Care, compassion, and commitment describe a Reinhardt alumna and prominent member of the Cherokee County community . The Rotary Club of Canton presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Marguerite (Thigpen) Cline (’58) on December 13.
The plaque presented to Cline reads, “In recognition of your outstanding leadership and amazing heart for service. You are an inspiration to all of us.” The award presented by club President Francisco Lozano and past President JoEllen Wilson (’61) marks the first time in ten years an individual has been recognized.
Since graduating from Reinhardt, Cline spent over 50 years making an impact on her community.. After teaching elementary students for twenty years, she became the first and only woman to serve as Superintendent in Cherokee County, the first woman to be elected Mayor of Waleska, and the first woman elected Chairman of the Board at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. Other professional endeavors include serving as an adjunct professor at Brenau University, an instructional consultant at North Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA), and an on-air television host of the program “Cherokee Profiles.”
Cline is the author of several books and was a columnist for the Cherokee Tribune. She is a deacon at Heritage Baptist Fellowship and was a church organist for 40 years. Many organizations chose her to serve as their president, including the Ninth District School Superintendents Association, the Cherokee County Teachers Association, and the local chapter of the Delta Gamma Association Honor Society for Women in Education. She also served as Commissioner of the Cherokee County Jury Board and Chairman of the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame Founding Board. She was a board member of the Cherokee County Parks and Recreation Commission, the Cherokee County Arts Council, and the Cherokee County Historical Society. This is her fifth award from the Rotary Club during her 35 years of membership.
Cline’s other accolades include the Georgia School Superintendent of the Year Award, the Georgia Press Association Awards for Serious Writing and Humorous Writing, the prestigious First Citizen of Cherokee County Award, the Blue Ridge Bar Association Liberty Bell Award, Cherokee County 4-H Club Volunteer of the Year Award, the Goshen Valley Foundation Spirit Award, and the Reinhardt University Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award.
In service to her alma mater, Cline is a member of the President’s Advisory and Advocates Council at Reinhardt and previously served in many roles, including president of the Alumni Board of Governors Board of Advisors.
In addition to this abundance of service, Cline raised three children, and now is a great-grandmother. Her vision to improve life for others, her dedication, and her impact are impressive and inspiring.