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Former regent to speak at SPSU Summer Commencement

Former regent to speak at SPSU Summer Commencement


JULY 30, 2014 – Willis J. Potts, who formerly represented SPSU on the Board of Regents of the University System and was at one time its chair, will speak at SPSU’s 110th Commencement ceremony on Sat., Aug. 2.

Approximately 215 SPSU students are scheduled to receive their degrees during the 10 a.m. ceremony in the Gymnasium.

Potts, who has regularly attended SPSU’s commencement ceremonies over the years, retired in 2004 as vice president and general manager of Temple-Inland Corporation in Rome, Ga., following a 35-year career in the international pulp and paper industry. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors for CatchMark Timber Trust in Atlanta and is vice chair of the board of J&J Flooring Group of Dalton.

Potts graduated with honors in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech and completed the Executive Program at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni at Georgia Tech in 2008 and received the Dean Griffin Community Service Award from the Georgia Tech Alumni Association in 2010.

Potts dedicates a large amount of his time to philanthropic, educational and civic organizations, including the United Way, the Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs and the March of Dimes. From 2006 through 2012, Potts served on the Board of Regents, representing the 11th Congressional District. He chaired the board in 2010-11. He is past chairman of both the Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce and the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority and is currently involved with the mentoring program “Communities in Schools” and Mercy Care Rome. In 2008, Potts was honored with Rome’s Heart of the Community Award.