Georgia Historical Society and Governor Nathan Deal to Honor Alana Shepherd and Paula Wallace as 2015 Georgia Trustees

Atlanta, Ga., February 11 , 2015 – This Saturday, February 14, the Georgia Historical Society in conjunction with Governor Nathan Deal will honor Alana Smith Shepherd and Paula S. Wallace as the 2015 Georgia Trustees, the highest honor the state can bestow.

“We are excited to induct two women whose individual accomplishments and visionary leadership have resulted in world class advancements in the care and treatment of spinal cord and brain injuries and revolutionized arts education not only in Georgia but around the world,” said W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.

The original Georgia Trustees were established in 1732 by King George II to establish a permanent English colony in America.  Led by General James Edward Oglethorpe and driven by their motto Non Sibi, Sed Aliis, Not for self but for others, they founded the Georgia colony on February 12, 1733, and named it in honor of the King.  In 2009, the Georgia Historical Society in conjunction with the office of the Governor reconstituted the Georgia Trustees as a way to honor modern day Georgian’s whose lives and history-making accomplishments best reflect the motto of the original Trustees.

Alana Smith Shepherd is the co-founder of Shepherd Center, a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital for people with acute spinal cord or brain injuries.  Shepherd founded Shepherd Center in 1975 after her son James Shepherd sustained a paralyzing spinal cord injury while body surfing off the coast of Rio de Janerio.  Following his rehabilitation in Colorado, Shepherd made it her mission to establish a state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta.  Shepherd Center is now a leader in rehabilitation therapies for individuals with spinal cord injuries and disease, acquired brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and other neuromuscular problems.

Paula S. Wallace is the co-founder of Savannah College of Art and Design with campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong and Lacoste, France.  An educator by training, Wallace saw the need in higher education for the creation of a university for creative careers modeled on student success and professionalism. Her student-centered focus is the secret to the worldwide success of SCAD. After choosing Savannah as the location for the fulfillment of her vision she opened the college in 1979 with one building, an 1892 Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory that she transformed into SCAD’s first home.  In 1979 SCAD opened with 71 students but today boasts 40,000 students and alumni worldwide.

The induction of Shepherd and Wallace by Governor Nathan Deal will take place Saturday, February 14 at the Georgia Historical Society’s Trustees Gala in Savannah.  The Trustees Gala is the Georgia Historical Society’s premiere annual event and the culmination of the Georgia History Festival. Each year, this elegant and much-anticipated evening draws top local, state, and national leaders to honor and pay tribute to the best the State of Georgia has produced.

Previous inductees are;

For more information please contact Patricia Meagher, Director of Communications at 404-382-5410,  ext. 153 or pmeagher@georgiahistory.com.

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