John J. Wilkins III, 1967-2008
Mr. Wilkins served Athens Academy as its founding trustee from the time of its charter in 1966 until his passing in 2008.
A graduate of Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut, John Wilkins went on to earn a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Georgia
in l957. In 1956, he married Jean Lovat Anderson, and they had two children, John J. Wilkins IV and Ellen Fraser Wilkins Wiley.
Mr. Wilkins followed his father and grandfather in the apparel manufacturing business founded by his family in l907. Wilkins Industries grew under his leadership to become the largest non-government employer in Athens
and one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of women’s jeanswear. He was the first local employer to integrate African-American women into the industrial workforce. Mr. Wilkins had a life-long interest in helping and encouraging others and delighted in the accomplishments of those he mentored.
Mr. Wilkins' dream of establishing an excellent college preparatory school in Athens
guided the school through its founding and growth. His 42 years of service spanned all facets of development as the school moved from its original small campus on Prince Avenue
to its current 105-acre location in Oconee County
Mr. Wilkins was a member and former vestryman of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. He has served as president of the board of the Athens City Club; treasurer of Athens Country Club; vice-chairman of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association Education Foundation; and a member of the advisory board of St. Mary’s Hospital. He was also a member of the Piedmont Driving Club and the Commerce Club in Atlanta
as well as the University Club in New York City
Mr. Wilkins passed away in March 2008, one year after the death of his beloved wife Lovat.