GHS Honorary Diplomas Graduates 2020

Honorary Diploma Graduates

Gainesville High School principal Jamie Green conferred honorary diplomas to this year’s recipients Ruth Bruner, Dr. Robert Ivey, and Gene Marlow during a celebration held in their honor on July 22 at Gainesville High School.  The 2020 honorees were the twelfth class to receive this distinction.  

A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Mrs. Bruner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Agnes Scott College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. In 1974, she moved to Gainesville where her husband, Robert, opened a dental practice. Since moving to the community, Mrs. Bruner has served in numerous capacities. She served on the Gainesville Board of Education in 1991-2000 and the Hall County Library board. From 2004 - 2019, she served on the Gainesville City Council where she has presided as mayor during her tenure. She has also played an instrumental role on the Chamber board, Lake Lanier Olympic Park Foundation, and the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission. Mrs. Bruner continues her involvement as an active member of Gainesville’s civic, health, education, and philanthropic community.

Earning bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist’s degrees in music education, Dr. Ivey began his professional teaching career in 1980 in Habersham County. Currently, he is the assistant professor of music education at Brenau University. Over the years, his expertise has led him to be awarded as Outstanding Young Men of America, Teacher of the Year, and Outstanding Educator. In 2009, Dr. Ivey initiated and coordinated the annual “Fifth Grade Honors Chorus” for Gainesville City elementary school students in collaboration with the GCSS music directors; enabling the participation of approximately 1000 students on the Brenau University campus.

Mr. Marlow graduated from Lumpkin County High and attended Truett-McConnell College. He was employed at Northeast Georgia Medical Center for 45 years and has served as a key team leader in the Medical Center Open golf tournament. Mr. Marlow is active in the community; serving as a volunteer coach for Gainesville Parks & Recreation for 58 years and as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club board for 50 years, earning its highest award. As a role model to many with a gentle, kind spirit, he lives his life in the same manner as he teaches others to live and believes that sports are a valuable part of children's lives. A huge supporter of Gainesville High School, Mr. Marlow's active involvement crosses family lines as his wife, Diane (a nurse at Centennial Arts Academy), his children and stepchildren are GHS graduates.

In 2009, Gainesville High became the first high school in the nation to bestow honorary diplomas to citizens who exemplify the “Red Elephant Spirit”.  Honorees must be living, must be of high character and must demonstrate their support and commitment to the betterment of GCSS students and their families.  

Honorary Diplomas 2020
Left to Right: GHS Principal Jamie Green, Gene Marlow, Ruth Bruner, Dr. Robert (Bobby) Ivey, GCSS Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Williams

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