When Sims Garrett Jr. '31Ox'33C dropped out of Emory in his junior year to take a job selling Lucky Strike cigarettes, no one in the administration could have foreseen the role he would play in the life of the University nearly half a century later.
In 1980, several decades after leaving Emory as a student, Garrett endowed a scholarhsip for divinity students. During the five-year Emory Campaign, Garrett has contributed generously to this endowment, which underwrites the education of 10 Emory divinity students annually.
"Mr. Garrett's support of Candler is the result of his profound faith in God and commitment to the church," said R. Kevin LaGree, dean of the theology school. "Through his generosity, called men and women of God are able to respond to that call without tremendous financial burden. His life of witness is an inspiration to many."
As a tribute to Garrett and the scholarship program he endowed, the University placed a monument outside of Cannon Chapel in his honor. Topped by a large bronze eagle, the monument includes an inscription from Romans that concludes: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news."
In addition to his close connection to Emory, Garrett also is a key figure in 20th-century Georgia politics. Following his sales career with Lucky Strike and a stint selling cottonseed in south Georgia, he took a position as secretary to U.S. Rep. Stephen Pace and lived in Washington, D.C., for four years beginning in 1936. As World War II was beginning, Garrett returned to Georgia as vice president of a construction company that built Army barracks and mess halls.
Garrett's passion for political activism blossomed in the 1940s, when he was appointed vice chairman of the State Highway Department (now the Department of Transportation). After getting to know the politically powerful Talmadge family, Garrett ran for state treasurer in 1950 at the request of Gene Talmadge's son, former Gov. Herman Talmadge.
After losing that race, Garrett began a long and successful business career in the fields of automotive sales and then banking. He retired several years ago and continues to reside in Cobb County.