A. D. "Pete" Correll, chairman emeritus of Georgia-Pacific Corp., will be the speaker for the University of Georgia fall undergraduate Commencement exercises Dec 17 at 9:30 am in the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum. The university will award Correll the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his philanthropic commitments and multi-million dollar contributions to the benefit of UGA and the state of Georgia.
James C. Cobb, B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor in the History of the American South, will speak at the graduate Commencement exercises at 2:30 pm also in Stegeman Coliseum.
In addition to being chairman and co-founder of Atlanta Equity Investors, a private equity firm with $109 million in committed capital, Correll is chairman emeritus of Georgia-Pacific Corp. He has had a 40-year career as a successful executive in the forest products, paper and consumer products industries.
"Pete Correll is one of Georgia’s leading citizens," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "He has been an extraordinarily successful chief executive, community activist and first-class civic leader. He has served his alma mater in virtually every way imaginable and is deserving of any recognition we might bestow on him. It will be a pleasure for me to award him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his lifelong service to this university and state."
Correll serves on the board of the Georgia Aquarium. He is chairman of the Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation Board of Directors and Empower Software Solutions Board of Directors and serves as a director of the Richmond Cold Storage Co., Inc., Board of Directors. Correll is an outside director on the boards of Mirant Corp., Norfolk Southern Corp. and SunTrust Banks, Inc.
Correll has served as a board member, trustee or adviser for civic, philanthropic and educational organizations including the Mother Nature Network, The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Keep America Beautiful, the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, Atlanta Symphony, Boy Scouts of America, the Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Grocery Manufacturers of America and The Carter Center.
Correll’s accolades include being named among Georgia Trend magazine’s most influential Georgians and most respected business leaders; being named ModernHealth.com’s 2010 Trustee of the Year; receiving the inaugural Louis C. Brown Vanguard Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine in 2009; and receiving the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ top philanthropy honor, the Paschal Murray Award for Outstanding Philanthropist along with his wife, Ada Lee.
Correll is an emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation. He served on the steering committee for phase one of the UGA Performing and Visual Arts Complex, which was dedicated on East Campus in 1996. Correll received the Terry College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994 and served on the college’s board of overseers from 2003 to 2007.
Correll and his wife have helped ensure the success and planned expansion of the Georgia Aquarium’s aquatic animal medicine and aquatic conservation programs with a $2.5 million gift to establish the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health. The 10,000 square-foot center is a partnership between the Georgia Aquarium and the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. UGA faculty and graduate students research and train at the Correll Center, the first aquatic veterinary teaching hospital integrated into an aquarium in the world.
A native of Brunswick, Correll attended Georgia Tech on a golf scholarship, but left after a year to become a runner on the New York Stock Exchange. He then attended UGA, where he received his undergraduate degree in business administration in 1963. He later received master’s degrees in pulp and paper technology and in chemical engineering from the University of Maine.
Cobb is widely recognized as one of the foremost scholars of Southern history and culture. He has written widely on the interaction between economy, society and culture in the American South and was among the first to write broadly about the South in a global context. Most of his more than 40 articles and 12 books are about the impact of changing economic conditions on the South. Two of these, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity and The Most Southern Place on Earth, his book about the Mississippi Delta, are considered classics in the field. His newest book, The South and the Nation Since World War II, was just published in November by the Oxford University Press.
Committed to reaching beyond the scholarly community, Cobb has written pieces for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cobb’s work has earned him numerous awards, named lectureships and offices in professional associations, most notably the presidency of the Southern Historical Association.
A native of Hart County, Cobb received his AB (1969), MA (1972) and PhD (1975) from UGA and taught at the University of Maryland, University of Northern Iowa, University of Mississippi, University of Alabama and the University of Tennessee before joining the UGA faculty in 1998.
The Commencement ceremonies will be for students who complete degree requirements at the end of the fall 2010 semester. The number of students eligible to receive degrees will not be known until grades are received for the fall semester. As announced previously, tickets will be required for attendance at the undergraduate ceremony, with six being provided to each graduating student. Both ceremonies will be broadcast live on channel 15 of the university and Charter cable systems and streamed live on UGA’s website.