Judge Willie J. Lovett, Jr. (Presiding Judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court from 2013 until January 30, 2017) was passionate about education and championing the well-being of children and youth. His untimely death left a huge void, and left his family, friends and Church searching for ways to carry forward his passion. Attorney Seletha Butler, his wife, recalls her personal memories, “Willie was an accomplished man with many passions. At the top of his list were his family, Impact Church, support of youth programs and his commitment to impressing upon children and youth the value of education. A scholarship program involving those elements is a natural fit to carry forth the legacy of his life and work.”
Willie grew up in Savannah, Georgia’s Historic Carver Village, the youngest of eight children. From an early age, he understood that education was a path to opening up possibilities and choices. As a high achiever throughout his education, Willie experienced its value in every aspect of his life.
He was the valedictorian and president of his senior class at Alfred Ely Beach High School. He also understood the value of being well rounded, being a member of the football team as well as a member of both the National BETA Club and the National Honor Society. Moving on to college, Willie displayed the same level of diligence and commitment to his education graduating cum laude with distinction from Yale University, where he also served as president of the Afro - American Cultural Center and as a member of Scroll and Key Society and his beloved Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Later he earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and his Master of Laws in Litigation from Emory University.
Judge Lovett with his Mother Velma Russell and Grandmother Effie Mae Lovett at his Alfred E. Beach High School graduation in Savannah, GA.
Beyond his education, Willie turned much of his focus to helping children and youth as a mentor and advocate, a teacher, director of the Fulton County Office of Child Attorney and Presiding Judge (aka, “the bow tie judge”) at the Fulton County Juvenile Court. Chief Judge Bradley Boyd said of this colleague and friend, “The innumerable large and small ways he improved the lives of youth will never be forgotten. Indeed, they will echo across generations as the children he helped will grow to become happy and healthy adults able to give their own children love and support.”
Judge Lovett and the Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett
The Scholarship Program
The vision of the Judge Willie J. Lovett, Jr. Impact Gives Back Scholarship Program is twofold. The most immediate goal is to provide scholarship funds for a deserving candidate toward his or her higher education costs (an award of $3,000 per academic year for up to four years of undergraduate course work at a four-year private or public regionally accredited college or university). Equally important, the Scholarship Program also looks to tackle some of the supply side issues for higher education — pipeline and readiness — by educating young people about access to higher education and impressing upon them the value of and ability to obtain a quality higher education. Willie relished his role as a mentor to young people and in collaboration with partners, including Impact Church and Scholarship Program volunteers, the Scholarship Program aims to continue his mission by providing educational and training programs to help reduce educational inequality in children and youth.
For more information on the Judge Willie J. Lovett, Jr. Impact Gives Back Scholarship, please click here http://www.impactdoingchurchdifferently.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/FINAL-Lovett-Press-Release-Bio-Informaiton.pdf
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do well anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
Judge Lovett and his wife, Attorney Seletha Butler