Mayor Tomlinson receives distinguished alumna award


The President of Sweet Briar College, Jo Ellen Parker, together with Board members, Administrators, and Alumnae will be in Columbus, Georgia Monday, June 11, 2012 to present Mayor Teresa Tomlinson with the Distinguished Alumna Award of 2011. This will be the first year the award will be presented in the city of the recipient. “We wanted to allow the Distinguished Alumnae to celebrate the occasion with their family and community”, said Melissa Gay, Director of Alumnae Relations.Mayor Tomlinson will be the youngest graduate to receive the honor.

Mayor Tomlinson graduated from Sweet Briar in 1987. The Alumnae Association Board established the award to honor alumnae who have brought distinction to themselves and to Sweet Briar College through outstanding accomplishments in a volunteer or professional capacity. The award will be presented by the Vice-President of the Alumnae Association at a luncheon.

Tomlinson was elected the first female mayor of Columbus, Georgia, in November 2010 with 68% of the vote. At Sweet Briar, she double majored in Government and Economics. She also obtained a Certificate in Business Management. While at Sweet Briar, Tomlinson served as Academic Affairs Chairwoman and a Resident Advisor, among other roles.

Tomlinson received her law degree from Emory University School of Law in 1991. She practiced law with the firm Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, where she specialized in complex litigation and handled nationally recognized cases such as the 1996 crash of a ValueJet airliner in the Florida Everglades, Securities and other litigation resulting from the HealthSouth fraud, and malpractice litigation against fallen accounting giant Arthur Andersen. Tomlinson practiced law for 16 years with Pope, McGlamry and was the firm's only female partner. She was admitted to practice in State and Federal courts around the country and was recognized as a “Georgia Rising Star Lawyer Under 40”.

In 2006, she became the first Executive Director of MidTown Inc., a community renewal
organization seeking to revitalize six square miles in the center of Columbus and led a
fundraising campaign that raised $1.2 million for the fledgling organization.

Over the years, Tomlinson has been recognized repeatedly for her community
involvement. The Columbus City Council honored her three times for her work on
government-appointed boards and task force committees. The Georgia House of
Representatives recognized her as an Outstanding Volunteer. In addition, Tomlinson
received a Certificate of Special U.S. Congressional Recognition for “outstanding
achievement, service and public distinction.” She was also named a Columbus Woman
on the Rise and Exceptional Role Model in Business and a Concharty Council of Girl
Scouts Woman of Achievement.

A member of the Sweet Briar Boxwood Circle Committee for nine years, Tomlinson has
been involved in many alumnae activities. Twice, she helped to raise funds for her alma
mater as a member of her class' Reunion Gifts Committee.

With this Distinguished Alumnae Award, Tomlinson joins the ranks of Sarah Porter
Boehmler (first female senior vice president of the American Stock Exchange); Patsy
Smith Ticer (Virginia State Senator and first female Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia); Jo
Ann Soderquist Kramer (Director of Naval Defense System Programs for General
Dynamic Corporation); Anne Litle Poulet (Director of the Frick Collection in New York
City and Curator Emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) and Joanne Holbrook
Patton (National Volunteer Consultant for the American Red Cross and Director of the
National Military Family Association).

Sweet Briar College is a liberal arts women's college located in Sweet Briar, Virginia.
The College was founded in 1901 and sits on 3,300 acres in the foothills of the Blue
Ridge Mountains. The College is consistently ranked on Princeton Reviews' “Best
Colleges”, Forbe's “America's Best Colleges” and U.S. News and World Reports'
“America's Best Colleges”. Sweet Briar offers 50 undergraduate courses, three preprofessional
programs (Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Veterinary) and two graduate