Thursday, September 13, 2018

Saddlers at the 2018 University of Georgia 40 Under 40 Awards ~ A Most Improbable Family Experience

Sandy and Belle Saddler are graduates of a Southeastern Conference university in a state to the west of Georgia. We make no mention of such institutions by name if we can help it.

Weeks ago Sandy opened an email from his son Latham. It bore the good news that Latham had been selected to receive an award.

Sandy clicked a link and read further. He soon stumbled upon something interesting. He closed the link and called to wife Belle.

"Honey, come look at this."

Belle obliged. "What is it?"

"Just look."

"Oh my! Latham! This is fantastic!"

"Click the link."

"Now what?"

"Just click the link and read."

"What is this about? What more is there?"

"Belle, just read."

Belle did as requested.

"Oh good Lord! Lauren too?! I've got to sit down."

Sandy and Belle were having a good day. In fact, this was a day no parents of UGA students have ever experienced or may likely experience again.

They just learned that both their son and daughter were to be recipients of 
University of Georgia's 40 Under 40 Award. UGA bestows such recognition to remarkable high achievers no older than 39 years and 364 days.

More remarkable still is neither their son or daughter knew the other was a recipient. Busy Latham had simply forwarded the email without having read the entire thing. Lauren was in Europe and knew nothing about any of it.

The Saddler family moved often with Sandy's career promotions. They settled in Charlotte long enough to get three kids through their high school years.

Lauren, the oldest, wisely shunned her parents' alma mater in favor of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at UGA.

Latham, three years younger, also aspired to shun his parents' alma mater, though he initially had his heart set on Florida State. 

Lauren told Latham to think again. Lauren is one bright woman.

Latham pursued a UGA Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics, accompanied by numerous prestigious certificates.

Somehow Lauren parlayed journalism into an exceptionally successful wealth management career.

Somehow Latham parlayed economics into an exceptionally successful military intelligence career.

Not too shabby for two siblings under the age of 39 years, 364 days.

On September 13, 2018, the University of Georgia hosted the 40 Under 40 Awards luncheon at Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium. Sandy and Belle Latham were twice as proud as any parents in the audience. If you do not understand why, go back to the top and read this again.

Not mentioned here is Sandy and Belle's third child, Ashby, a source of yet more pride for the Saddler family. In 2003 Ashby made significant UGA news of his own. Ashby's inspirational story is the subject for another day.