Cody Hall, a Dawsonville native who now serves as director of communications for the office of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, has been recognized by the University of Georgia as one of the school’s “40 Under 40” distinguished alumni for 2021.
UGA’s “40 Under 40” list seeks to recognize alumni under 40 years old who have achieved success in their careers since graduating from the university. Hall, who graduated from UGA in 2015, was named to the 2021 list.
Hall is a fourth-generation Dawson County resident and a graduate of Dawson County High School. He attended Robinson Elementary and what was Riverview Middle School at the time, in Dawson before going to UGA for college.
Directly out of college, Hall worked for Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce before joining the campaign circuit in 2018. He worked as the governor’s press secretary and served in that role through the campaign and transition before being named communications director last fall.
Hall and his whole family have been deeply ingrained into the Dawson County community for his whole life. His grandmother, Vera Carter, served on the school board, and his grandfather, L.C. “Spud” Carter, was a lifelong resident, born right across the street from where Hall lives now.
“I was able to grow up around my family; I spent my earlier years as my parents were working with my grandparents,” Hall said. “I used to go with my grandfather to get his haircut at Walls Barber Shop off of the square in Dawsonville, and I remember when El Rio was still the Burger Queen.”
According to Hall, his time growing up in Dawson County helped shape his professional career by giving him perspective on the day-to-day lives of the different people within a small town.
“It formed my opinion of everything — from politics to my faith, it’s kind of where it all started,” Hall said. “It equipped me with an outlook that’s a lot different from folks that may have grown up in Atlanta or even other rural communities; I got to see folks from all other walks of life.”
This perspective, Hall said, is especially valuable to someone who works in such a public role as himself.
“I think that’s an incredible asset for someone, especially in the communications world and especially in politics, that you remember and know what average people think and what they expect out of their government and their public officials,” Hall said. “And I think it’s been a huge help to me knowing and seeing first-hand what real people have to deal with in their lives and how they view the state, the country and their local community.”
Being named to UGA’s “40 Under 40” list is a great accomplishment to Hall, who said that he “bleeds red and black.”
“Personally, I think that I’m one of the least interesting people on that list,” Hall said. “There’s a lot of great UGA grads that have gone on to do incredible things from all walks of life. I’m just honored to be on the list, but having it come from UGA since I owe so much to that university is a big deal to me. I’m just really grateful for the honor.”
Hall added that he is thankful to everyone and everything that helped him get to where he is today and that he is grateful to have grown up in a community that has so greatly shaped every aspect of who he is.
“I’ve been incredibly blessed to have the opportunities that I have, and thankful to everybody along the way that helped me get here,” Hall said.