From Happy Days to Golden Years
By Michelle Valigursky
Tom Brodnax 65Ox 68C
H. Dean Minor 38OX 40C is one of Oxford’s oldest living alumni and still is often heard to remark, “Oxford was one happy day after another.” Minor was presented with the Judson C. “Jake” Ward Golden Heart Award by the Emory Alumni Association on May 13 at the Corpus Cordis Aureum induction ceremony during Emory’s Commencement weekend.
Emory Alumni Board President Dirk Brown 90B says Minor’s generous actions speak louder than words. “Dean is a man of his word who tirelessly leads by example,” Brown says.
Minor was an elementary and high school teacher before becoming a US Army Air Corpsman during World War II in the England, North Africa, Sicily, and Italy theaters. Following the war, Minor earned his law degree and opened a private practice. His work led him briefly to the Veterans Administration as assistant chief attorney before re-entering the private sector.
Minor’s personal motto in Emory circles: “Everyone should do for Oxford, because of what Oxford did for them.” A strong proponent for annual giving, Minor established the Oxford College Minor Scholarship. He has been a consistent donor since 1969 and is a long-term member of the Oxford Alumni Board and Board of Counselors. Minor has made a multigenerational impact on Oxford College and Emory as a role model for service and giving.
The Golden Heart Award was established in May 2010 in honor of its namesake and first recipient, who would have celebrated his one hundredth birthday in June. Judson “Jake” Ward 33C 36G infused the award with values of service, generosity of spirit, and loyalty to the university. Recipients of his namesake award must be eligible members of Corpus Cordis Aureum, comprising alumni who graduated fifty or more years ago from any of Emory’s schools.