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It's with great pleasure that we take the opportunity to salute one of this community's staunchest supporters, strongest leaders and greatest role models, Pierce Cline.

Cline is in the news because he recently received Oxford College's lifetime achievement, named after another great leader R. Carl Chandler, who served as the first chairman of the college's board of counselors. Cline was a fellow founding member of that board, just one of the many things he did for Oxford College over the years.

The Cline family has been full of educational stalwarts who have promoted quality higher education in Newton County for more than a century.

Cline's father, the Rev. Earl Cline, moved back to Oxford in retirement and devoted his life to the college, serving as an honorary godfather to many of the school's students for decades.

While Oxford College was Pierce Cline's alma mater, he saw a need for more opportunities for our local youth. He secured the land on which Georgia Perimeter College sits today and lobbied passionately for the college to open a campus in Newton.

Through his real estate company, he also promoted high quality development, including the River Cove Meadows neighborhood, located near Social Circle, which is a fine example of a rural neighborhood and a prototype that could emulated when housing development returns to Newton County.

Cline also promoted many area nonprofits, including Project Adventure, which when it was still open locally, helped several dozen troubled teens get their lives back on track every year.

Through our interactions with Cline, we have found him to be a real gentleman who speaks softly but shows his character through his actions and dedication.

We here at The News are proud to call Pierce Cline a friend and we can't think of a more deserving recipient of a lifetime achievement award.