Shorter University held a special luncheon to announce the award winners for the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Each year, the university allows alumni to nominate other alumni for these awards. The awards include Distinguished Alumni Award, Distinguished Alumni Service Award, and Distinguished Young Alumni Award.
“Alumni weekend was a special weekend for everyone involved,” said Shorter University President Dr. Don Dowless. “We were able to welcome and announce our Distinguished Alumni and present them with their awards. This year’s award winners exhibit excellent qualities and are helping our university move forward. We are blessed and honored to have such amazing alumni.”
The luncheon took place in Eubanks Room on Shorter’s campus. Ben Geiger, a junior Music Education major, and Hannah Frost joined us for the event and performed two musical pieces. Student volunteers helped serve all our special guests and were able to talk with the alumni. Dr. Dowless and Dr. Ben Bruce then presented each alumni winner their award. Alumni were given time to express what their awards meant to them and explained the impact Shorter University has made on their lives.
Paul Smith is a 1994 graduate and received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. This award is presented in recognition of outstanding service to Shorter in leadership, volunteerism, on-campus service, recruiting efforts, or financial support.
Paul graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration, and he and his wife, Mistee class of 1999, co-own a commercial construction business. Their home office is in Kingston, Georgia. Paul is a designer of industrial environmental wash bay systems, and his designs have been used throughout the United States for the last 20 years. His design-build services include many large multinational corporations.
He is the father of three adult children, Griffin (Class of 2017), Mallory, and Sarah. Paul and Mistee are leaders for college students at Life Church here in Rome. Paul enjoys his time in men’s Bible study weekly and pours back into his mentorship with young men across Rome and surrounding areas. He enjoys doing work on The Hill due to his vested interest in the campus and what Shorter stands for, Jesus. Paul and Mistee met on The Hill and can often still be seen having lunch or date nights in the parking lot.
Alice Reeves is a 1984 graduate and received the Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is presented in recognition of outstanding personal achievement, public service, or accomplishment.
Alice is a native of Fayette County, Georgia; the fifth generation of her family to call the county home. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Shorter College and a master’s degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
2023 marked the 25th Anniversary of her company, Accounting Resources. The business has grown from a home-based business with just a few clients, to a thriving practice of over 750 clients!
In 2008 the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce awarded the Small Business of the Year award to Accounting Resources. In 2021 she received the chamber’s highest honor, Outstanding Businessperson of the Year.
She served as the President of the Fayette County Historical Society from 2008 – 2021. Because of her work with the Fayette County Historical Society, Alice was awarded the 2019 Award for Local History Advocacy from The Georgia Historical Records Council. This state-wide award honored her for advancing our local history.
She has been a board member and officer of the Coweta-Fayette EMC Trust Board from 2006-2010 and 2016- 2022. She is currently on the credentialing committee.
From 2016 to 2020, she served as the Treasurer, Vice President, and President for the McIntosh Charter Chapter of the American Businesswomen’s Association. In 2019 Alice was honored as the Woman of the Year for the McIntosh Charter Chapter.
In 2019 she was appointed by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to serve on the Fayette County Public Facilities Authority and continues in that position.
Alice and her husband, Bob, are members of New Hope Baptist Church where they mentor high school seniors as they prepare for college.
Kelsey Kirk Ikerd is a 2014 graduate and received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. This award honors a graduate from the past 10 years who has shown promise through professional achievement, community service, or dedication to the University.
Kelsey currently resides in her hometown of Dalton, GA. She is a former Lady Hawks Volleyball Team Captain, academic honors association president, and was Miss Shorter University in 2013.
After graduating with her Secondary English Education degree, she moved back home to her high school alma mater where she serves as the English Department Chair and head volleyball coach. She is a former two-time Region Coach of the Year and was the Georgia State Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2021.
She is married to her college sweetheart Chad, also a 2014 SU Grad and former Hawks Baseball player. The two are proud parents to Jack (4) and Julianne (2). Kelsey loves spending time with her family, going to Braves games, and taking trips to Disney World and Universal Studios.
About Shorter University:
In its 150th anniversary year, Shorter University in Rome, Georgia is a Christ-centered university committed to excellence in education. U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review annually include Shorter University on their lists of best Southeastern Colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, associates, and masters programs. Learn more at www.shorter.edu.