Two Halves of a Golden Heart

By Michelle Valigursky

Image of presentation of Golden Heart

DOUBLY HONORED J. Joseph Edwards and Patricia Carter Edwards were jointly presented the 2014 Judson C. Ward "Jake's" Golden Heart Award.

J. Joseph “Joe” Edwards 54OX 56B 58B and Patricia “Pat” Carter Edwards 61C have shared many things over the years— and now, something new. Together they were honored with the 2014 Judson C. Ward “Jake’s” Golden Heart Award during Commencement weekend.

“We are humbled to be receiving this,” says Pat Edwards. “We still have a hard time believing it.”

The Edwardses accepted their Emory Alumni Association award at the May 11 Corpus Cordis Aureum induction ceremony.

“We’ve been a team now for more than fifty years,” Joe Edwards says. “It’s very appropriate that we received this award together. What we have done for Emory has been a labor of love and only partial payment for the positive influence it has had on our lives over the decades.”

Established in May 2010 in honor of Judson “Jake” Ward 33C 36G, the Jake’s Golden Heart Award is bestowed on alumni who have demonstrated values of service, generosity of spirit, and loyalty to the university. Recipients of the award must be eligible members of Corpus Cordis Aureum, comprising alumni who graduated fifty or more years ago from any of Emory’s schools. The Edwardses are the fifth and sixth recipients of the award.

The Edwardses have been alumni leaders for strategic planning and fund-raising at Oxford College for more than forty years. Joe Edwards was an active fund-raiser for the Hugh and Gena Tarbutton Performing Arts Center and the Oxford College Library and has been a loyal supporter of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was the Oxford College cochair for Campaign Emory and served on the Oxford Board of Counselors for decades, chairing the board from 1998 to 2000. He received the 2002 R. Carl Chandler Award for Lifetime Service to Oxford College and the Oxford Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2006. Additionally, he received the 2000 Goizueta Business School Alumni Entrepreneurship Award.

CEO of United Bank Corporation in Barnesville, Georgia, he has served on the Emory Board of Visitors and the Goizueta Advisory Board.

Pat Edwards, a former teacher, has served as chair of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board, the Georgia Trust Board, and the Georgia National Register Board, and as a member of the Joe Frank Harris Education Review Commission. She is active in Barnesville civic organizations, serving on the boards of the Barnesville-Lamar Community Foundation, the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, the Barnesville-Lamar County Library, and the Azalea Garden Club.

Together, the Edwardses received the Barnesville-Lamar Outstanding Citizen Award in 2005. The Edwardses have two sons, Chris Edwards and his wife, Michelle; and James J. Edwards Jr. 87B and his wife, Laura Starr Edwards 88C; and seven grandchildren. The Edwardses established the Bradley Patrick Edwards Leadership Award in memory of their son, Brad Edwards, who died in an auto accident the fall of his freshman year at Oxford. The endowment provides scholarship awards for two Oxford students each year. The Learning Commons in the new Oxford College Library also is named for Brad Edwards.

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