College to honor outstanding alumni
Oct. 20, 2009

The honorees – James M. Wood III, Susan Phillips Ayers, Robert Dothard, Dr. Chuck Kraemer and  Jeannette Lewis Little – will be featured in a special forum at 11:15 a.m. Friday in the Bailey Room of Smith Hall. They will speak to students about their time at the College and how it influenced their lives and careers.

Later that afternoon, they will be honored during an alumni celebration at 4:30 p.m. in the Dickson Assembly Room in the Mabry Gibson Student Center. The event is open to the public.

James M. Wood III, Class of 1978
James M. Wood III, Class of 1978Wood will be recognized as the Walter Malcolm Shackelford Distinguished Alumnus. The award is given to alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally and brought honor to the College.

Wood earned a degree in mathematics from LaGrange College in 1978, graduating magna cum laude. He went on to get a master’s degree in business administration at Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia in 1982.

He began his career as a programmer/analyst for Southern Railway, and then became a senior consultant for Andersen Consulting. In 1984, he became a financial analyst for Coca-Cola USA, before becoming director of market analysis and planning for Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottler.

In 1989, he was named logistics planning manager at Georgia Pacific, where he continued his career as a senior manager for trade marketing, a director for IT business planning and group director for IT strategy and planning until 1997, when he began his career at BellSouth (AT&T).

Today, he is a vice president for Enterprise IT Business Support and Planning, where he is responsible for program management and account management for AT&T.  Currently he is managing more than 400 projects with budgets totaling more than $750 million.

Wood lives in Chamblee with his wife, Ruthie Speers Wood, class of 1978. They have two sons, Matthew, 22, and Mark, 20. He is active in his church, Decatur First United Methodist Church, where he serves on the Northlake Young Life Committee, as chairman of the Education Action Team and as an adult Sunday school teacher. He is on the advisory boards for the management information systems programs at the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama and the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia. At LaGrange College, he serves on the Board of Trustees.

Robert Dothard, class of 1987
Robert Dothard, class of 1987Dothard  received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from LaGrange College in 1987. He went on to become a fitness expert, working as a personal trainer and instructor in several Atlanta-area health clubs. He owns two personal training studios in Atlanta, with almost 100 clients and a dozen trainers employed.

He was the featured trainer for CNN’s “Fit Nation-Fit Buddies,” and also the host of 11 Alive’s “Wake-up Workout” for five years. He was the winning trainer for “The Biggest Loser- Mom’s Edition,” featured on WXIA-NBC‘s “Atlanta & Co.” this spring.

Dothard is a small group leader in Sunday school at North Point Community Church. He is involved with Vinings Rotary, where he is sergeant-at-arms; Cobb Chamber of Commerce; Vinings Business Association; and Better Business Bureau. He is the author of two books – “The One-Minute Workout” and “The Real Deal Workout Drill.”

Susan P. Ayers, class of 1987 and 1997
Susan P. Ayers, class of 1987 and 1997Ayers has spent her career working in health care. She received her practical nursing diploma in 1974 from Coosa Valley Technical College, then an associate degree in nursing from LaGrange College in 1987. In 1997, she graduated cum laude from LaGrange College with a bachelor of science in nursing. In 1999, she was a graduate of the certificate program at Emory University, and in 2001 was an honor graduate from Emory, with a master’s degree in public health.

She is district director of nursing and clinical services for District Four Health Services in LaGrange, where she is director of nursing services for a 12-county public health district. Ayers also is a member of the Georgia Board of Registered Professional Nurses, Community Advisory Network at Emory University, the executive board at Georgia Public Health Association, Delta Omega Honor Society for Public Health Professionals and a charter member of the Pi Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society at the State University of West Georgia.

Sara Jeannette Lewis Little, class of 1976
Sara Jeannette Lewis Little, class of 1976Little graduated cum laude from LaGrange College in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in English, then earned her law degree from Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, graduating magna cum laude. She is a judge in the State Court of Troup County, where she handles all cases, civil and criminal, filed in the State Court of Troup County.

She is chairwoman of the Council of State Court Judges New Judge Mentoring Committee, and a member of the Judicial Council’s Standing Committee on Drug Courts and Judicial Council’s Record Retention Committee. In 1997, she was instrumental in the creation of Troup County Work Release Program, and in 2004, she created the Troup County DUI/Drug Court.

She received the 2003 Ogden Doremus Award, given by the Council of Start Court Judges in recognition of contributions to the judicial, legal and humanitarian communities.

Charles P. Kraemer, class of 1971
Charles P. Kraemer, class of 1971Kraemer earned a bachelor’s degree from LaGrange College and a master’s and doctorate in psychology from the University of Georgia. He is a professor of psychology at LaGrange College, where he has served as department chair since 1981. He was Director of Undergraduate Research from 2004–2008, and chaired the Undergraduate Research Committee from 1997–2004.

He led the committee to develop the college’s Institutional Review Board, having served as the board’s president since 2000. He also was chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences from 1993-2004.

He is a member of the Association for Psychological Science; Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society; Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology; Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology; and the Council on Undergraduate Research.

He received the John R. Hines Jr. Undergraduate Research Award in 2008, the outstanding Project L.O.V.E. board member award in 1999 and the Psi Chi certificate of appreciation for outstanding service as a faculty advisor in 1997. He is a U.S. Army veteran.

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