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Longtime Brookhaven Leader Sets Great Example For Staying Active

Dr. Manning Pattillo, former Oglethrope University president, remains active at age 93.


Dr. Manning Pattillo, former president of Oglethorpe University and a resident of Lenbrook in Buckhead, was among 18 elders from greater Atlanta to be honored by LeadingAge Georgia for exemplifying positive aging lifestyles and continuing to contribute their time and talents to their communities.

Dr. Pattillo accepted his “Profile of Positive Aging” award at the 2nd Annual Changing Lives Benefit hosted by LeadingAge Georgia in downtown Atlanta to benefit the Georgia Institute on Aging.

“This event traditionally honors people in the field of aging but this year we added recognition of elders who are still giving tremendously of their talents and time. These are individuals who have changed the lives of others in the community and exhibit unique qualities of positive aging,” said Jacque Thornton, senior vice president of LeadingAge Georgia. 

She noted that several of the honorees were “icons of the community,” and included the Honorable Sam Massell, former Mayor of Atlanta.

Dr. Pattillo, who served at as president of Oglethorpe University from 1975 to 1988 and as a visiting professor at the University of Georgia on private higher education after that, held numerous community leadership positions during his working years, such as president of the Georgia Special Olympics and president of the Dekalb Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to his Ph.D. in social science which he earned at the University of Chicago, he is also the recipient of eight honorary doctorate degrees.

At 93, Dr. Pattillo is still active. He serves on the boards of six organizations, including the Woodruff Arts Center and the Phi Beta Kappa Association. All along, he’s been a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club with perfect attendance for 38 years.

Upon joining the Lenbrook community 15 years ago, Dr. Pattillo became an active resident, serving two terms as president of the Resident Association and heading several other key committees for this community of 425 residents. He currently serves on five Lenbrook committees, including the Resident Council, Friends of the Arts, Book Talk, Religion committee and the Foundation committee.

“The secret to a long life is staying active,” Dr. Pattillo said. “Primary care physicians have found that their old patients have three things in common: good DNA -- a history of longevity in their families; a passion of some kind – whether it’s a hobby, a political cause, or a person; and a sense of humor. I hope I have all of these.”

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