Thursday, February 28, 2002

WRITER: Molly Barrett, 706/542-5172 CONTACT: Perry Sentell, 706/542-5147, sentell@uga.edu Phyllis Cooke (School of Law Development Office), 706/542-7637, cooke@uga.edu Amy Henderson (Georgia Municipal Association), 678-686-6226, ahenderson@gmanet.com


ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law is pleased to announce the endowment of the Ed Sumner Memorial Scholarship which will be awarded for the first time this fall. This scholarship was established in memory of the late Walter Edwin “Ed” Sumner who was a graduate of the law school and died of a heart attack on March 29, 2000. The scholarship was established by the Georgia Municipal Association through the Georgia Cities Foundation.

"Ed loved his work with cities and knew more about municipal law than just about anyone in the state," GMA Executive Director Jim Higdon said. "I can't think of a better way to honor his memory than by encouraging law school students to get involved in municipal law."

The Ed Sumner Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to University of Georgia School of Law students who have an interest in municipal corporations. In awarding the scholarship, an emphasis will be placed on the student’s academic record, without regard to financial need or residence. Students who receive the scholarship will be known as “Ed Sumner scholars.”

A committee, which will include at least one representative of the Georgia Municipal Association’s Georgia Cities Foundation, will be appointed by law school Dean David Shipley. The committee will review the candidates for the scholarship. The recipient will be offered an internship with the Georgia Municipal Association and the scholarship will be awarded to the recipient in his or her third year of law school after successfully completing the internship. Marion and W. Colquitt Carter Professor of Torts and Insurance Law R. Perry Sentell will play an instrumental role in selecting the scholarship recipients.

“It is extraordinarily appropriate that the legions of friends and admirers of Ed Sumner have established this scholarship at the law school in honor of his memory,” Sentell said. “Ed was an outstanding individual and a professional of the first order. For me, he was a valued former student and a warm friend of many years. It is a high privilege to be involved in administering his scholarship with the hope that it will inspire some young person to develop an unmatched expertise in the field of local government law, the kind of expertise possessed by Ed Sumner. The student could have no better example and there could be nothing more fitting by way of a tribute to Ed.”

Sumner, a native of Tupelo, Miss., received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from the University of Georgia in 1970. In 1976, he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law. He was also a graduate of the Municipal Leadership Institute of the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Upon graduation, he was general counsel to the Georgia Municipal Association for 24 years; an active member of the State Bar of Georgia, serving in various leadership positions over the years; general counsel to the board of trustees of the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System; chairman of the State League Counsel International Municipal Lawyers Association; and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys, Tax and Federal Legislation committees and International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans.

Those interested in donating to the Ed Sumner Scholarship Fund may either send a check to the UGA Foundation, 824 S. Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA, 30602-5582 or they may contact the School of Law’s development office at (706) 542-7639. Law students interested in applying for the Ed Sumner Memorial Scholarship should contact the law school admissions office at (706) 542-7060.