2013 Hall of Fame Recipients
Mary Helen Mashburn McGruder
Mary Helen Mashburn McGruder is a native of Cumming, GA and a third generation graduate of the North Georgia College. After earning her degree in August, 1968 she married John P. McGruder who was, at the time, an instructor at the Frank D. Merrell Army Ranger Camp. They have two children and five grandchildren.
Mary Helen and her family returned to Cumming in 1983 where she became active in the local community. She is the founding President of the Forsyth County United Way and the Sawnee Woman’s Club. She has also served as Chairman of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, is the current Chairman of the Forsyth County Library Board of Trustees, President of the Sawnee Mountain Foundation and is an active member of her church.
In 1997, Mary Helen along with other community leaders, met to explore the possibilities of bringing the then NGCSU to Forsyth County. She worked tirelessly on that project until its completion with the opening of the Forsyth Campus of the University in the fall of 2012.
Mary Helen currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the University of North Georgia Foundation, Dahlonega Board of Trustees and was selected as a community representative on the Consolidation Implementation Committee.
E. Paul Stringer
E. Paul Stringer was born and raised in Lumpkin County, GA where he and his wife, Frankie Kanaday Stringer still live in the farmhouse his grandfather built in 1899. It is on this farm that he still raises cattle, grows hay and occasionally welcomes U.S. Army Ranger School candidates as they arrive by parachute for training at Camp Frank D. Merrill. Paul and Frankie have two sons, Steven and the late Richard Stringer. They also have two grandchildren, Rhett and Rileigh.
A 1953 graduate of North Georgia College, Paul served in Korea and upon leaving the Army began work in the insurance business in 1955. He still owns his agency with offices in Gainesville and Dahlonega. Paul is a very active member of his community having served as Director of the Chamber of Commerce, member of the Board of Directors for BB&T Dahlonega, Rotary club member, and a member of the Dahlonega Baptist Church.
Paul is a loyal member of the NGC alumni group, “Friends are Forever”. He was elected to the University’s Foundation as a member of the Board of Trustees in 2001 and currently serves as secretary. In 2008 when the campaign for North Georgia was in the beginning phase, the designated co-chair of the campaign, Mike Cottrell, asked Paul to serve with him as co-chair sighting the high level of credibility that Paul enjoys among his peers. Paul and Mike served as co-chairs and the $40M campaign finished with more than $44M raised in 2012. He was awarded the Presidential Leadership Award in 2012.
Paul and his wife Frankie have been loyal and generous supporters of all things North Georgia for many years. The Corps of Cadets, the Patriot Choir, women’s and men’s basketball, baseball, shooting sports and numerous scholarship gifts bear the marks of their generosity. They are also members of the Gold Steeple Societies and the William Price Society.