Longtime Friend of Georgia Southern University, Eugene M. Bishop Passes Away
Georgia Southern University lost longtime friend and dedicated supporter Eugene M. Bishop on Wednesday March 23, 2011. Bishop, who lived in Dawsonville, Ga., played a pivotal role over the years during the University’s growth to nearly 20,000 students.
“Georgia Southern has lost a great friend, leader, and role model with the passing of Gene Bishop,” said Brooks Keel, President of Georgia Southern University. “Gene’s love and support of Georgia Southern were unmatched and he will be greatly missed.”
Georgia Southern will dedicate the first home football game of the 2011 season on Sept. 10, 2011 to Bishop. The University will recognize the longtime benefactor and thank his family for his contributions and service during a special ceremony. “I want to encourage the entire Eagle Nation to attend the game and show their appreciation for Gene’s support of Georgia Southern,” said Keel.
Bishop’s many contributions can be seen on some of the most visible buildings on campus. The campus facilities bearing his name include the Bishop Field House at Allen E. Paulson Stadium. Constructed in 2006, the facility houses home and visitor locker rooms, meeting and hospitality space and has become the gathering spot for Georgia Southern supporters on game day. Because of his generosity and support of Eagle Athletics, Bishop was the single largest contributor to the Georgia Southern Athletics Department.
In addition to his support of Eagle Athletics, Bishop made numerous donations to Georgia Southern’s College of Business Administration and Office of Alumni Relations.
In 2009, he provided the lead gift to construct the Eugene M. Bishop Alumni Center. The impressive 12,000-square-foot Center, which was formally opened on August 27, 2009, houses the University’s Office of Alumni Relations, Advancement Services, Annual Giving, Governmental Relations and the Office of Development.
Equally impressive was Bishop’s leadership on numerous boards and committees within the University. He served two years as Chairman of the Southern Boosters (now Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation, Inc). In 2003, he was named Georgia Southern’s recipient of the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award, recognizing individuals who have made a great impact on their respective institution. In 2000, he was awarded the Georgia Southern University Honorary Doctor of Letters to honor his service, support and contributions. He is a past recipient of the prestigious President’s Medal recognizing extraordinary contributions to Georgia Southern and the Friend of the University Award presented by the Georgia Southern University Alumni Association.
Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on March 25th at Dahlonega Funeral Home. Funeral and memorial services will be held on March 26th at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Dawsonville.
The Bishop family has requested that honorariums and memorial contributions be made to a Georgia Southern University Foundation scholarship in memory of Gene Bishop. Contributions may be sent to the Georgia Southern University Foundation, P.O. Box 8053, Statesboro, GA 30460.