Theta Chis in Georgia Law
Carmel, IN – On June 18, 2016, past Theta Chi International President Patrick T. O’Connor (Chi/Auburn 1978) was installed as the 54th State Bar President. The State Bar of Georgia is the governing body for those who practice law in the state with membership being a requirement. Brother O’Connor took the oath of office on Amelia Island after President-elect Rita Sheffey resigned in 2015. Normally, presidents of the bar would need to go through a four-step officer ladder, but because of the resignation, and O’Connor’s role as the State Bar Treasurer, he was met by an accelerated ascension. When speaking to the Georgia Bar Journal, O’Connor explained that “it was certainly never planned that I would simultaneously serve in those two offices. I would have hoped to have more of a gap between some of these responsibilities. But I have been able to adjust my schedule to allow me to fulfill all of these responsibilities for this great organization.”
After graduating from Auburn in 1978, Brother O’Connor entered law school at the University of Georgia, being admitted to the Bar in 1981.
O’Connor is currently the managing partner of Oliver Maner LLP in Savannah, GA where he was worked since 1990. Business litigation, civil rights claims, legal malpractice, and professional negligence are areas of concentration for him. Previously, O’Connor was the President of the Savannah Bar Association as well as President of the Young Lawyers Section of the Savannah Bar. Presently, he maintains membership on the Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Board of Trustees. In the community, Brother O’Connor has played an active role, chairing the Savannah Country Day School Board, the Georgia Southern University Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Auburn University Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Liberal Arts.
“There is no question in my mind that when this Bar is united on an issue of importance, that we can mobilize and prevail,” explained Brother O’Connor during his remarks to the Board of Governors in June. “I pledge to you that I will do everything in my power to maintain the integrity of the unified Bar.”
Theta Chi Fraternity is grateful to have Brother O’Connor as an active alumnus and longtime volunteer. Currently, he sits on The Foundation Chapter Board of Directors. The Foundation Chapter of Theta Chi serves to develop and provide financial resources to promote the academics, leadership and service ideals of Theta Chi Fraternity. Previously, O’Connor served as President of Theta Chi’s Norwich Housing Corporation. The Norwich Housing Corporation (NHC) is a private, not-for-profit lender that provides housing loans to alumni-led house corporations which are associated with chapters of Theta Chi Fraternity. He also previously served as Theta Chi Fraternity’s International President.
Brother O'Connor chatting with fellow Convention attendees during the 160th Anniversary Convention.
More recently, on Wednesday October 12, 2016, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal tapped Chris Carr (Delta Beta/Georgia 1995) as the state’s next attorney general. The appointment comes after former Attorney General Sam Olens was named as the President of Kennesaw State University by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Carr becomes the sixth attorney general of Georgia since 1945. Governor Deal considers Carr the “ideal candidate for the position.”
As a graduate of University of Georgia’s law school, Brother Carr previously served as the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), a position he was also appointed to by Governor Deal in November 2013. In this role Carr led efforts to create jobs and corral investments for the state of Georgia. Prior to this, Carr was the Chief of Staff for United States Senator Johnny Isakson. He began his career with Georgia Pacific before practicing law with Alston & Bird LLP. Following this, Brother Carr was the Vice President and General Counsel for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
Governor Deal notes that Carr’s “servant’s heart” guided his decision. “He has a lot of common sense, and that’s what any public servant needs,” Deal said. “He’s intellectually brilliant. He understands the consequences, and he understands the different perspectives.” Carr who is a member of the Republican Party has received bipartisan praise however. Governor Roy Barnes, a Democrat, supports the appointment demonstrating widespread approval for Carr. “I’ve known Chris for a long time. I think it’s a good appointment. I think he’ll do a great job,” said Barnes. Carr will pursue reelection in 2018, but based on the early and bipartisan endorsements, he is on the right track.
Carr’s understanding of state and legislative issues have prepared him for the job. “That’s the kind of experience I can bring to bear at the Department of Law to represent the state of Georgia and the interests of the people of our state,” Carr said. “People will judge me on the job that I do, and I’ll get up every day with a solemn responsibility to represent Georgia.” Carr later continued: “The seriousness of this work requires a focus on a smooth transition and a readiness to tackle our state’s challenges and opportunities. And that’s what the people of Georgia can expect from me.”
Theta Chi Fraternity was happy to have Brother Carr as a keynote speaker during the 160th Anniversary Convention this past summer in Atlanta. He currently lives in Dunwoody, GA with his wife and daughter.
Brother Carr speaking at the Alumni Luncheon during the 160th Anniversary Convention.
The Fraternity is proud to have these Resolute Men among our membership. Brothers Carr and O’Connor regularly live out the obligations noted in our Creed of serving their God, their country, and their fellow man. Theta Chi looks forward to their continued success.
Founded in 1856, Theta Chi Fraternity is a men’s collegiate fraternity with more than 180,000 initiated members and has established 235 chapters. Leadership development, personal development, and service to alma mater are fundamental to Theta Chi Fraternity’s mission.