FVSU ALUMNUS THOMAS DORTCH HONORED WITH USG FOUNDATION HALL OF FAME AWARD
The University System of Georgia Foundation recently honored Fort Valley State University alumnus Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., ’72, with the Regents Hall of Fame Alumni and Distinguished Friends Award. The award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves within their fields of endeavor and exhibit an extraordinary commitment to their alma mater. Mr. Dortch was recognized at the 13th Annual Regents’ Scholarship Gala on March 31, which raised more than $1.43 million to provide need-based scholarships for the system’s institutions.
President Paul Jones, Ph.D., nominated Dortch for the award. Mr. Dortch is chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, the largest network of African-American male mentors in the nation. He is also president and CEO of TWD Conglomerate, an Atlanta-based company that includes six different businesses: TWD Inc., a private sector consulting firm with an emphasis on business development, public relations, and fundraising; Fair Consulting, a public sector consulting firm; Atlanta Transportation Systems, a non-emergency transportation service for people with disabilities; Better Dreams Mattress Manufacturing Company; Southwest Investment Group; and Lancore Parking, Inc. In addition to his prowess as a businessman, his legacy as a change-maker is also firmly established. He founded the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame (NBCAHF), co-founded the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs to advocate for minority business development, and co-founded the Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance to build capacity and enhance business development for the construction and transportation industries.
During the nomination process, Dr. Jones highlighted Dortch’s longstanding support for FVSU. “As president of Fort Valley State University, I have come to admire Mr. Dortch’s consideration of himself as a social entrepreneur, who uses his business success to help improve his community,” he said. “Despite his international acclaim, Mr. Dortch’s unwavering support of Fort Valley State never waned. In fact, I would venture to say that it increased. His commitment has been extraordinary, beginning with his presidency of the Student Government Association where he extended his active leadership into the community. He continued his service to Fort Valley State as an active alumnus and later as a member of the board of the Fort Valley State University Foundation. His key role in this capacity increased ‘friend raising’ and fundraising that led to thousands of dollars collected to provide support for students through academic, need-based, and athletic scholarships. He is one of our greatest ambassadors and answers every call to assist the university with any efforts to help achieve our mission.”
Dortch began his career as a leader in the public sphere. While a student at FVSU, he helped organize a mayoral campaign and later became associate director of the Georgia Democratic Party. He went on to become an assistant for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, serving as one of the most influential African-American Senate staffers in history. Mr. Dortch is a leader on multiple boards of directors, serving as chairman of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority, and NBCAHF. He serves on the boards of Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, and Operation HOPE (Southeastern Board). He has received dozens of national honors, including the Trumpet Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of African Americans who have succeeded against immense odds; The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Phoenix Award; the Father of The Year Award from the American Diabetes Association; Ebony Magazine’s 100 Most Influential African Americans; and a U. S. Presidential Citation for Volunteerism. He was presented with honorary doctorate degrees from Fayetteville State University, Jarvis Christian College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Livingstone College, and FVSU.
More about the Regents’ Scholarship Gala can be found here.