AWARD: 2014 Jake's Golden Heart Award - Joe and Pat Edwards

2014 Jake's Golden Heart Award for J. Joseph Edwards 54Ox 56B 58B and Patricia Carter Edwards 61C

By Michelle Valigursky

On May 11, 2014 at the Corpus Cordis Aureum induction ceremony during Emory Commencement Weekend, J. Joseph Edwards 54Ox 56B 58B and Patricia Carter Edwards 61C will be presented with the Judson C. Ward “Jake’s” Golden Heart Award by the Emory Alumni Association. The Edwards will be the award’s fifth and sixth recipients.

The Edwards have been alumni leaders for strategic planning and fundraising at Oxford College for more than 40 years. Joe was actively involved in fund raising for the Hugh and Gena Tarbutton Performing Arts Center and the Oxford Library.  He was the Oxford co-chair of the Emory Campaign.  He has served on the Oxford Board of Counselors for decades, chairing the Board from 1998-2000. He received the 2002 R. Carl Chandler Award for Lifetime Service to Oxford College, and the Oxford Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2006.  Additionally, he received The 2000 Goizueta Business School Alumni Entrepreneurship Award.  He served on the Emory Board of Visitors and the Goizueta Advisory Board.  He has been a loyal supporter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Together the Edwards established the Bradley Patrick Edwards Leadership Award in memory of their son, Brad, and this endowment now provides for two Edwards Scholars each year. The Learning Commons in the new Oxford College Library is named for Brad. Closer to home, the Edwards family helped to fund the J. Joel Edwards Library, and the Allie B. Edwards Senior Citizen Center to honor Joe’s parents.

Joe, CEO of United Bank Corporation, with 16 banking offices across central Georgia, additionally served as President of the Georgia Bankers Association, Chairman of the American Bankers Association Community Bankers Council, and member of the ABA Board of Directors. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, and the Georgia Student Finance Commission. In his local community he was an organizer of the Barnesville Lamar Community Foundation and served as a member of the Gordon State College Foundation and president of the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.  Joe is a Life Deacon of the First Baptist Church of Barnesville.

Pat Edwards, a former teacher, has served as Chair of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board, Chair of the Georgia Trust Board, Chair of the Georgia National Register Board, and a member of the Joe Frank Harris Education Review Commission.  She is active in Barnesville civic organizations serving on The Barnesville Lamar Community Foundation Board, the Ferst Literacy Board, the Barnesville Lamar Library Board, and the Azalea Garden Club.

The Edwards received the Barnesville-Lamar Outstanding Citizen Award in 2005.  They have two sons, Jim (‘87B) and Chris, and seven grandchildren.

The Jake’s Golden Heart award was established in May 2010 in honor of its namesake and first recipient.  Dr. Judson “Jake” Ward 33C 36G demonstrated values of service, generosity of spirit, and loyalty to the university. Recipients of his namesake award must be eligible members of Corpus Cordis Aureum, comprising alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago from any of Emory’s schools.

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Michelle Valigursky