A select group of students from the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business will be chosen in the fall and spring to participate in a new fellows program that, according to the school's dean, "represents a fascinating departure in business education."
Dean Robert T. Sumichrast said the Deer Run Fellows Program will be a unique learning experience for the chosen students. They will participate in formal and informal discussions about business, leadership and goal-setting, hosted and facilitated over three days by a business leader with vast executive experience in Georgia and around the world.
In addition to directing and hosting the Deer Run Fellows Program, M. Douglas Ivester also has committed to a two-year appointment as the first Executive-at-Large for the Terry College of Business. A 1969 accounting graduate, Ivester is president of Deer Run Investments LLC in Atlanta. Ivester was elected chairman of the board and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. in 1997 and served in that capacity until he retired in 2000.
He now chairs the audit committee of SunTrust Banks and is a member of the board of S1 Corp. Ivester and his wife, Kay, also spend much of their time at Deer Run, their 18,000-acre plantation in south Georgia, which they own and operate as a diversified business farming and selling various crops. The Ivesters will host the fellows program for Terry College students twice a year at Deer Run.
"Tomorrow's business leaders will need to understand and embrace a diverse, complex and ever-changing world," Ivester said. "The Deer Run Fellows Program is designed to give UGA students a unique chance to learn about those real-world challenges from people who have lived them. I'm excited about the opportunity to be a part of this innovative program, and I salute the Terry College of Business leaders for making this idea a reality."
"This is going to be a remarkable opportunity for the students in this program. We think it's the kind of experience that will inspire them to be the leaders they are capable of being," Sumichrast said. "Through the Ivesters personal network of friends, we envision that the students will have face-to-face interaction with some of the great minds of business, the arts and other innovative thinkers, that they will be challenged to develop a deeper understanding of the risks and rewards of leading a business, and that they will explore their own goals in life."
Students must be nominated by a Terry College faculty or staff member. Eight students will be selected by a committee to participate in the three-day program beginning next spring. The selection process will continue each fall and spring semester.
Ivester is a retired managing trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation and serves as a trustee of Emory University and Brenau University. He is chairman of the board of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center and also serves on the board of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.