Honorary Alumnus Award: This award is unique in that it is not given to an alumnus of GMC but is given to an individual who has rendered exceptional and conspicuous service to GMC. This person is a model of integrity and stature and has demonstrated a continuing devotion to GMC and the values of the institution.
Mr. Mark Strom
Since joining the GMC Family in 2008 to serve as Vice President of Human Resources, Mr. Mark Strom has been a tireless advocate for Georgia Military College and a true champion of GMC’s students. He fully embodies the values that GMC holds dear, making him a worthy recipient of the 2023 Honorary Alumnus Award.
Mr. Strom hails from Clemson, SC, and graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1984 and a Master of Industrial Education (MINED) in Human Resource Development in 1987.
From 1987-2008, Mr. Strom served in executive roles for multinational companies including Allegheny Technologies, and WLR Foods, Inc. (now Pilgrim’s Pride). He led an extensive career for these organizations, overseeing the HR responsibilities throughout North America and Europe.
Mr. Strom’s strong belief in the mission of Georgia Military College led him to move his family to Milledgeville to serve the institution. In 2008, he started at GMC, and built a team of dedicated HR professionals who were responsible for the development and alignment of human resource strategies to the mission of the college. He carried this oversight until 2014. It was during this period that Human Resources played a key role in supporting the Board of Trustees in their search for and hiring of President Caldwell.
In 2014, Mark transitioned to be Senior Vice President for Institutional Development and Executive Director for The Georgia Military College Foundation, Inc. While serving in this role, Mr. Strom led a phenomenal team of dedicated professionals, who together with an exceptional group of Foundation and Alumni Association volunteers, successfully developed and completed the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in the 143-year history of the College, exceeding the goal by 33% and finishing two years ahead of schedule. It was during this period that the Office of Institutional Development successfully garnered the two largest gifts in the history of the College.
GMC also achieved the distinction of leading the largest non-profit fundraising effort (dollars raised) in the state of Georgia on Georgia Gives Day (statewide day of giving), on five different occasions during his tenure. The value of the GMC Foundation’s assets grew from approximately $13 million to over $40 million in eight years.
In May 2023, Mr. Strom became Senior Vice President for Business Development and Interim Executive Director for The NewDay USA Center for Leadership with the intent to retire on December 31, 2023.
During his years of HR service, Mr. Strom was a certified Senior Professional of Human Resources (the highest certification awarded by The Society for Human Resource Management) and the recipient of the Babcock Award from The Employers Association of Charlotte in 2002. Mr. Strom was invited to be one of 160 civilian participants in the 2018 National Security Seminar at the US Army War College, an executive leadership development experience he cherishes. In addition, he is a recipient of The Sustained Superior Service Award in 2023, awarded by the President of Georgia Military College on an exception-only basis.
Mr. Strom has been married to his wife, Julie, for nearly 26 years and together they share two children: Mattison (GMC Prep Class of 2020) and Walker (GMC Prep Class of 2023). Julie has been involved nearly as much in the life of GMC as Mark, and together they established the Strom-Tetrick Scholarship Endowment to benefit the Prep School.
Mark considers this the highest honor he has received in his career. “It has been a true blessing to have spent the final years of my career at Georgia Military College. The lessons of duty, honor, and country…the focus on teaching each student the values of treating everyone with civility and respect, … to have shared this time with my wife and children, who have always been “All In for GMC,” and to have served with the most phenomenal team of employees from across this campus, are memories I will cherish forever! I want to especially thank the Alumni Association for this honor.”