Teresa Pike Tomlinson graduated from Sweet Briar in 1987, the same year the College established its Distinguished Alumna Award. Twenty-five years later, Sweet Briar announced that Tomlinson is the Distinguished Alumna of 2011.
Given out by the board of the Alumnae Association, the award honors alumnae, preferably graduates, who have brought distinction to themselves and to the College through outstanding accomplishments in a volunteer or professional capacity. Any member of the Sweet Briar family — including students, alumnae, faculty, administration, staff, and members of the Alumnae Board and the College Board of Directors — is asked to nominate candidates. More information about the nomination process can be viewed here.
Tomlinson was elected the first female mayor of Columbus, Ga., in November 2010. At Sweet Briar, she majored in government, with a minor in economics. After receiving her law degree from Emory University School of Law in 1991, she began working as an attorney for Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood in Columbus. The firm’s only female partner, Tomlinson practiced law there for 16 years and is now of counsel with the firm. In 2006, she became the first executive director of MidTown Inc., a community renewal organization seeking to revitalize the nine square miles in the center of Columbus.
Over the years, Tomlinson has been recognized repeatedly for her community involvement. The Columbus City Council honored her three times for her work on government-appointed boards and task force committees, and the Georgia House of Representatives recognized her as an Outstanding Volunteer. In addition, Tomlinson received a Certificate of Special U.S. Congressional Recognition for “outstanding achievement, service and public distinction.” She was also named a Columbus Woman on the Rise and Exceptional Role Model in Business, and a Concharty Council of Girl Scouts Woman of Achievement.
A member of the Boxwood Circle Committee for nine years, Tomlinson has been involved in many alumnae activities and has donated to the College throughout the years. Twice, she helped to raise funds for her alma mater as a member of her class’ Reunion Gifts Committee.
Tomlinson will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award this spring in her hometown. To read more about her experience at Sweet Briar, click here.