On Saturday, May 28th before a capacity crowd at the Hilton Desoto Hotel, the Savannah Chapter of SSU National Alumni Association honored (8) eight Savannah State University Influential Male Alums ( four additional honorees were unable to attend).
This event, The Influential SSU Alumni Scholarship Benefit, was hosted by the chapter to showcase outstanding achievements of Savannah State University Male Alumni and to serve as a venue to raise funds to support Savannah State University. Additionally, this benefit showcased (10) ten Up and Coming Influential Young Men who exhibit characteristics that could lead to a very successful future.
The 2011 honorees were Otis Brock, III is a 1994 SSU graduate. Otis is Chief Operations Officer for Savannah- Chatham County Public Schools. Otis is responsible for Facilities, Maintenance and Operations, Transportation, Campus Police, and School Food Service for a school system of approximately 35,000 students.
Dr. Vernon T Bryant, a 1971 SSU graduate is a Medical Doctor with Chatham Savannah Medical Group, PC Solo Practice, and Family Practice Physician.
Tony L. Foy a 2007 SSU graduate is a Teacher for Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools where he has taught both special education and general education. Most notably, he was selected Frank W. Spencer Elementary School’s 2012 Teacher of the Year and one of the top five finalists for Teacher of the Year for Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
Lt. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin is a 1974 SSU graduate. He is Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee, Brussels, Belgium. Gaskin served as the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC from June 2006 until July 2008. In addition to this role, he simultaneously served as the Commanding General of II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). During this tour, he led II MEF (FWD) during its year-long deployment to Al Anbar Province, Iraq as the Commanding General of Multinational Forces-West. Gaskin has served numerous assignments during his military career.
Larry O. Jackson a 1989 SSU graduate is presently Director of Budgeting Services for Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools. Larry has served as Senior Budget Analyst, Budget Analyst, Staff Accountant and Comptroller all positions with the School System.
Roy L. Jackson a 1970 SSU graduate is Business Owner-President/CEO of R Jackson and Bros. Enterprises for 44 years of continuous operation. Currently operates Jackson Bros. Car Care Center; Jackson Bros. Tow and Recovery Service; Chatham Pick-Up and Delivery Services and Partner-Jackson-Remier Construction Company. Roy is presently the National President of the Savannah State University National Alumni Association. James “Slim” Melvin a 1986 SSU graduate is a Territory Manager for R.J. Reynolds for the past 24 years. James took on the task of raising funds for SSU through his company matching funds and members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. To date, “Slim” has helped raised over $18,000 for SSU. Lt. Col. David A. Miller a 1976 graduate of SSU is a Senior Information Technology Account Manager for External Mission Partners for the Department of Defense – Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). David has held numerous positions to name a few Branch Chief, Project Manager, Deputy Division Chief and Vice Office Chief each with the Defense Intelligence Agency.
W. Richard Shinhoster is a 1964 SSU graduate. Richard was a Secondary and Post- Secondary Educator. His services to Savannah Technical Institute span twenty eight years as a Math and Physical Instructor, Vice President of Economic Development, vice President of Student Services, and executive Vice President Academic Affairs. His work experience and educational background has ensured the development of strong organization and team building skills and the ability to create an atmosphere whereby personnel and programs grow, President and CEO of the Shinhoster Group International; a company specializing in International Trade and Economic Development.
Edward “Mickey” Stephens is a 1971 SSU graduate. Mickey worked for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system as a Technology education teacher and coach where he retired after 32 years of service. He served as a member of Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education. Presently, he is the Georgia House of Representative for District 161.
Atty. Willie Walker is a 1981 SSU graduate. Mr. Walker’s primary area of practice is litigation, including personal injury, and product liability, and medical negligence. He has practiced extensively in both Federal and State courts. Mr. Walker is a certified Circuit Court civil mediator and handles a variety of complex legal disputes in this capacity. Attorney Walker is a member of the State Bars and Florida and Georgia and actively participants in both states.
Rev. Clarence “Teddy” Williams, a 1984 SSU graduate, is the Reverend of First Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. He is the former Vice President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Music Auxiliary, former Music Director for the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, and a former member of the City of Savannah Cultural Affairs Commission (2008-2011), He presently serves as Music Instructor for the GMBC, of Georgia Congress of Christian Education and Assistant Chapter Representative for the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
Up and Coming young men introduced were Khallid Marshall, Brian Gladney, Rakeem D. Jackson, Justin S. Hankins, Phillip K. Williams, Jarvis K. Thomas, Devon Cobb, Christopher Johnson and Jared C. Campbell.
A $1,000 book scholarship was awarded to Up and Coming Phillip K. Williams whose honoree, James “Slim” Melvin, raised the greatest financial support for this benefit. Phillip is a senior at SSU majoring in Sociology. A $500.00 book scholarship was awarded to Up and Coming Jarvis K. Thomas whose honoree, Lt. Col. David Miller raised the second largest amount. Jarvis is a senior Political Science; Public Administration major at SSU.
Finally, a $ 250.00 book scholarship was awarded to Up and Coming Jared Campbell whose honoree, Rev Clarence “Teddy” Williams was third place winner. Jared is a senior at Savannah High School and has been accepted to SSU beginning fall semester 2011.
After the “pomp and circumstance” attendees were invited to a “Luncheon Soiree'” where they could dine on specialty dishes from Italy, Mexico and the United States.
This scholarship benefit replaces the chapter’s presentation of the Ebony Fashion Fair which the chapter hosted for many years to raise funds for SSU. Congratulations to Mrs. Ruth C. Magwood Wright who was the event chair for an outstanding job.
President Tony Wright, Sr. and members of the Savannah Chapter would like to express deepest appreciation to each honoree, program participants, our Super, Blue, Orange and Silver Tiger supporters, and the gift of the presence of all those who attended.
We encourage you to continue to support Savannah State University.”You Can Get Anywhere from SSU”. The honorees of this event are a prime example.