UGA Blue Key to honor Barnes and Sentell


Monday, Oct. 4, 2004

WRITER: Larry B. Dendy, 706/542-8078, ldendy@uga.edu CONTACT: Tom Landrum, 706/542-0054, tlandrum@uga.edu

UGA Blue Key to honor Barnes and Sentell

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Blue Key Honor Society will recognize two Georgia Law alumni – a former Georgia governor and a legendary university law professor – and two of UGA’s leading supporters at the annual Blue Key Awards banquet Oct. 8.

The society will present the 40th annual Blue Key Awards to Roy E. Barnes (J.D.’72), who was governor from 1999-2003; R. Perry Sentell Jr. (LL.B.’58), who taught law at UGA for 46 years; Jane Seddon Willson, president of Sunnyland Farms in Albany; and Charles S. Sanford Jr., retired chairman and CEO of Bankers Trust Corp.

Barnes will be the featured speaker for the banquet, which will also include presentation of the Blue Key Young Alumnus Award to Andrew DeVooght, an outstanding student leader and athlete at UGA who is now a lawyer in Chicago. Winners of the BellSouth Student Leadership Award, the Richard B. Russell Student Leadership Award and the Tucker Dorsey Memorial Scholarship will also be announced.

The banquet, which is open to the public, will be at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. Reservations, at $25 per person, can be made by contacting Dorothe Otemann at 583-0698.

Blue Key national honor society was founded in 1924 and has more than 300 chapters throughout the U.S. The UGA chapter, which was started in 1926 as the second chapter in the nation, presents the Blue Key Award to distinguished citizens who have made major contributions to the state and the university. The award has been given since 1964.

Barnes received a bachelor’s degree in history from UGA in 1969 and graduated from the UGA School of Law in 1972. Prior to being elected governor in 1998, he served 16 years in the Georgia Senate and five years in the state House of Representatives.

While in the senate, he was chair of the Judiciary Committee and floor leader for former Gov. Joe Frank Harris. As a member of the state house, he was vice chair of the Judiciary Committee and a member of the Rules Committee. As governor, Barnes implemented far-reaching initiatives in education, transportation and health care. He created authorities to help regulate growth, encourage transportation alternatives and address concerns about water shortages and water quality. During only one year of his administration more than $1 billion was allocated for educational construction projects.

Sentell received a bachelor’s degree from UGA in 1956 and a law degree in 1958. He joined the faculty of UGA’s School of Law in 1964 and, until his retirement this year, held the Marion and W. Colquitt Carter Chair in tort and insurance law. He was the school’s senior professor in the area of torts. Before joining the law faculty, he taught for six years in the Institute of Law and Government, a forerunner of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

In addition to his expertise in torts, Sentell is one of the state’s leading authorities on municipal government and legislative government law. He is author of 29 books, 127 law review articles and nearly 50 other articles in professional publications. He has received two distinguished service awards from the Georgia Municipal Association and three commendations from the Georgia House of Representatives recognizing his decades of assistance as a consultant and advisor.

This year, Sentell received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. He has also received the Law School Association Distinguished Service Scroll Award and has been chosen 11 times by law graduates as their class marshall. A scholarship fund in his name has been created in the law school.

Willson is a trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation, and she and her husband, Harry, are strong supporters of academic programs at UGA. In 2001, Jane Willson made a major gift to support the work of UGA’s Center for International Trade and Security in promoting global understanding and preparing students for international service.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Willson is chair of the Albany/Dougherty Inner City Authority and is a member of Flint River Center Partners. She is a former corporate board director of BellSouth Communications, a former board member of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and was named Albany Woman of the Year in 1983.

She has served on the boards of the Albany State College and Darton College foundations and Albany Technical College. She is a past president of the boards of the Albany Museum of Art, the Albany Area Arts Council and the Boys/Girls Club of Albany and is a former chairman of Albany United Way.

Sanford is the grandson of Steadman V. Sanford, former UGA president and namesake of Sanford Stadium. A 1958 UGA graduate, he earned a MBA degree from the Wharton School of Finance and joined Bankers Trust in 1961, retiring in 1996. He is credited with leading the firm to a position of national prominence, building Bankers Trust Corp. into the nation’s seventh largest banking company and implementing innovations in the areas of measuring risk that have become standard practice in the industry.

He is an emeritus member of the University of Georgia Foundation and has endowed a professorial chair named for his father, Charles S. Sanford Sr., in the Terry College of Business. He was co-chair of UGA’s Third Century Capital Campaign, and his own gift launched a fund-raising effort that led to construction of Sanford Hall, named for Sanford and his wife, Mary McRitchie Sanford, also a UGA graduate.

His numerous honors include Distinguished Alumni awards from the UGA Alumni Association and the Terry College of Business, the Distinguished Service Award from the Wharton alumni association and the International Executive of the Year Award from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management.

DeVooght, who will receive the Young Alumnus Award, received a political science degree from UGA in 1997. He was president of Blue Key and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sphinx. He lettered four years on the men’s swimming team and was named the H. Boyd McWhorter male athlete of the year in the Southeastern Conference.

He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2000 and was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and U.S. Appeals Court Judge Michael Kanne. He has practiced with a Chicago law firm and in January will be a visiting professor at the University of Illinois College of Law.

The Tucker Dorsey Memorial Scholarship is named for a former Blue Key student leader who died in an auto accident in 1965. The scholarship recognizes students for outstanding service and leadership.

The BellSouth Student Leadership Award recognizes a male and female student for outstanding leadership qualities and achievements.

The Richard B. Russell Award is being given for the first time this year to recognize a student leader who is a member of Blue Key.