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Albany State recognizes community supporters

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Not one to seek publicity, Albany banker Mark Lane said he was more comfortable sitting in the crowd with the others than on a dais with other honored guests.

Lane, who grew up in Georgia's small Nashville community, was recognized, along with the bank he serves as president, SB&T, Thursday night at Albany State University's inaugural Community Service Award Banquet. ASU 1956 graduate Davey Gibson, who died earlier this year, was honored posthumously.

Proceeds from the event benefit ASU scholarships. Tickets to the event were $50 per person and $500 per table. Approximately 300 tickets were sold, University Relations Executive Editor Cindy Gambill said. The ASU Jazz Ensemble provided the event's music and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital catered the dinner.

"It's less about SB&T and more about getting the local community supporting Albany State and tonight raising money for scholarships," said Lane, who noted that SB&T recently gave ASU $100,000. "We're not one dimensional and we have an affinity for ASU, but we've given sizable gifts to other entities -- Darton (College), (Willson) Hospice House, Albany Tech and (the Flint) RiverQuarium."

Lane, 42, serves as an executive committee member on the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Board, director of the Phoebe Hospital Board, member of the Economic Development Commission Board, Deerfield-Windsor School board of trustees member and is a Dougherty Rotary Club member.

Dawson native Gibson served four terms as president of the ASU National Alumni Association. His career included government service in the city of Atlanta, both at the state and federal level.

ASU Vice President for Institutional Advancement Clifford Porter said Gibson was "instrumental" in Albany receiving flood funds following the 1994 natural disaster. At the time, Gibson was the secretary's representative for the Southeast region for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This year's ASU Community Service Award recipients were selected by the school's Office of Institutional Advancement, which helps promote the university in the community. According to a news release, the award is given to an individual, business or organization which demonstrated strong community and public service, as well as significant charitable or philanthropic contributions that benefited the Albany area.