Inspiring the next generation
James H. Shepherd Jr. (BBA ’73) receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at UGA’s Dec. 16 commencement ceremony from (left to right) Terry College Dean Robert Sumichrast, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jere Morehead and President Michael F. Adams. Shepherd, founder and chairman of the Atlanta-based Shepherd Center, delivered the keynote address to more than 2,200 undergraduates. When he graduated from UGA in 1973, Shepherd set out on a backpacking trip around the world. While bodysurfing at a beach in Rio de Janeiro he was slammed to the ocean floor by a wave, sustaining a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Two years later he founded the Shepherd Center, which specializes in medical treatment, research, and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord or brain injury.