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Oxford College sports legend among Heroes, Saints & Legends honorees

OXFORD, Ga. — An Oxford College legend joined Hank Aaron’s widow and a retired banker and arts center CEO in being honored recently for their work in the community during the annual Heroes, Saints & Legends Awards celebration.

Judy Greer was the first woman promoted to full professor at Oxford and coached the college’s women’s tennis teams to three runner-up finishes in the National Junior College Athletic Association Regional Tennis Tournament.

She and Billye Aaron, widow of the baseball legend and a retired educator and nonprofit executive; and Virginia Hepner, retired president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, former banker and current director of Cadence Bank and other businesses and nonprofits, received the awards Sept. 15.

The Georgia United Methodist Foundation and Wespath Institutional Investments sponsored the event which honors extraordinary individuals who have shaped the community through a lifetime commitment to leadership, service, and philanthropy. 

Funds raised through the Heroes, Saints & Legends event benefit the mission and ministry of Wesley Woods, which includes financial assistance with meals and housing, wellness programming, and pastoral care to older adults living in Wesley Woods communities.

About 280 attended the Sept. 15 ceremony at Flourish Buckhead and raised a record-breaking $465,000 to benefit Wesley Woods communities. 

Greer was inducted into the Emory Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and is a recipient of Oxford’s first Fleming Award for Excellence in Teaching, the R. Carl Chandler Award from the Oxford College Board of Counselors..  

Greer was a member of LaGrange College’s first women’s athletic teams from 1955-57. She earned her undergraduate degree from LaGrange College, master’s degree in physical education and counseling from Auburn University, and doctorate in physical education and higher education from the University of Georgia.

After her retirement, members of the Oxford College Class of 1959 established a scholarship in her name and have maintained it for more than two decades.

In recent years, she became a benefactor of Oxford College.

But she also chose to remain heavily involved in the community with service on the Newton County Recreation Board and active membership in Allen Memorial United Methodist Church in Oxford. 

The Newton County recreation legend’s community work also included participation in American Cancer Society projects, and helping bring about the establishment of the Covington Family YMCA in 2000.

She worked to teach Newton County seniors to stay active by leading exercise and other classes at the Y following her retirement.

Greer received the Metro Atlanta YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award, and was recognized by the Points of Light Foundation for her work with senior adults.

She also is a past recipient of the prestigious R.O. Arnold Award from the Newton Chamber of Commerce, which is given to someone “who has continued to give back to our community,” according to the Chamber of Commerce.

Among her other accolades are the LaGrange College Distinguished Alumna Award, the University of Georgia Graduate Alumna Award, was in the inaugural class of the LaGrange College Sports Hall of Fame, and presented an Outstanding Georgia Citizen certificate honoring “Women Sports Trailblazers” sponsored by the Georgia Commission on Women in celebration of Women’s History Month.

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