Barry and Grace Greer Phillips Fund
Barry Phillips was born in Valdosta, Georgia, on February 16, 1929, the son of William Otis and Beatrice Mercer Phillips. He was a graduate of Valdosta High School, the University of Georgia, and the University of Georgia Law School.
Barry served in the Korean War, stationed on the front lines where he was commander of a tank battalion. He earned the Air Medal for flying missions as an aerial observer identifying and calling back positions of enemy fire to the tanks and men on the front lines.
Barry attended the University of Georgia on a football scholarship under coaches Wally Butts and Quinton Lumpkin. Under the auspices of Coach Lumpkin, he established the first tutorial and study hall for fellow athletes at the University of Georgia. He later established two scholarships for the University of Georgia, one for the Law School, in honor of his law firm, the Kilpatrick Scholarship Fund, and the other to the University for Scholar Athletes, named in memory of his mentor, Coach Lumpkin. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of ODK (national leadership honor society), Sphinx, Gridiron, and Phi Kappa Alpha.
Barry graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia Law School in 1954. He entered the practice of law with the firm known as Smith, Kilpatrick, Cody, Rogers & McClatchey in 1954 and practiced with the firm his entire career, retiring in 1997 after 43 years of active practice and 12 years as chairman of the firm.
During his career, Barry was active in the civic life of Atlanta, serving as an officer of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, president of the Georgia Council of International Visitors, and as a member of The Lawyers Club of Atlanta, The Downtown Kiwanis, The Piedmont Driving Club, The Commerce Club, and many other professional associations. Barry was also presiding co-chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the president of the Fulton County Division of the American Heart Association. He was named one of the Most Influential Georgians by both Atlanta Magazine and Georgia Trend magazine and selected as a Best Lawyer in Atlanta. Barry served as chairman of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, chairman of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Board, and as the first Chairman of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta.
He married Grace Greer on August 3, 1957, and they had four children. Barry died on January 23, 2012, age 82, and is buried in Arlington Cemetery in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
Grace Greer Phillips was born in Valdosta, Georgia, on August 10, 1934, to John Wesley Greer, Jr. and Grace Donohue Greer. She grew up in Lakeland, Georgia, and attended Agnes Scott College. She served as campaign treasurer for Governor Joe Frank Harris and then on his senior staff as executive assistant for eight years. She later worked for the State Board of Workers’ Compensation as a Division Director. During her tenure there, she was nominated to the prestigious Academy of Women Achievers by the YMCA. Grace served on the Georgia Historical Society’s Board of Curators and as Board Chairman from 2004 to 2006.
In 2004, Grace and Barry Phillips established the Barry and Grace Greer Phillips Fund at the Georgia Historical Society, ensuring in perpetuity that their lifelong love of and shared commitment to history education will continue.