Kelly receives James W. Buckley Leadership Scholarship

Updated: Dec 31, 2021




Tyler Kelly, an honor graduate from Swainsboro High School, has been awarded


the James W. Buckley Leadership Scholarship at East Georgia State College for the Fall and Spring terms for 2021-2022. Kelly is studying business administration.


The son of Jennifer and Demones Kelly, he has been active athletically and scholastically graduating with a 4.0 GPA and as a HOPE scholar. In the community, Kelly has been active with the animal shelter, food pantry, the Suicide Awareness Walk, Shepheard community blood drives, and the early learning center. He is also active with his youth group at church, helping at nursing homes and his church’s music ministry.

The James W. Buckley Leadership Scholarship was established in the mid-1990s by his wife, Imogene, to honor an exceptional high school graduate with plans to attend East Georgia State College. The recipient must excel in scholarship, leadership, and service to the community. These are ideals that Mr. and Mrs. Buckley saw as


indicators of a student’s future success. A retired brigadier general, Mr. Buckley passed away September 20, 2019.

James “Jim” Buckley’s extensive resume begins at Hendrix College, where he studied for one year before transferring to the University of Arkansas. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture and served as president of his chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, making the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities list in the process. He was a cadet colonel in the Air Force ROTC and went on to serve three years as a general in the United States Air Force before he returned to Houston, Texas to begin his lengthy, prosperous career. He received his master’s degree in architecture from Rice University, then went to work with the firm of Bulloch and Bulloch. He moved to Swainsboro in 1962 to open a branch office, then acquired the company’s Georgia assets six years later. In doing so, James W. Buckley and Associates was born.

Imogene began working for the company in 1970 and, four years later, the two were wed. They remained business partners, running the local architectural firm, as well as their other Georgia branches. In her time at Buckley and Associates, Imogene served as CFO and office manager.

From running businesses (Imogene at the Edenfield Inn) and public service (Jim’s 14-year term as mayor of Swainsboro), the couple has worked hard and given many good years to the Swainsboro community. Their service on boards, associations, civic clubs, and higher education institutions has been legendary.

East Georgia State College is honored to be a part of this meaningful scholarship given to a very deserving student by these committed donors.


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