Rosa Tarbutton Sumter Elected to Board of Trustees

Courtesy of Emory Photo/Video

Rosa Tarbutton Sumter (89C) is the newest member of the Emory University Board of Trustees, according to a July 2 University press release.

Sumter has served on the Emory College Alumni Board board since 2013 and also sits on the board of directors of her family’s business, the Sandersville Railroad Company.

She graduated from Emory with a bachelor’s in history and art history. Sumter worked for eight years in marketing at Norfolk Southern before becoming a full-time mother and community organizer, according to the press release. As a community organizer, she volunteers for schools and nonprofits, such as the National Charity League, according to the press release.

Tarbutton Hall is named after Sumter’s grandfather, Benjamin Tarbutton Sr. (1905C). Emory renovated the building in 1992 with a donation from his son, Ben J. Tarbutton Jr. (49Ox, 51C).

Tarbutton Sr. purchased the Sandersville Railroad and later served as the Sandersville, Ga., mayor, a state representative, state senator and delegate to the Democratic National Convention, according to a Spring 2000 Emory Magazine feature on the Tarbutton family.

Sumter’s father, Tarbutton Jr., attended Emory and served on Emory’s Board of Trustees for at least 25 years. Benjamin Tarbutton III, Sumter’s brother, serves on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

The Board of Trustees is the highest governing body of the University, according to the Board’s website. It establishes policy and holds fiduciary responsibility.

“I am delighted to be elected to Emory’s Board of Trustees, particularly given my family’s generations-long involvement with and commitment to the university,” Sumter wrote in a July 7 email to the Wheel via Associate Vice President of University Communications Nancy Seideman.  “As an alumna, I am certainly aware of the value of an Emory education, and I look forward to working with my board colleagues to further the university’s mission for the benefit of generations to come.”

UPDATE (7/8/18 at 1:47 a.m.): The article has been updated to reflect Sumter’s emailed statement.