Emory Whitaker has become the 11th member of the Georgia Bridge Hall of Fame with his election by the Unit 114 Board of Directors in April 2014.
Emory was born in Augusta, GA in 1942 and lived in Georgia all of his life. He earned a BS degree from Davidson College, and MA and PhD degrees in mathematics from the University of Georgia. He married his wife, Genny, 50 years ago and they have one daughter, Beth. The Whitakers moved to Macon in 1970 when Emory became a mathematics professor at Mercer University. Teaching at Mercer for the next 30 years, he served as Chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Coordinator of the Great Books Program.
Emory learned to play bridge when he was 14 years old. He immediately fell in love with the game, but did not play duplicate until 1968 when he was a graduate student at UGA. Emory became a life master in 1975.
Before Emory retired, his second favorite avocation was participation in Community Theater. He has been in more than 30 plays in local theaters. Some of his favorite roles have been the King in The King and I, DaddyWarbucks in Annie, and George in Who's Afraid of VirginiaWoolf.Since retirement, Genny and he have enjoyed traveling and his theater involvement has been mostly as an audience member.
Emory has been a member of the Macon Duplicate Bridge Club for 49 years, serving as president two times. Emory has offered bridge classes in Macon on numerous occasions. He played a significant role in bringing a regional tournament to Macon in 2013 and will serve as co-chair of the MDBC supported Callaway Gardens Regional in 2015. Emory represented his area on the Unit 114 Board for several years and served as both Vice-President and President. He was awarded Sportsman of the Year in 1984 and Player of the Year in 1994. He has represented Unit 114 on the District 7 board and is a member of both the ACBL and District 7 Good Will Committees.
Emory says, "I have loved playing duplicate bridge. As a mathematician, I am fascinated by the problem-solving aspect of the game and the new situations that arise every time I play. The best part, however, has been all of the great people that I have met through bridge and the lasting friendships I have made with other players."
Georgia Bridge Hall of Fame member Mike Kovacich, a frequent partner, and teammate of Emory, says "Emory is an excellent example to others as to how the game should be played. He displays the highest standards of conduct, ethics, and demeanor. Very seldom if ever does he lose his composure. A great partner."
Unit President Ken Parker says "In addition to Emory's outstanding achievements at the table, his dedicated service to the unit and district for well over 20 years has been outstanding.
As of Emory's April 2014 induction to the Georgia Bridge Hall of Fame, his masterpoint total of 13,400 has earned him the rank of Platinum Life Master