November 16, 2011

Alumni benefactors receive local philanthropy awards

Wendell Reilly and Mary Reilly

Ben Johnson III

Two Emory alumni and dedicated supporters have been honored by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for their leadership and generosity to Emory University and a variety of charitable causes in the Atlanta area.

Wendell Reilly '80C was honored as 2011 Philanthropist of the Year and Ben Johnson III '65C was given the 2011 Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Award at the AFP's "Leading Through Giving: An Atlanta Tradition” event celebrating the 27th annual National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 8. Both men serve on Emory's Board of Trustees; Johnson has been chairman since 2000.

Reilly is managing partner of Grapevine Partners, a family office and private investment company, and has recently joined Berman Capital Advisors as chairman. 

He was nominated for the award by—and recognized for his commitment to—Emory University, with supporting nominations from Hands on Atlanta, The Paideia School, and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. He serves on the board of The Paideia School and on the investment committee of The Community Foundation. The Community School (of Decatur), Georgia Organics and CARE are a few of the many organizations he and his family support in the Atlanta community.

Reilly has been a steadfast supporter of Emory, where he serves on the board of trustees and serves as volunteer chairman for Emory College of Arts and Sciences for Campaign Emory, the university's ambitious $1.6 billion fundraising endeavor.

Reilly and his wife, Mary Reilly '81C-'00T, have been longtime contributors to Emory supporting Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Candler School of Theology, the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, and Oxford College, among other priorities. The Reillys' contributions have provided financial aid for students, centered mostly on Emory Advantage, a financial aid program for undergraduates.

In addition to the Board of Trustees, Reilly serves as volunteer chairman for Emory College for Campaign Emory, the University's ambitious $1.6 billion fundraising endeavor.

"Emory's vision is to be a destination university, a sought-after intellectual home for both students and faculty. Wendell understands this mission in its fullest breadth and never fails to devote his interest, time and energy to where he thinks we need the greatest support," says Robin Forman, dean of Emory College.

Johnson, retired managing partner at the law firm Alston & Bird, has served on the Emory's Board of Trustees since 1995. Johnson was honored by AFP for his contributions to the greater Atlanta community, having been nominated by the Woodward Academy, where he serves as chairman of the governing board, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where he recently completed a term as chairman of the board of directors.

Johnson's gifts to Emory began shortly after his graduation in 1965 and have benefitted a wide range of programs, from scholarships at Emory Law and programs at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, to the Emory College Fund for Excellence and support for students through Campus Life initiatives. In addition to his many contributions to Emory, Johnson lends his philanthropic support and leadership to several organizations and causes, including The Carter Center, the YMCA, and The Woodruff Arts Center.

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