Oglethorpe commencement speakers shape Atlanta’s future

Incoming Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall and philanthropist Harald Hansen help shape Atlanta’s business, education and philanthropic future. These three Atlanta leaders will speak at Oglethorpe University’s commencement ceremony May 10 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the academic quadrangle.

Joining the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta 30 years ago and rising to CEO, Kent is responsible for the company’s operations and marketing in Asia, the Middle East and Central Europe. Kent is a Foreign Policy Association Fellow and a board member of the Special Olympics and Woodruff Arts Center.

In less than 10 years Dr. Hall has increased student test scores and renovated sagging facilities for Atlanta Public Schools. Hall was honored as Superintendent of the Year by the Council of the Great City Schools and by the National Association of Black School Educators. Georgia Trend has named her twice to its “100 Most Influential Georgians” and the Atlanta Business League inducted her into its Women’s Hall of Fame.

Retiring recently, president and CEO of First Union Corporation of Georgia, Hansen has served on multiple boards, including the Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees. He garnered many accolades during his career, including Minority Business Advocate of the Year, the American Jewish Committee’s Institute of Human Relations Award and Distinguished Service Awards from the Empire Real Estate Board and the Atlanta Business League.

Hansen serves on the Board of Directors of Crystal River Capital, Hyperion Strategic Bond Fund and Georgia Commerce Bancshares.

AFS offers summer study abroad programs

A study abroad experience can be a valuable addition to a college application, and so much more.

For high school students, including those about to graduate, there is still time to apply for an AFS summer study abroad program or ‘gap year’ experience. These include programs for this summer, which offers students the opportunity to learn about another country, become part of a local community, and see the world.

AFS (formerly the American Field Service) has been sending high school students abroad for 60 years.

AFS can provide advice or create a connection between those interested and those students who have just returned. Financial aid is still available, especially if the student allows AFS to suggest a destination. Call 1-800-AFS-INFO today or visit www.afs.org/usa to learn more.

Rookie robotics teams compete internationally

This year The Westminster Schools joined the International US FIRST Robotics Community with two teams in the elementary school, two teams in the junior high (called the RoboCats), and one team in the high school, the WiredCats.

One of the junior high teams advanced to the state finals and our high school team (No. 2415), won the two top awards for a Rookie Team at the Peachtree Regionals, which took place March 13-15 at the Gwinnett Civic Center.

In the end, team No. 2415 won the Top Seeded Rookie Team Award and the Rookie All Star Award. The Rookie All Star Award automatically qualified Westminster to compete in the International Championship at the Georgia Dome on April 17-19.

“It was exciting they got to participate in an international competition as a first year rookie team,” robotics team coach Dr. Valerie Bennett said.

Christian rock band visits Mt. Vernon Presbyterian

Australian Contemporary Christian band “Revive” made a guest appearance at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Upper School, located at 471 Mount Vernon Highway, on April 10 for a special performance.

Revive is currently on a nationwide tour with popular American Contemporary Christian band Third Day.

Band members include lead singer, Dave Hanbury, guitarist Tyler Hall, bassist Rich Thompson and drummer Mike Tenkate. The band performed in front of about 400 youth for about a half hour.