.
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