February 10, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Judge Hatchett to Speak at Thomas-Pierce Scholarship Dinner Feb. 24

VALDOSTA — Glenda Hatchett, known for her nationally syndicated show “Judge Hatchett,” will be the keynote speaker at Valdosta State University’s Thomas-Pierce Scholarship Dinner at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the Student Union Ballroom.

The Thomas-Pierce Scholarship was established during the 2013-2014 academic year’s 50 Years of Integration: A Celebration of Inclusion to recognize and honor Drewnell Thomas and Robert Pierce, who, in 1963, became the first two African-American students at Valdosta State, and to serve as a lasting symbol of the university’s commitment to cultural appreciation and diversity. The scholarship will benefit first-generation college students who have a 3.0 grade point average and remain in good academic standing.

Individual tickets for the semi-formal event are $20 for VSU students with valid identification (limit of two per student) and $30 non-VSU students. Sponsorships are available for $650, which includes a table for eight and a listing in the event program, or $1,000, which includes a table for eight, a listing in the event program, and a VIP reception with Hatchett. Donations to the scholarship fund are also accepted.

An authority on youth and social issues, Hatchett graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., and Emory University School of Law, where she was named an Earl Warren Scholar. She completed a federal clerkship in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, and then spent nearly 10 years as senior attorney and public relations manager at Delta Airlines, where she was reportedly the company’s highest-ranking woman of color worldwide. As senior attorney, she represented Delta in labor/personnel and antitrust litigation and commercial acquisitions. As public relations manager, she supervised global crisis management and handled media relations for 50 U.S. cities, as well as all of Europe and Asia. Ebony Magazine named her one of the 100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America.  

In 1990, Hatchett became the first black presiding judge of a state court in Georgia and the head of the one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country when she was appointed chief presiding judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court in Atlanta. She was named Outstanding Jurist of the Year the following year by the local chapter of the National Bar Association, a formal recognition of her pioneering leadership in revolutionizing the court system. She helped found the Truancy Intervention Project.

A member of the State Bar of Georgia and the District of Columbia Bar, Hatchett presides over the two-time Emmy-nominated, nationally syndicated “Judge Hatchett,” which premiered on Sept. 4, 2000, and airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on WE TV. The show earned a Prism Award for Best Unscripted Nonfiction Series or Special for Television in 2003. She quickly became known for her innovative and creative sentencing. She worked in conjunction with community organizations and businesses to design a program pairing troubled youth with successful executives and community leaders in the hope of inspiring change.  

Hatchett went on to earn a number of awards, including the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s Roscoe Pound Award, Spelman College’s Outstanding Community Service Award, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Thurgood Marshall Award, Mount Holyoke College’s Distinguished Alumna Award, and Emory University School of Law’s Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award and Emory Medal for her unwavering commitment to children’s issues. She was named Woman of the Year by 100 Black Men of America and one of 10 Women of Distinction by Girl Scouts of America. In 2003, she was named the national spokesperson for the Court Appointed Special Advocates, a nonprofit volunteer organization that trains volunteers to represent abused and neglected children and help them navigate the court system.    

Hatchett has served on the boards of three Fortune 500 companies — Hospital Corporation of America, The Gap Inc., and ServiceMaster Company — and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons, a position she has held since 2004. She also serves as a consultant to the National Basketball Association.

Hatchett is the founder and chief executive director of Great Day Productions and has been a legal contributor on national news outlets like CNN, Fox News Channel, and The Today Show. She is the author of Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say and Dare To Take Charge, both national bestsellers. She recently announced the formation of the Hatchett Firm, which specializes in risk and crisis management, as well as innovative and effective closing and settlement strategies, and engages a national network of attorneys to handle complex civil litigation, specializing in catastrophic injuries and mass tort litigation.        

The Thomas-Pierce Scholarship Dinner is hosted by the Office of Social Equity, the Black History Month Committee, and the Student Government Association.

Visit the Office of Social Equity in the Seago House, which is located on North Patterson Street across from the University Center, or http://www.valdostastate.org/s/1617/social.aspx?sid=1617&gid=1&pgid=633&cid=1545&ecid=1545&crid=0&calpgid=61&calcid=976 through Wednesday, Feb. 18, to purchase tickets or sponsorships or to make a donation to the scholarship fund.

Call the Office of Social Equity at (229) 333-5463 for more information.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 2: Increase financial support for the institution.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.

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