The Rotary Club of Gainesville, Ga., and the northeast Georgia district of the international organization on Feb. 11 presented Brenau President Ed Schrader with its W. Lee Arrendale Vocational Excellence Award for his role in spearheading the growth in career-oriented academic programs at the university.
The Schrader record during his eight years as Brenau president includes what presenter Abit Massey described as “one of the most significant, if not the most significant, developments in Brenau history” – initiating the development of Brenau Downtown Center in Gainesville as the home for health care professions preparation programs, including a doctorate in physical therapy.
“In the short time that Ed Schrader has been part of this community, he has made significant impact in its development that people need to recognize,” said Massey, a former Brenau trustee whose wife, Kayanne, is a Brenau alumna. Massey, one of the most influential behind-the-scenes political figures in Georgia as the top advocate for the state’s poultry industry, received the Arrendale award himself in 1995 and nominated his fellow Rotarian, Schrader, for this year’s honor.
Schrader, Massey said, has been a key figure in the evolution of the vocational landscape of the area because of his “practical and visionary growth strategy” for Brenau. Schrader not only emphasizes growth of Brenau operations at home but also around the world. That is particularly true in China, where Schrader leveraged previous relationships to establish formal partnerships with three major higher education institutions, including the largest women’s university in the country.
Typical of the vision was Schrader’s actions that led to the university’s acquiring a long-term lease for the Georgia Mountains Center, the city-owned former money-losing convention center that will be recast as the home for a physical therapy doctoral program and other health professions preparation. At the same time, Massey added, Schrader has bolstered traditional Brenau strength, including building the music program with an initiative to position Brenau as an all-Steinway piano school and a tighter relationship with the John Jarrard Foundation.
Schrader also built on the Brenau legacy in fine arts by establishing Brenau as the first academic partner for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
Rotary International District 6910 and the Rotary Club of Habersham County established the W. Lee Arrendale Award during Rotary year 1990-91 as part of the District’s ongoing efforts in its vocational service program. Arrendale was an effective leader and worker in poultry associations but also worked extensively as a Rotarian, community leader and business leader.
The award recognizes the service of the recipient to society through excellence in one’s vocation and promotes high ethical standards in the community by recognizing those individuals who most highly exhibit Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.”