Celebration honors Jon Hershey and David Mathis while raising money for scholarships and GHC programs

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) held a celebration in honor of Jon Hershey and David Mathis this week which helped raise money for scholarships and GHC programs.

The two recent retirees were honored as “champions in the community” for their dedication and combined 66 years of service to GHC and the local community. (Read more about Jon Hershey and David Mathis at the end of this article.)

Proceeds from the event will directly impact students, scholarships, and GHC programs such as Foundation Camp, Charger Athletics, and others endorsed by Hershey and Mathis.

Gold Level sponsors included Novelis and Jerry W. Shelton.

Music was provided by Little County Giants and Laughlin, and catering was provided by Bonez and Gristles.

GHC would like to extend a special thanks to all the generous sponsors and donors who contributed to this event. Please visit bootsandbbq.highlands.edu for a full list of sponsors.

Jonathan Hershey, Ph.D.

Georgia Highlands College 1983-2021

Jonathan Hershey began his career as a Temporary Instructor of English at Floyd Junior College in 1983 and has served as the Dean of Humanities and Professor of English at GHC since 2010. His other roles have included Director of Georgia Highlands African American and Minority Male Excellence (GHAME) and Brother 2 Brother – two initiatives to improve college success rates for minority men. Dr. Hershey has received numerous GHC, local, and state awards for his youth advocacy and service, including the Governor’s Award in the Humanities, Child Advocate of the Year by the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, the MLK Commission Community Service Award, and the African American Male Initiative Leadership Award. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in English and Creative Writing from Georgia State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative from the University of Alabama. He and his wife reside in Rome.

Thomas David Mathis

Georgia Highlands College 1993-2021

David Mathis has spent 29 years at Georgia Highlands College, serving as Director of Athletics and the Kinesiology and Wellness Program Manager as well as Tournament Director for the Georgia High School Association basketball tournaments held at GHC each year. He has helped to raise money for non-traditional student scholarships, and his work as Co-Camp Administrator for the GHC Foundation Camp has helped at-risk males ages 10-14 to engage in athletic, academic and character-building activities. Additional accomplishments include numerous volunteer service awards, a 2019 induction into the Rome-Floyd Sports Hall of Fame, and being named a Heart of the Community Award recipient. Mathis also serves as Chairman of the Rome-Floyd County Litter and Blight Task Force and the Rome-Floyd County Land Bank Authority. He is married and has three grown children.