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Mayor, Chamber of Commerce President Recognized for Helping Make Georgetown a ‘College Town’

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    Mel Pendland and Gary Nelon stand with Martha Diaz Hurtado (left) and President Jake B. Schrum (right). (Photo by Lucas Adams)

Georgetown Mayor Gary Nelon and Chamber of Commerce President Mel Pendland receive Southwestern’s 2008 College Town Award

Georgetown Mayor Gary Nelon and Chamber of Commerce President Mel Pendland were recognized Feb. 16 for their efforts to help make Georgetown seem like more like a college town.

Southwestern University presented the two with its third annual Martha Diaz Hurtado College Town Award at halftime of the Southwestern men’s basketball game against Hendrix College.

The award was created in 2006 to recognize citizens, organizations or businesses whose exemplary efforts have enhanced the “college town” environment for students, faculty and staff at Southwestern. Previous recipients of the award include the Williamson County Sun and the Downtown Georgetown Association.

Nelon has served as mayor of Georgetown for the past six years. During this time, he has participated in numerous activities at Southwestern. He has been a member of its Board of Visitors and is on the cabinet for the university’s Thinking Ahead fundraising campaign. A banker by trade, Nelon also has been a guest lecturer at Southwestern, and participated in a 2006 summit on business and the liberal arts that was held at the university.

Nelon also was recognized for creating more housing options in Georgetown for faculty and staff members, and for attracting more retail businesses to Georgetown that provide shopping and employment opportunities for students and university family members.

Pendland has served as president of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce since 1999. During this period, the Chamber has included Southwestern in all major economic development activities in Georgetown. Their recent efforts have included creation of the Texas Life Sciences Commercialization Center, which is a collaboration with the City of Georgetown and Southwestern. The center is expected to benefit the university by providing research opportunities for faculty members and internship opportunities for students.