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Nine to be honored as Columbus State alumni awards recipients at Sept. 30 Homecoming Week ceremony - Columbus State University Skip to Main Content

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Nine to be honored as Columbus State alumni awards recipients at Sept. 30 Homecoming Week ceremony

September 14, 2022

2021 Alumni Awards Recipients

Columbus State University Alumni Association recently announced its 2022 alumni award recipients. Each of these honorees will be celebrated at the CSU Alumni Association’s Alumni Recognition Awards Program on Sept. 30 in CSU’s Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center.

Nine CSU alums and affiliates will be recognized at the annual luncheon during the university’s Homecoming Week, including its highest honors, the Thomas Y. Whitley Distinguished Alumni Award and the Frank D. Brown Achievement and Leadership Excellence Award. Other awards will be presented in the following categories: Alumni Service, Young Alumnus, Distinguished Alumnus in Military/Public Service, Excellence in Alumni Achievement and Faculty/Staff Recognition. 

2022 Alumni Award winners include:

David Hart Jr., B.S. '77, Thomas Y. Whitley Distinguished Alumnus Award

Hart, who earned a B.S. in 1977 from CSU, is the retired CEO and president of Mountville Mills, Inc. in LaGrange. Hart led Mountville Mills from a small family business to a worldwide enterprise of over 1,000 employees. In 2018, he received the Maglin/Biggie TRSA Lifetime Achievement Award. He currently serves on the CSU Foundation Board of Trustees. 

Dr. Champ L. Baker, Jr., Frank D. Brown Achievement & Leadership Excellence Award (posthumously)

Until his passing in April 2022, Baker was a renowned orthopedic surgeon and expert in sports medicine. Along with his service on the CSU Foundation Board of Trustees, he supported the CSU Athletics Department and served as a team physician and orthopedic consultant for many years. 

Russell D. Carreker, Frank D. Brown Achievement & Leadership Excellence Award (posthumously)

Carreker was a member of the CSU Foundation Board of Trustees, where he served as treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee until his passing in January 2022. He served on the Georgia Film Academy Steering Committee, the CSU Honors College Advisory Board, the CSU Foundation Properties Board and as CSU’s Annual Fund chair in 2011 and 2012. He was a prominent business leader who shared his talent and experience with CSU students through various campus activities. 

Dr. Brad Harris, B.A. '99, Excellence in Alumni Achievement

Harris obtained a B.A. from CSU in 1999 and was a member of the Cougar men’s basketball team. He is currently an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Albany and graduated at the top of his class from the Medical College of Georgia.

Maj. Gen. David Coburn (U.S. Army, retired), B.B.A. '83, Distinguished Alumnus in Military/Public Service

Coburn is the senior vice president of community college operations at Georgia Military College. During his time in the U.S. Army, his final assignment was as the commanding general for the United States Army Financial Management Command in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Cortney Wilson, B.A. '11 & M.S. '12, Alumni Service Award

A two-time alumnus of CSU, Wilson has been volunteering for Columbus State since the day she stepped foot on campus and recently concluded her term as president of the CSU Alumni Association. She currently chairs the CSU Athletic Association and is also the director of Columbus State’s William B. Turner Center for Servant Leadership.

Tiffany McBride, B.A. '08, Young Alumni Award

McBride completed a  B.A. at CSU in 2008 and currently is a lecturer of public relations in Columbus State’s Department of Communication. She is involved extensively in the community, serving on various boards including BRIDGE of Columbus, Urban League of Greater Columbus Young Professionals, Girls Inc., and Junior League of Columbus. 

Gerald Chichester, B.A. '13, Young Alumni Award

Chichester, a 2013 B.A. graduate of CSU, is an attorney at Fox Rothschild, LLC. He was recently awarded the Kevin A. Gooch Mentor of the Year by Emerging 100 Atlanta, and Georgia Rising Star for business litigation, which honors less than 2.5% of attorneys. 

Johnnae Roberts, Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award

Roberts serves as the diversity programs and services coordinator at Columbus State. In her role, she has been an effective sounding board and advocate for diversity education and alumni engagement. Her office has lent its expertise to CSU’s alumni programming, which continues to build on the outstanding partnership between CSU’s Diversity Programs & Services and the CSU Alumni Association.

CSU’s Alumni Recognition Awards Program begins at noon in CSU’s Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center on the university’s Main Campus. To register for the luncheon and for information about homecoming events for alumni, visit