Brenau University conferred its top non-academic awards Thursday night on Gainesville business leader Carole Ann Carter Daniel and on third-generation Clermont dairy farmer Dixie Truelove for their service to the community and the university.
Brenau University President Ed Schrader presented the three awards Thursday night at a Chattahoochee Country Club dinner honoring close to 200 financial supporters who contributed at least $1,000 to the university’s annual fund or other programs.
“These women are both outstanding assets to this community and to Brenau University, “said Schrader. “They are both larger-than-life personalities who light up any room and they are both willing to step up and answer any call for service, and both have done exactly that.”
The university gave Truelove its Mary Mildred Sullivan Award, which was named for a19th century southern humanitarian who assisted prisoners during the Civil War and in its aftermath worked aggressively for reconciliation between the states. Truelove, who with her brother, Jerry, owns and operates one of the three remaining dairy farms in Hall County, was hailed for, among others things, her role in creating the organization Women Source, a group that focuses on education and life coaching for all women and which now has more than 300members.
Daniela Brenau alumna and a member of the university’s Board of Trustees, received the Distinguished Service to Brenau award for her helping to position the university to become a doctoral degree-granting institution. The former Hall County school teacher also worked in the family business, Carroll Daniel Construction Company, which under her leadership enjoyed the largest growth in its 65-year history. Although she sold the business to her son, Brian, in 2005,she remains active in a strategic planning role for marketing and business development.
Truelove and her husband, Mike Smith, an owner in Habersham SteelCells located in Cornelia, live in north Hall County. She graduated from the University of Georgia and two years ago she was the UGA College of Agriculture alumni of the year. Schrader joked that many young women who have Junior League leadership on their resumes might have aspired at one time to be on the cover of magazines like Vogue, Elle or Cosmopolitan. “But for Dixie, it was Dairy Today – and she made it. But that was just part of the publicity that she has amassed, individually and with her family, as a tireless spokesperson for the dairy industry locally and nationally.”
She has served in leadership roles in the Junior League as well as the county planning commission and Chamber of Commerce. The latter recognized her work with its highest award for community service. Dixie is at the front of all community development initiatives.
“If young women are today are looking for a role model, they have to look no farther than Dixie Truelove,” said Schrader. “She’s the epitome of the Mary Mildred Sullivan ideal.”
Daniels is also a Hall County native. After graduating from Brenau, she taught history for five years at Gainesville Middle School and returned to the classroom therefore another five-year teaching tenure after a 15-year hiatus. She began her involvement with the construction company to “help out” her husband, Ed, while he was serving a term as president of a construction trade association with her role evolving from bookkeeper to executive vice president for business development. After Ed died, however, she assumed more leadership in the company and, as her son, Brian, put it, presided over some of its greatest growth ever.
Schrader cited her many contributions to Brenau both financially and as a leader in various alumni and advisory roles, including her service as a trustee.
“Her family will tell you that she has been called on many, many times to shoulder the heaviest of burdens – but she always answers the call and stands for the test with grace and dignity,” he said. “It is that way with all the things shelves – her family, her community and Brenau. This award recognizes her for all of that.”
Originally published on 11/19/10