Recently, the Clayton State University Foundation, in conjunction with the law firm of Freeman, Mathis, & Gary, announced the G. Robert Oliver Scholarship for Legal Studies. Family, friends, and local officials gathered at a recent Foundation Board meeting to surprise Oliver with the announcement.
Oliver has played a significant role in the University’s development over the years. As a charter member of the Board of Trustees, he was among those who signed the charter in 1974, creating the then-Clayton State Junior College Foundation. In 1999 he was named chairman of the then-Clayton College & State University Foundation. He now serves as trustee emeritus.
In 2001, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Clayton State; President Dr. Thomas K. Harden noted that, “Mr. Oliver exemplifies the ideals of public service, conscientious stewardship of public resources and private enterprise, as well as dedication to family and community.”
Like Clayton State University, the law firm of Freeman, Mathis & Gary recognizes the contribution Oliver has made to Clayton State and the surrounding community. In recognition of his contributions, the partners of Freeman Mathis & Gary, along with the Clayton State University Foundation, created and endowed the G. Robert Oliver Scholarship for Legal Studies. This will forever link Oliver and Clayton State in a way that emphasizes the importance of education, leadership, and the legal profession.
“This scholarship being endowed will be but another lasting legacy of Bob and Joyce Oliver in this community. Bob’s firm, Freeman Mathis and Gary, is making all of this possible with the endowment. I would like to personally thank our fellow board member Jack Hancock, a partner with the firm, for everything he does for this university and continuing the tradition established by Bob,” says Leonard Moreland, president and CEO of Heritage Bank and chairman of the Clayton State University Foundation.
Clayton State began offering a variety of options in legal education in 1990, beginning with paralegal courses as a part of its continuing education program. The University graduated its first students with a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies in 2011. Currently, the University offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies, a Paralegal Certificate, an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies, and a minor in Legal Studies. More than 150 students are enrolled in a program within Legal Studies, making it one of the fastest-growing departments on campus.
Oliver received his A.B. in 1953 and LL.B. in 1959 from Emory University. He has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the State of Georgia, president of the Georgia Academy of Hospital Attorneys, president of the Clayton County Bar Association, chairman of the Code of Professional Responsibility Committee for the State Bar of Georgia, and chairman of the Code of Professional Responsibility Committee. He has also served as chair, administrative board member and Church Council member at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in Morrow, Ga.