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Distinguished Alumni

There are thousands of GSW alumni around the world consisting of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Pulitzer Prize nominees, international athletes, countless entrepreneurs, government officials, and even a United States President. We are proud to call the following distinguished individuals Georgia Southwestern Alumni. With various accolades and humanitarian gestures, these individuals have remained dedicated to GSW after completing their education.

Jimmy Carter

Since etching his name into the newly poured cement in front of the Wheatley Administration building, Jimmy Carter has continued to leave his mark on GSW's campus. The young man from Plains became the 39th President of the United States and remains a loyal Georgia Southwestern supporter. President Carter holds an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Georgia Southwestern, and the campus library is named in honor of his father, James Earl Carter. On January 28, 2003, President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn (GSW 1946) announced that $370,000 of his Nobel Peace Prize Award would go to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development at Georgia Southwestern State University.

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Rosalynn Carter

The Vice President of the 1946 GSC Sophomore Class, Rosalynn Carter remains a loyal and active alumna. At GSC, She was a founding member of the Young Democrats Club and participated in the C.G. Club (group supporting day students) and Tumbling Club. She served as a campus marshal during her sophomore year. In 1975, Rosalynn Smith Carter was the recipient of the first Aeolian Award. The Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI), established in 1987 on the Georgia Southwestern campus, was founded in honor of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to enhance her long-standing commitments to human development and mental health. 

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Griffin Bell

The Americus native and GSW alumnus became the 72nd Attorney General of the United States, serving from 1977-1979. Before becoming Attorney General, he served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fifth circuit. Griffin Bell received The Aeolian Award in 1977 and the Leewynn J. Finklea Outstanding Alumni Award in 1993. On November 24, 1998, he accepted the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, chosen by the AASCU Board of Directors on the basis of contributions to the public, intellectual, or cultural life of the nation. 

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Jaha Dukureh

Jaha Dukureh, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and GSW alumna, earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and management online at Georgia Southwestern in 2013. That same year, she founded the non-profit organization Safe Hands for Girls, which provides support for survivors of FGM and advocates for an end to FGM practices. She was then part of the movement that successfully banned FGM in The Gambia in 2015. 

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