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GSU Durden recognized
08 DurdenTim DistinguishedServi
Former Georgia Southern football player Tim Durden (right) is presented the 2008 Distinguished Service Award by Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. - photo by Special to the Herald
    SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Southern Conference recognized 11 recipients as the league's 2008 Distinguished Service Award. Georgia Southern nominated Tim Durden for his efforts and contributions to the institution.
    Each member institution selects an honoree based on that person's contribution to the institution. The winners were honored for their contributions at the Southern Conference Awards Dinner in Hilton Head, S.C. on May 28, 2008.
    "The Distinguished Service Award honors select individuals who have gone above and beyond the call to help Southern Conference institutions better achieve their goals to the benefit of thousands of student-athletes," said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. "We sincerely appreciate their efforts and are happy to recognize the award recipients with this honor."
    Durden came to Georgia Southern in 1984 as a member of the Eagles fledgling football program. For the past two-and-a-half decades, Durden has been a loyal and valued member to the Georgia Southern community. He founded his own company, Tim Durden Construction and Building Design, Inc., and stayed in the community he has grown to call home.
    "I can think of numerous individuals who certainly deserve to receive this award as well, so I am extremely honored. This is a great group of individuals I was included with," said Durden. "To be in the same company of previous award winners from Georgia Southern, such as Gene Bishop, Robert Baker, Dan Parrish and Arthur Howard, this is something I am very appreciative of and will always cherish."
    Durden was recognized as the "Young Alumnus of the Year" by the Georgia Southern University Alumni Association in 1998 for his contributions to the university. He has served as a volunteer for the Southern community fundraising effort. Durden has also served as a member of the Executive Board of the Southern Boosters and, most recently, the past President of the Eagle Football Assistance Association.
    A contractor by trade, Durden has lent his talents on numerous occasions by rebuilding the footbridge across Eagle Creek and by annually remodeling and updating all of the suites at Paulson Stadium.
    This is an award that Durden could not have imagined receiving after graduating from Georgia Southern.
    "No way could I have envisioned this. From day one when I stepped foot on campus I have been indebted to this place. I received the opportunity of a lifetime," said Durden. "Usually when you give you are repaid ten-fold in some form or fashion. I gave it up for the Eagles then and I try to repay that back each and every day. When they were calling out things that other award winners had done for their respective universities, mine was peanuts. It is simply amazing what people will give back to their university and community. I encourage everyone to do what they can to give back."
    Durden and his wife Lori, also a Georgia Southern graduate, were joined at the awards dinner by University President Dr. Bruce Grube and his wife Kathryn, Director of Athletics Sam Baker, Faculty Athletics Representative Chris Geyerman and his wife Beverly, Senior Woman Administrator Cathy Beene, and former teammate Tracy Ham.
    "Lori and I certainly appreciated celebrating this moment with the distinguished group representing Georgia Southern," said Durden. The former letterwinner and member of two National Championship teams also pointed out a key supporter.
    "I could not have done any of this without the support of my wife Lori and my family,” he said. “We are both graduates of Georgia Southern and extremely loyal to the Eagles. I think we make a great team."
    According to Georgia Southern Director of Athletics Sam Baker: "We are extremely proud to nominate Tim Durden for this award. Tim and his family have meant so much to the overall success of Georgia Southern Athletics, the Eagle Football Assistance Association and Southern Boosters. Tim helped build the championship tradition of Georgia Southern Football, and he has continued to support our Athletics Department. It is a privilege to honor Tim with this award."

Gators earn All-Region, State honors
    The GISA announced its 2008 All-Region and All-State teams on Tuesday.
    Taylor Burke, Win Lee and Michael DeLoach were named to the Region 2-AA team in baseball. Will Powell was named to the All-State soccer team and Abi Foy, Kate Martin and Heaven Hinton were named All-Region in girls' soccer. Foy was also named to the All-State team in Class AA.