The University of West Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees announced today the addition of four new members. Joining the board are John Paulk III ’00, Michael Stone (2017 UWG honorary degree recipient), Steve Swope and R. David Ware ’76. The returning chair for the UWG Foundation is Ann Newman ’01, vice president for Wells Fargo’s west Georgia region.
“We are thrilled to welcome these four new members to our Board of Trustees as we continue to dedicate ourselves to the curation of a first-choice university,” said Dr. Meredith Brunen, CEO of UWG’s foundations and vice president for university advancement. “They join a highly committed group of trustees who demonstrate a high level of leadership and the ability to make connections and investments in service to our students. I look forward to working with our board to continue enhancing the transformative education UWG provides.”
Established in 1967, the UWG Foundation serves as the university’s philanthropic arm. Its purpose in cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donor funds is to advance strategic priorities for the long-term benefit and enhancement of the university. The Foundation is governed by a board of trustees composed of business and industry leaders, community leaders, and alumni whose primary goals are in service to the university community. Foundation trustees are elected to four-year terms and serve on various committees, including board development, finance and investment, resource development, audit and others.
John Paulk III ’00
A Richards College of Business marketing graduate, Paulk works as programs leader for Safehold Special Risks – a national program administrator providing access to customized insurance solutions – where he brings complex businesses together and develops solutions for mitigating risk in new or less usual environments. In addition to using some of those skills to help the university grow and expand, Paulk said he looks forward to learning more about the university, its operations, its funding and decisions regarding those operations.
“I choose to invest in the future success of UWG because I feel the university has served me in so many ways and also serves both the Carrollton and Newnan community, where I work and reside,” he explained. “I also look forward to working with the next generation of leaders, teachers, historians and others who graduate from UWG.”
Michael Stone ’17 (Honorary Alumnus)
Stone is the CEO and founder of Milestone Investment Management. In addition to serving on a multitude of community organizations, Stone and his wife, Andrea ’79, founded the Michael and Andrea Stone Visiting Artist Series in 2014, which has hosted critically acclaimed artists and published novelists and poets. In 2018, the couple committed to a five-year sponsorship of the UWG Marching Band, providing scholarship incentives to retain upper-level band members, and most recently named the Michael and Andrea Stone Student Innovation Lounge at Roy Richards Sr. Hall. Stone said he looks forward to learning more about the strategic plan and is honored to play a part in putting it in action.
“I want to see UWG become a top-tier, first-choice university,” he shared. “I believe in order to see our community continue to grow, we must show that our university has close ties with the local businesses by supporting and engaging with the business community with a goal of making Carrollton a better place to live, work and play.”
After working for powerhouses like Delta Air Lines, Swope began his own firm, Rubicon, which provided business intelligence for the travel industry. He has served as a deacon at St. George Catholic Church in Newnan, a Catholic Relief Services global fellow ambassador and a member of the Newnan-Coweta Airport Authority. Along with wife, Marie, the Swopes provided a critical donation to UWG Newnan in 2014, which helped turn the hospital building into an innovative educational center. They continued support when further renovation and classroom expansion was needed. Impressed with the dedication in Newnan and Carrollton, Swope said he’s excited to be a small part of UWG’s future growth and success.
“I believe the most important thing we can do is provide an education to everyone who wants one,” he explained. “Education is the key to success in business, communities and life. An educated populace produces great citizens, leads to new discoveries and generates the leaders of the future. I hope that my enthusiasm for UWG and willingness to think creatively will help the Foundation.”
R. David Ware ’76
After graduating from then-West Georgia college with a degree in English, Ware earned his juris doctorate and began a legal career that has spanned more than four decades. He has represented clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, cities and counties as well as high-profile professional athletes and other high net worth individuals. Ware believes his background enables him to bring a unique perspective to problem solving that he hopes will enhance the board’s effectiveness. He said he most looks forward to discovering how he can contribute to ensure his alma mater continues to positively impact the lives of young people.
“UWG is worth an investment because now, more than ever, young people need an environment in which truth and knowledge are encouraged,” he stated.
UWG also named new members and officers to the UWG Athletic Foundation Board of Directors. To learn more about the UWG Foundation Board of Trustees, visit the Foundation’s website.
UWG serves more than 12,700 students from across Georgia, 34 other states and 64 countries. Perennially ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university, West Georgia offers 92 fields of study, including business, nursing, education, STEM, social sciences and the arts. It generates a regional economic impact of more than $626 million and provides a safe, quality and affordable college experience that transforms lives.