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Gainesville attorneys gift $50K for Brenau social justice endowment
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Phillip and Lydia Sartain gave $50,000 as an endowment for Brenau University social justice programs. - photo by AJ Reynolds

Two prominent Gainesville lawyers known for their civic engagement gifted $50,000 as an endowment to Brenau University for social justice programs.

Phillip and Lydia Sartain’s donation is part of the school’s $42 million capital campaign, ForeverGold.

Lydia Sartain, who had a nine-year stint as Northeastern Judicial Circuit district attorney, said it was something the couple wanted to do “to particularly honor Phillip and his career,” she said.

Phillip Sartain retired from practicing law two years ago, having specialized in workers’ compensation and Social Security disability law.

“Both of us have had experiences and a perspective that we both saw how important is to encourage both the conversation in the community and also to encourage students to consider going into some of these fields that are really vital to our community,” Lydia Sartain said.

Lydia Sartain is a founding member and former board chairman of the Edmondson-Telford Center for Children, which serves abused and neglected children. She is also a Brenau University Board of Trustees member.

Phillip Sartain’s civic contributions include work with the Red Cross, Gainesville Symphony, United Way, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County and the Georgia Mountain Food Bank among others.

“You would not have to know the Sartains long to completely understand that this compulsion for service is woven into the fabric of their natures,” Brenau President Ed Schrader said in a statement. “It is a gentle reminder that public service should be woven into the mission of the university as well.”

The money will go toward supporting students “with majors from a variety of disciplines who plan to use their educations in fields like family and children’s services, social work or similar community service-oriented endeavors,” according to a Brenau news release.

“Over the past couple years we have focused a lot more of our time and attention on our community and needs in the community and certainly have been mindful of what’s going on around us,” Lydia Sartain said.

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