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Vanderbilt’s Peabody College honors University System of Georgia chancellor emeritus with Distinguished Alumnus Award

May. 9, 2003, 11:30 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College honored H. Dean Propst, chancellor emeritus of the University System of Georgia, with its 2003 Distinguished Alumnus Award during commencement Friday, May 9.

“Over the course of his career, H. Dean Propst has embodied many of the ideals associated with Peabody College. These include a love of lifelong learning and a commitment to public service. As chancellor of the University System of Georgia, Dean Propst worked tirelessly to promote educational access for underserved populations. We are pleased to recognize these contributions through the Distinguished Alumnus Award,” said Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at Peabody College.

Graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forest University, Propst received a master’s degree from Peabody College in 1959, followed by his doctorate in 1964. He also served two years in the U.S. Navy.

In 1979, he joined the Board of Regents’ staff of the University System of Georgia as vice chancellor for academic development, then vice chancellor and executive vice chancellor. In 1984, he was appointed chancellor – a title he held until his retirement in 1994. Under Propst’s leadership the system saw explosive growth, major investment in construction and increases in academic standards.

Propst began his career as a high school English instructor in Vandalia, Ohio, moving into higher education as a temporary instructor at Wake Forest University. In 1962, he was hired by Radford College, now Radford University, where he served as assistant, associate and then professor of English, ultimately becoming chairman of the English department. In 1969, he was appointed dean of Armstrong State College, now Armstrong Atlantic State University, in Savannah, Ga. He later became vice president and dean of the faculty.

Propst has served on the Board of Visitors of Radford University, the executive committee of the National Consortium for Education Access, and the Board of Trustees of the University Center in Georgia.

His civic involvements have included the Family Counseling Center of Savannah, the Savannah Symphony, Georgia Public Television Commission, Savannah Heart Association, the Savannah West Rotary Club and the United Way. He also served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology Development, the executive committee of Partnership for Excellence in Education, as general chairman of the State Charitable Contributions Program and the board of directors of the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology.

Media contact: Princine Lewis, 615-322-NEWS,