Homer Rice Honored with Dean's Appreciation Award at Ivan Allen College Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony

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Members of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts family gathered at the Historic Academy of Medicine on April 13 for the second annual Ivan Allen College Distinguished Alumni Awards, an event celebrating the accomplishments of innovative and influential alumni.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor graduates from each of the six academic schools in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. These individuals have achieved notable success in their profession and may have contributed significantly to the College, the Institute, or the public welfare. Recipients are selected by the schools.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Dean's Appreciation Award to legendary football coach and former Georgia Tech athletic director Homer Rice. During his 17 years as athletic director, Rice resuscitated the Institute's athletic programs and developed his Total Person Concept, which is the model for today's NCAA Life Skills Program that is in place at universities throughout the nation. 

Dean Jacqueline Royster and Provost Rafael Bras gave remarks about Rice's accomplishments at Georgia Tech. In addition, Ivan Allen College faculty and Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson discussed Rice's lasting impact on the Institute in a pair of heartfelt videos that were played during the ceremony. Rice, upon receiving his award, gave a speech in which he reminisced about how nearly becoming a Georgia Tech football recruit in the 1940s laid the groundwork for his subsequent contributions to the Institute.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honorees are as follows: 

★ Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Awards ★

Jennifer Abrams 
(Public Policy)

Graduate Student
Gene Kansas
(Digital Media)

Kenneth J. Knoespel
(Literature, Media, and Communication and History and Sociology)

★ Distinguished Alumni Trailblazer Awards ★

School of Modern Languages
Benjamin Bennett  
(IAML - French 2012)
Student at Science Po

School of History and Sociology
The Honorable Michelle L.H. Homier  
(HTS 1999)
State Court, Cherokee County

School of Public Policy
Susan Van Aacken  
(MS PP 1999)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

★ Distinguished Alumni Pioneer Awards ★

School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Ayoka Chenzira
(Ph.D. DM 2011)
Spelman College

Sam Nunn School of International Affairs
David Cooper  
(IA 1996)
Anglicotech, LLC

School of Economics
Richard House Jr.  
(ECON 1985)
Joe Mack Ventures

★ Dean’s Appreciation Award ★

Homer Rice 
Legendary Football Coach and Georgia Tech Athletic Director

View photos from the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Daniel Singer
  • Created:04/14/2016
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016