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Mr. Donald M. Leebern, Jr.

Leebern

At the 2013 Celeberation of Support Donald M. Leebern, Jr. was recognized as a member of the Abraham Baldwin Society for his exceptional leadership and generous contributions to the University of Georgia.

Don has spent much of his life serving the citizens of Georgia — during the past twenty years he has devoted his time, energy and financial resources to support higher education in the state and at the University of Georgia. His gifts to UGA total more than $7 million reaching almost every corner of campus including the Athletic Association, External Affairs, the School of Public and International Affairs, the Terry College of Business, the Performing and Visual Arts Center and many special projects.

The Leebern Celebration of Support video:

As a college student, Don studied Business Administration and played varsity football in 1957, 1958 and 1959 under legendary Coach Wally Butts. Nearing graduation, he left the University upon his father's death and returned to Columbus to support his family. Don accepted the challenge of leading the family business, now known as Georgia Crown Distributing Company, as they expanded wholesale operations into three southern states, building an empire in the beverage distribution business.

Leebern has given generously across campus, and his largest support has primarily benefited the University of Georgia's athletic endeavors endowing four scholarships for football and gymnastics and supporting numerous athletic programs including baseball, golf, tennis and basketball. Helping fund 34 full student scholarships over the last ten years, Don has provided unprecedented opportunities to numerous student athletes.

Don is a champion for education in Georgia serving three separate gubernatorial appointments to the Board of Regents in 1991, 1998 and again in 2005. He served as Board Chair from 1994-95 and currently serves as Member-At-Large. Don was selected as the 7th recipient of the Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the longest serving regent and USG Foundation trustee. In 2002, he was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Association's Circle of Distinction for his demonstration of utmost loyalty and lifetime support of the Athletic Association. Don has a passion for serving the state of Georgia and helping students, which is evident in the generous support he has provided the University for more than two decades.

See more photos from the event