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McCormick County resident earns business degree and top academic award at Lander University

June 14, 2010

Teresa Pack and Dr. McKenzie

Teresa Pack, left, finished at the top of her graduating class at Lander University in Greenwood in May qualifying her for Lander's prestigious Thayer Award. Dr. Danny McKenzie, Lander's vice president for Academic Affairs, presented the award and congratulated Pack for her outstanding scholastic achievements.

Nearly 30 years elapsed between the time that Teresa Pack of Plum Branch received her high school diploma and earned a bachelor's degree from Lander University. But she had little trouble keeping pace with much younger students. In fact, she had the highest academic standing of all of her classmates when she graduated in May with a degree in business administration with an accounting emphasis.

Pack, a native of Swainsboro, Ga., compiled a grade point average of 4.0, winning for her the Thayer Award, which goes to the Lander senior who graduates with the highest scholastic average.

A nontraditional student, Pack graduated from Swainsboro High School in 1981 and spent the next 25 years raising a family. She and her husband, James, have two children: daughter Davi, who is a law enforcement officer in Grovetown, Ga., and son Ben, who is about to embark on studies to become a physician.

The Packs also have three grandchildren, aged 8, 7 and 5. She said they keep her busy.

She became interested in accounting when, at age 13, she began helping her mother, Wilhelmina, with bookkeeping in her father Billy's business, Walden Construction Co., in Swainsboro. As the years passed, she came to recognize that she would need a college degree to pursue a career in accounting, so she enrolled in Lander's Department of Business Administration.

Pack has two associate degrees from Georgia Military College in Milledgeville: one in education and the other in business. Now that she has a bachelor's degree, job-hunting and studying for the certified public accountant exam are next on her agenda.

Pack is the second Lander student from McCormick County to win the Thayer Award in the last 18 months. Jennifer Anne Pearce of McCormick received the prestigious prize when she graduated at the top of her class in December of 2008 with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.