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Terry alumni honored for their contributions to the UGA community

Subtitle:
The Jack Rooker family, Bill Griffin and Juan Mencias recognized by UGA Alumni Association
Monday, April 18, 2022 - 3:50pm
By:
Merritt Melancon
Image:
Bill Griffin

The University of Georgia Alumni Association is celebrating several Terry College alumni for bringing recognition and honor back to UGA through their outstanding leadership and service.

The Terry honorees this year include the Jack Rooker (BBA ’60) family, C. William “Bill” Griffin (BBA ’72) and Juan Mencias (BBA ’15).

The alumni award recipients outside of Terry honored are Shirley Mathis McBay (PhD ’66), Alumni Merit Award (posthumous); Garth Russo, Faculty Service Award; Michelle Cook, Faculty Service Award; and Dan T. Cathy, Friend of UGA Award.

“The devotion of this year’s award recipients to the University of Georgia is making a positive difference in the lives of countless individuals on this campus, throughout the state and around the world,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “They have made the University of Georgia stronger and have made all of us very proud.” 

The alumni association celebrated award winners at the annual Alumni Awards luncheon on April 22 in Athens. 

2022 Alumni Merit Award

The Alumni Merit Award, UGA’s oldest and highest honor, will be presented to Bill Griffin.

Griffin is the executive chairman of ServiceMac, the nation’s fastest-growing subservicing company providing mortgage servicing support to lenders and investors nationwide. He co-founded the company and recently helped its sale to First American Financial, a Fortune 500 financial services firm.

Griffin has served on the Terry College Dean’s Advisory Council for the past 20 years and chaired the council from 2010 to 2011. He served on the Building Terry Campaign Cabinet and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Terry in 2007.

Griffin also received the Distinguished American Award from the UGA Chapter of the National Football Foundation in 2017 and was awarded the Circle of Distinction from the UGA Athletic Association in 2019.

He served on the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2017 and now chairs a group that focuses on maintaining strong relationships between emeritus trustees and the university. 

He recently co-chaired the fundraising campaign to name the Honors College for UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD ’80). Griffin and his wife, Lynn (AB ’72), endowed two scholarships for students in the Honors College.

2022 Family of the Year Award

Jack and John Rooker
Jack Rooker, left, and John Rooker
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The Rooker family receives the Family of Year Award, presented to a family who demonstrates a history of loyalty to UGA. 

The Rooker history is deeply embedded in Athens and UGA, dating back to 1907 when A.P. Winston, Jack Rooker’s grandfather, came to UGA from the University of Virginia to manage the new agricultural college on campus. Over the next three generations, the Rooker family would boast 10 family members graduating from UGA. 

Rooker, and his wife Cindy (BSEd ’62), spent decades leaving their mark on the university. Rooker started serving on the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees in 1996 and was the founding chairman of the UGA Real Estate Foundation. In 2005, the John W. Rooker Hall and Cindy Rooker Fireside Lounge opened in the university’s East Campus Village. In 2014, the Rooker Family Need-Based Scholarship Fund was established. 

In 2017, Moore-Rooker Hall opened in the Terry College of Business Learning Community thanks to significant financial support from the Rooker family and their longtime friend, Dudley Moore (BBA ’57). 

2022 Young Alumni Award

Juan Mencias
Juan Mencias

The Young Alumni Award honoree is Juan Mencias, a chief investment officer for Georgia Diamond Corporation and affiliate Ascot Diamonds (Ascot) in Atlanta. The award is presented to individuals who have graduated within the past 10 years and display proven leadership in professional and philanthropic endeavors. 

Mencias is responsible for GDC’s treasury and financial functions, including developing and implementing strategic initiatives to ensure strong financial performance. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance with cum laude honors from Morehead Honors College and was awarded a full scholarship by Harvard Business School to participate in its Summer Venture in Management Program during the summer of 2014.

While at UGA, Mencias served as president of the Goizueta Ambassador Program and promoted the importance of higher education and diversity within different high school minority groups. He also served as a Terry ambassador and completed the William E. and Barbara H. Beckham, Jr. Workforce Diversity Certificate Program — a workshop intended to develop leadership skills and promote the importance of diversity within the workplace.

Mencias founded the UGA Latino Alumni Council in 2017 and serves as its president. It is the first and only alumni group for UGA Latino graduates and works to promote networking, collaboration, and further development for UGA Latino alumni.
 

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