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Coastal Georgia's First Executive-in-Residence Retires
Posted 09/04/2020 02:10PM

Reg Murphy, noted businessman, author, and civic leader, will be stepping down as the Brown Family Executive-in-Residence at the School of Business and Public Management at the College of Coastal Georgia. Murphy was selected to be the first executive-in-residence and served in this role since 2012. He will be named Executive-in-Residence Emeritus in honor of his dedication to the College.

"I appreciate all that he has done for us and the College," said Dr. Skip Mounts, dean of the School of Business and Public Management. "He has blessed us with his time, his kindness, and his knowledge."

As executive-in-residence, Murphy became a favorite among faculty and across campus. He moderated the Coastal Conversations on Leadership series, where he discussed leadership and management with local leaders; shared his career experience and insights with students; talked with faculty about their work and research; and opened his door to anyone who wanted to stop by and visit.

In 2009, Murphy chaired the Athletic Futures Committee that created the vision and strategy for athletics when the College became a four-year institution. He is a founding member of the Friends of Mariners, now known as the Mariners Club. The College's Murphy-Kuchar Putting Green was named in honor of Murphy, who is an avid golfer, and golfer Matt Kuchar, another benefactor of the College's sports program. Murphy is also a two-time College of Coastal Georgia Foundation Volunteer of the Year award winner for 2011 and 2014.

Murphy's contributions to the College have been substantial, which is why the Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies in the School of Business rightfully bears his name. The center was originally called the Coastal Georgia Center for Economic Development Analysis and Student Research. It was created by Mounts and Dr. Don Mathews, professor of economics and director of the Reg Murphy Center, to formally share economic and public policy insight with the local community. As Murphy embraced his role as executive-in-residence, Mathews and Assistant Professor of Public Management Dr. Mary Eleanor Wickersham suggested naming the Center after him. The Center was dedicated to Murphy in October 2015.

Murphy said he was honored by the gesture.

"To have a scholarly center bear your name is quite an honor for an old scribbler like me. It has been a great pleasure to be associated with these highly intelligent faculty members and great teachers. I think I learned as much from them as any regular student ever could have," Murphy said. "Many young people come to the College of Coastal Georgia with big dreams but very little real-world experience in business and the professions. The Center is a place for them to get insight and broaden their horizons."

One of things he enjoyed as executive-in-residence was watching young minds grapple with the puzzles of learning how to build business models, think about criminal justice, and how to become leaders. He said he found that more entertaining than attending any sporting event or theatrical presentation. Murphy recalled attending one of Mount's entrepreneurship classes and witnessed how two students developed a business plan to infuse morning coffee with a daily vitamin treatment from start to finish. He described what he watched as "manufacturing, macroeconomics, leadership, and economic forecasting all rolled into one adventure."

"With the help of the faculty and their own explorations of what could be, they will change the enterprises they join and the communities they lead," Murphy said. "The College's effort to expand student insight by helping them find internships with real entrepreneurs is a great boon to the budding businesspeople. What a privilege it has been to watch them become more of what the world needs."

Murphy will be greatly missed. Upon hearing of his departure, faculty expressed their gratitude for his service to the College:

Associate Professor of Management Jim Fullerton said, "It's been an honor and a privilege to work with Reg, not just in the classroom, but on the Coastal Conversations on Leadership series in particular. His interviews with three college presidents, our mayor, and many business and community leaders were always highlights of learning and fun during the school year. Thank you, Reg, for lending us your expertise and deep perspective."

Assistant Professor of Economics Melissa Trussell said, "I have enjoyed chatting with him from time to time, and also having him visit in my classrooms. He has been great to have around."

Mathews said, "Thank you for everything, especially for demonstrating with your life that the most important virtues for a scholar are intellectual honesty, integrity, and humility. That is why we named our little shop the Reg Murphy Center—it commits us to the highest standard in scholarship."

Lecturer of Criminal Justice Cynthia Atwood said, "Thank you for your service as our Executive-in-Residence! Your life experience and wisdom you shared with my classes enhanced their education immeasurably! I have no doubt this is the information they will remember from their college classes. How often do you get to hear from someone's first-person perspective on being on the ground at the Berlin Wall when discussing immigration and border security? Or the feelings about victimization from both physical and financial crimes in criminal justice and security?"

Murphy's time at the College is now a part of his already remarkable career. He served as president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, president and publisher of the Baltimore Sun, publisher and editor of the San Francisco Examiner, and editor of the Atlanta Constitution. Because of his love for golf, Murphy joined the executive committee of the U.S. Golf Association in 1989, served as vice president of the USGA in 1992, chairman of the Championship Committee in 1993, and president in 1994. He co-chaired the World Amateur Golf Federation in 1994 and captained the U.S. team for the 1998 World Amateur Championship in Santiago, Chili.

The College is honored to have such a wonderful person like Murphy become a permanent part of its history and legacy.

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