2019 Alumni Weekend earned an A+

The 2019 Alumni Weekend earned an A+ in my book. I might be slightly biased since I helped plan the event, but I think this video will prove my point:

If you weren’t able to attend, I’m happy to provide you with a quick “report” on how things went … ultimately to create a little FOMO so you’ll be sure to mark your calendar for next year (hint-hint: March 26-28, 2020).

THURSDAY

100+ alumni and friends gathered in the Stelling Family Study in Moore-Rooker Hall, one of the newest buildings in the Terry College Business Learning Community. It’s a beautiful space, made even lovelier by the UGA Alumni Association events team (and yes, the tables were named for places on campus):

Kessel-Family-Study

Orientation-Dinner-Table

Folks grabbed their swag backpacks and a T-shirt (shown here on a few of the staffers who made Alumni Weekend come to life):

Alumni-Weekend-Staff

Look at all those goodies packed inside that backpack!

Backpack-Swag

During dinner, we heard from UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD ’80):

Jere-Morehead-Orientation-Dinner

We had the opportunity to ask him a few questions, like “What are you most proud of since you became president?” and “What is your favorite movie?” I think he enjoyed that last one:

Jere-Morehead-Orientation-Dinner-2

People were enthralled and impressed by how much is happening at UGA these days …

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Including Matthew Auer, dean of the School of Public and International Affairs:

Dean-Auer

Yes, even yours truly:

Elizabeth-Elmore-Orientation-Dinner

Then, we closed out the evening and headed home to get a good night’s rest before class the next morning …… PSYCH.

What’s a trip back to Athens without seeing a little music in the best college music town in America?

GATH-Marquee

Yacht-Rock-on-Stage

Group-at-Yacht-Rock

FRIDAY

On Friday, we greeted the day at Bolton Dining Commons. This isn’t the Bolton of yesteryear; this is a new space that is straight out of a Harry Potter movie. Seriously:

Bolton-Dining-Commons

Credit: Bruner/Cott Architects

And yes, students can have Super G waffles at the 24-hour breakfast station. #jealousy

G-Waffle-Bolton-Dining-Commons

Lots of attendees met their Alumni Weekend “classmates” during these meals. Just imagine the memories they are exchanging from their time on campus:

Bolton-Dining-Commons-Chat

Then it was off to first period – we served up classes taught by three incredible faculty members.

Gary T. Green, assistant dean of academic affairs and professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, who taught “Challenges Facing Resource Management: Implications from a Changing Society.”

Gary-Green-Teaching

Maria Navarro, professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, who taught “Hunger Who? An Introduction to Global Food Insecurity.”

Maria-Navarro-Teaching

Jenna R. Jambeck, associate professor in the College of Engineering, who taught “Marine Debris from Land to Sea.”

Jenna-Jambeck-Teaching

During second period, classes included: “Fairy Tales: An Examination of Hidden and Gendered Messages” by Juanita Johnson-Bailey, director of the Institute for Women’s Studies.

Juanita-Johnson-Bailey-Teaching

“Bombs, Bugs, Drugs and Thugs: The United States in a Hostile World” by Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs.

Loch-Johnson-Teaching

… and an encore of “Challenges Facing Resources Management – Implications for a Changing Society” by Gary Green.

With all that learning, it was time for another meal break at Bolton:

Realenn-Watters-Bolton-Dining-Commons-Lunch

Gentleman-at-Bolton-Lunch

Pair-at-Bolton-for-LunchAnd then one more class period for the day that featured:

  • “From Babe Ruth to LeBron James: How Changes in Media Shape Perspectives on Sports Heroes” by Vicki Michaelis, the John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism & Society
  • “What About Small Town? Solving Rural Housing Problems When Everyone is Thinking About Cities” with Kim Skobba, the director of UGA’s Housing and Demographics Research Center.
  • and an encore of Maria Navarro’s “Hunger Who? An Introduction into Global Food Insecurity.”

Then, just like any Friday for a student – classes ended and we left the Miller Learning Center to begin our weekend. After a little free time, we reconvened at Wall & Broad in downtown Athens. This event space is run by UGA alumni and the food is catered by LRG Provisions, the sister restaurant of Last Resort Grill, another mainstay on the Athens food scene. It was a beautiful space:

Wall-Broad-Decor

And the mixing and mingling was in full swing:

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Look – even Professor Skobba joined in the fun!

Kim-Skobba-Wall-and-Broad

At 6:30, the reception concluded and folks headed to the Classic Center just a few blocks away for the TEDxUGA, a celebration of “ideas worth spreading.” This event is spearheaded by UGA’s New Media Institute and features student, alumni and faculty speakers. Interested in who was in the lineup this year – check it out.

TEDxUGA-Decor

I was inspired by all of the speakers, but particularly enjoyed hearing from Ansley Booker (MS ’13), the interim director for Mercer University’s Educational Opportunity Center (and a member of the UGA Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Leadership Council). Her TED Talk made me want to go out and recruit every young girl in America to enter a STEM field.

Malcolm Mitchell (AB ’15), is a former UGA football standout who went on to be a Super Bowl Champion as a wide receiver for the New England Patriots. He also is the author of a children’s book, The Magician’s Hat, and is passionate about youth literacy. His TED Talk emphasized the power of overcoming obstacles and while he announced his official retirement from professional football during his talk, he cited that he’s ready for what’s next.

TEDxUGA-Malcolm-Mitchell

And I also was inspired by A.C. Williams, a third-year student studying management information systems and international business. As an experienced event director in the Esports world, he opened my eyes to the community that is thriving around gaming.

And after a long day of class and TEDxUGA inspiration, Alumni Weekend participants headed back to their hotels and homes for the night.

SATURDAY

On Saturday, we enjoyed a brunch in the Sanford Stadium SkyClub. The weather was beautiful and everyone was in high spirits!

Brunch-Group-Mingling

Brunch-Pair

Look! Even Professor Navarro joined us:

Maria-Navarro-Brunch

Student Alumni Council President Nash Davis ’19 welcomed attendees to the “Commencement Brunch” and everyone laughed when he officially conferred their Alumni Weekend degrees on them.

Nash-Davis-Brunch

Brunch-Group-Stands

Then it was off to grab some grub and take pictures in the photo booth:

Brunch-Line

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A special guest even joined us for this special occasion:

Brunch-PhotoBooth-Glory-Glory

Brunch-PhotoBooth-Hairy-Dawg

Brunch-with-Hairy-Dawg

Brunch-with-Hairy-Dawg-Pal

And then Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16), executive director of the UGA Alumni Association, closed out the brunch with a few remarks and a toast to a great weekend:

Brunch-Meredith-and-Hairy

Brunch-Group-Toast

While this was technically the “end” of Alumni Weekend, we lined up a few optional activities that everyone could attend on their own. Those events included a UGA baseball game vs. LSU, a “One Man Star Wars Trilogy” performance, an exhibit at the UGA Special Collections Libraries, and a private tour of the Georgia Museum of Art with GMOA Director Bill Eiland.

Baseball-Game-Hairy-Dawg

Some attendees participated in a tour of the newly renovated West End Zone of Sanford Stadium led by Colby DeCesare, a graduate assistant with the UGA Athletic Association:

West-End-Zone-Tour

West-End-Zone-Tour-Locker-Room

Savage-Pads-Pose

Sanford-Stadium-Group-Pic-on-Field

IN SUMMARY

It was truly a great weekend that made me proud of my alma mater and reminded me why I love this place so much.

My key takeaways include:

  • Our president LOVES this place – he attended school here, has been on the faculty since 1986, is passionate about changing lives through education, and is dreaming big about the impact UGA can have on the state and beyond.
  • I miss the dining halls – adult life has its pros, but cooking all your own meals is not one of them.
  • Our faculty are ROCKSTARS – why did I not go to every single office hour that was offered by my professors? They are inspiring, committed and are changing the world!
  • Nothing beats a Saturday between the hedges – whether it’s during football season or during a special event like Alumni Weekend, there’s just a good feeling emanating from that field.
  • OUR ALUMNI ARE THE BEST IN THE WORLD – I enjoyed meeting new alumni throughout the weekend (and reconnecting with old friends, too). We’re so diverse, passionate and very much in love with this school. It makes me proud to call myself a Georgia Bulldog.

As we learned in college, every good “report” closes with a summary statement. I’d have to say that my summary is simple: The 2019 Alumni Weekend was one of the best alumni events I have been able to help plan and I can’t wait for our alumni to see what we have in store for March 26-28, 2020. See you then! GO DAWGS.

Twilight Criterium’s 40th weekend in Athens

On April 26, the annual Twilight Criterium will dash into Athens once again. With two days full of music, food and races, the weekend will continue to signify the official start of spring in downtown Athens. Since 1980, the Twilight Criterium has been a tradition that draws all kinds of cyclists into town for amateur and professional races. Including concerts, a 5K and plenty of activities for kids, Twilight weekend caters to college students, athletes and families.

If you’ve never heard of a criterium, don’t worry. The explanation is simple: it’s a closed circuit, or super short, track with lots of laps. It is similar to how a NASCAR race operates.

Twilight Criterium racers start their laps around downtown Athens.

Twilight Criterium racers start their laps around downtown Athens. Photo by Bear Cieri/Athens Twilight Facebook

When the event first started, there were only 40 racers and the criterium only included one men’s professional race. This year will feature the second annual “joy ride,” a 5-mile ride through Athens, and a 5K race. The main event takes place on April 27 and is the Twilight Criterium itself, an 80km race for men and a 40km race for women in the heart of downtown Athens. 2,000 people are expected to race this year.

The UGA Alumni Association caught up with Athens Twilight co-event director and Double Dawg Ashley Travieso, (BSED ‘05, MED ‘06). Ashley started at UGA in 2001 as a sports studies with an emphasis in sports communication. In undergrad, she was a member in the Georgettes in the Redcoat Band from 2001 to 2006, and was captain from 2002 to 2005. According to Ashley, she had no interest in cycling or even attending Twilight until co-founders Gene Dixon and Linda DePascale took her to lunch at Porterhouse and talked to her about becoming an intern for the event. The rest, as they say, is history.

Athens Twilight was the first of its kind. Since 1980, other twilight criteriums have been founded based off of Athens’ event, which now attracts racers from around the world. Ashley believes that people are drawn to Athens Twilight because “it’s the most insane criterium. The atmosphere is electric, there’s no other criterium in the world like it.” Everyone wants to win this particular race due to the exciting nature of the race itself and the crowd.

Women's pro/am race

This year, Twilight expects to have 2,000 racers. Photo by Adam Koble/Athens Twilight Facebook

Be sure to visit downtown this weekend to check out the festivities surrounding the criterium.

Athens Twilight's logo

This is the 40th year of Athens Twilight. Graphic per the Athens Twilight Facebook page.

Event highlight days/times per website schedule:

Friday, April 26:
Noon-9 p.m.: Twilight Expo
Location: 100 College Avenue – College Square
6-7 p.m.: BikeAthens Joy Ride
Location: College Avenue Parking Deck

6-9 p.m.: Pre-registration pickup & event registration
Location: 200 College Avenue Parking Deck – Bottom Level

Saturday, April 27:

There is a 5K on Saturday morning.

There is a 5K on Saturday morning. Photo by Bear Cieri/Athens Twilight Facebook

8-9 a.m.: Sparc Twilight 5K presented by Fleet Feet Athens
Location: College Avenue and Washington Street

10 a.m.-9 p.m.: Twilight Expo
Location: 100 College Avenue – College Square

7-8:10 p.m.: AOC Twilight Women’s PRO/AM presented by Terrapin Beer
Location: Downtown Athens – College Avenue and Washington Street

8:30-10:15 p.m.: AOC Twilight Men’s PRO/AM presented by Terrapin Beer
Location: Downtown Athens – College Avenue and Washington Street

A Student’s Perspective on Thank a Donor Day 2019

When it comes to Tate Plaza, students are used to passing some pretty strange things on their way to class. A camel, a cow or just a bunch of extracurricular flyers are not out of the ordinary at all on any day of the week. However, a Tate Plaza event so spectacular that it requires the presence of President Morehead, Miss University of Georgia, Hairy Dawg and hundreds of students only happens once a year. The eighth annual Thank a Donor Day 2019 was on April 11th, 2019, and the student body is better because of it.

Hairy Dawg and a student

Hairy Dawg took photos with students who attended TADD, including the author.

Thank a Donor Day, simply put, is a day where students and faculty members thank university donors for all they have contributed to the University of Georgia. All of our colleges, campus facilities, certificates and student programs are what they are because of the university’s generous donors. Thank a Donor Day is a celebration of those donors, while also being important for educating the student body about what goes on behind the scenes at a university.

A student signs a banner dedicated to thanking donors.

A student signs the banner thanking donors.

Thousands of students depend on and benefit from scholarships – those are thanks to donors. All of the state-of-the-art new facilities on campus, like the Terry expansion or the new Veterinary Medicine building, have been built thanks to donors. Programs like the Public Affairs Professional Certificate program at Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication have been founded thanks to the generosity of a donor. See? There’s a lot to be thankful for as a University of Georgia student, because at least several aspects of all our educations are made possible because of donors.

It’s important to take a day to give back, while still making that show of appreciation simple for a student on the go. More than 900 students expressed their gratitude through signing the community thank-you card, writing a note and decorating posters. It was easy to genuinely thank donors in a time-efficient manner. Plus, no student can resist the lure of a free t-shirt and a Chick-fil-A lemonade and cookie in exchange for their act of thanks.

A photo of the t-shirt table at TADD.

Students who completed all three of the tasks on their card received a free t-shirt, and a Chick-fil-A cookie and lemonade.

It was a beautiful day, filled with students smiling, saying thank you, and becoming made aware of all the ways others have contributed to making their time at the University of Georgia a worthwhile and excellent experience. While Thank a Donor Day is only once a year, hopefully it encourages students to remember every day to be grateful for all the things we are so lucky to have here.

Before and after Thank a Donor Day, Athens faced some pretty terrible weather. On the day of the event, the sun was shining and the conditions were perfect for an outdoor event. Maybe that’s a sign that we are better on days that we are thankful.

Check out our Instagram story here.

What is Georgia Giving Week? And Why Does It Matter?

Georgia Giving Week is a week to rally Bulldog Nation in the spirit of philanthropy. It’s just one week to help our beloved alma mater! You may be thinking that the birthplace of public higher education doesn’t need an extra $10 from you – what will that do for a huge, enduring institution like UGA? Well, it can do more than you’d think!

As alumni, we always love to see Georgia thrive. Remember the pride you felt when Sony Michel raced across the goal line in double overtime at the Rose Bowl in 2018? It’s easy to cheer on our team during a football game. But let’s celebrate our school on and off the field – making a gift is a tangible way of cheering Georgia on.

We can change lives by helping a worthy student earn a college education. Even with competitive tuition rates, the Zell Miller and HOPE scholarships, and federal Pell Grants, many students still face financial obstacles in attending UGA. With scholarship support, we can help students take advantage of everything UGA has to offer without worrying about significant debt weighing them down as they launch their careers. Today, 100 percent of gifts to the Georgia Fund support scholarships.
Giving Week

Did you know that the percentage of alumni participation is a factor in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings? We’ve already reached No. 13 in the list of best public universities, the highest ranking in UGA’s history. But how high can we climb with your help? Our reputation affects how employers, graduate schools and others perceive UGA. The further we reach, the greater the value your college degree.

If that’s not enough reason to make a gift, can I entice you with a discount at the Bookstore?! Stock up on a tailgate tent, new jersey, a Kirby visor and more. With a gift of any size this week, you will get 20% off valid in store and online through April 27*. AND you’ll get a Georgia pennant magnet exclusive to Georgia Giving Week donors.

Last but not least – I hear we have some notable alumni giving personal shoutouts on social media. Make your gift and it could be you …

Give now at givingweek.uga.edu

 

*Technology and textbooks excluded.  

London reception celebrates UGA, Oxford anniversary, alumni

University of Georgia alumni, friends and students assembled in London on Thursday, April 4, to celebrate UGA, honor the UGA at Oxford program’s 30th anniversary and cap off a tour of London that welcomed the newest UGA at Oxford students to the United Kingdom.

Twenty-two UGA students embarked on a tour of London that Thursday morning. Their stops took them to businesses around the city where alumni employees talked to them about what they do, where they work, the impact of their UGA education and more. These talks covered a wide variety of fields, from Risk Management and Insurance to Neuroscience—participating alumni work for Google; McGriff, Seibels and Williams; BNP Paribas; New York Times; City, University of London; Braincures; and Citibank. 

 After a day traveling the city, the tour party met with other alumni and friends at The Marylebone, where Kelly Kerner, UGA vice president for development and alumni relations, and Jamie McClung, director of the UGA at Oxford program, spoke to the crowd about what London and the Oxford program mean to UGA.

With the number of Dawgs in attendance that evening, one might have thought The Marylebone had moved to downtown Athens. 

Special thanks to the alumni who hosted and spoke with our students during their tour of London: Brian Benedict (ABJ ’04), Kevin Blackburne (BBA ’15), Denis Cruiziat (MBA ’88), Emmanuel Dray (MBA ’95), Justin Foster (BSFCS ‘10) Carrie Gibson (ABJ ’98), Krzysztof Potempa (BS ’02), Jane Singer (ABJ ’76), Scott Sink (BBA ’84), Chris Stanford (ABJ ’94) and Wes Walraven (BBA ’83). 

Bulldogs can be found the world over – find your local alumni chapter to to socialize, network, and volunteer with Bulldogs in your area. 

Karin Lichey Usry reflects on her time as a GymDog

Karin Lichey Usry (BSED ’00) is a former GymDog who currently works at the Division of Development & Alumni Relations at the University of Georgia. In her days as a collegiate gymnast, Usry was a four-year letter winner, won five All-America honors, won the 1998 national title on floor and earned 11 All-America citations. In addition to this, she won the 1999 Honda Award as the nation’s top gymnast. Did we mention that Usry was also part of the undefeated and national champion 1998 and 1999 GymDogs teams? There’s no wonder she was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor for athletic greatness!

The current GymDog team has gone 10-4 this season, and after placing 2nd in the final of NCAA regionals will compete in the NCAA national championship this weekend. We asked Usry for her thoughts on her time as a GymDog, as well as the current GymDog team.

What is your role for the UGA Alumni Association? 

I am the Secretary to the Board of Trustees at the University of Georgia Foundation. I also manage the Emeriti Trustees and the Board of Visitors.

What does it feel like to see the GymDogs competing for a championship when you’ve been in their place?

It’s exciting, very exciting! We’ve had some ups and downs over the last couple years, so it’s really exciting, fun and rewarding to see this team – and last year’s team – have so much success and really kind of rise to the occasion. It’s good to see that … I guess, UGA gymnastics has always been the pinnacle of college gymnastics, and we had a little bit of a dip there for a couple of years, and so it’s good to see those traditions and that legacy continue.

Do you go to most of the meets?

I do, I’m still pretty involved. This year, because my kids are getting a little older, it’s been a little more difficult. But in the past, I’ve always been very involved.

What’s it like to see a former GymDog, Courtney Kupets, coach the team?

It’s very exciting because she knows the legacy and the history and the expectations of the program. I think that’s what was missing the last couple years, is that we have such a tight bond of former gymnasts. All of our GymDog alumni are like sisters because we’ve been through the same experiences, even though it was at different times throughout the history of the Georgia gymnastics program. It’s exciting to see someone who went through that, be able to bring that back and instill some of those traditions and some of those expectations into the current team.

What’s your proudest achievement athletically and since you left gymnastics?

So, athletically it was definitely being part of the ‘98 and ‘99 national championship teams, being part of a team that went undefeated both years, and then won the national titles. I think that was pretty amazing. Each year, ‘98 and ‘99, the teams were very different. So it was neat to see how we adjusted to be able to win national titles. Since graduating, I would say my marriage and my two kids are my biggest accomplishments.

Suzanne YoculanWhat was it like to be coached by Suzanne Yoculan? What lessons did she teach you?

Suzanne was amazing, she is very loyal to her athletes. She loved us like daughters, but she taught us how to be adults. When you come into college, especially college gymnastics, you’ve been such an individual your whole life …We didn’t have team camps as much as they do now. When I came onto campus, it was a whole new world, I was teammates with 15 other girls, all at different levels in our life. She very much respected us as individuals but also gelled us together as a team. She taught us many other things like responsibility and how to speak in front of a crowd, and she would always encourage us and push us. She was just a great mentor, even to this day, she’s still a great person to reach out to and ask for advice. She was a great person to lead you when you’re in that period of life where you’re going through so much, like trying to figure out who you are as a person, and so to be a student-athlete it is even another level of trying to figure out who you are, how you want to accomplish things, and what you want to do with your life. It was great to have someone like Suzanne push us, because she did push us, and was also our biggest cheerleader.

 

“I think just having the pride of being a University of Georgia athlete, especially a gymnast, because it nationally was recognized as one of the top programs. I think just having that pride of wearing red and black and competing.”

-Karin Usry

 

What was it like to be a student-athlete in the ‘90s at UGA?

Gosh, I have to think about that, that was a long time ago. I was an elite gymnast, so I trained 35-40 hours, and then I’d go to school on top of that. When I came to college, we were only allowed to train 20 hours. For me, it was a really easy adjustment going from high school to college, because I felt like I had more time, which was crazy. I went from training 40 hours a week, going to school full time, trying to be a high school student, to coming to college and only having to train 20 hours. While that was an adjustment in itself to cut back, it was a good adjustment. Suzanne fought for us on a lot of different levels. For example, she took the resources at the university, even though they weren’t provided to all the athletes like they are now, and offered them to us if we wanted them.

What’s your favorite memory from your time at UGA?

I think just having the pride of being a University of Georgia athlete, especially a gymnast, because it nationally was recognized as one of the top programs. I think just having that pride of wearing red and black and competing. I think that’s probably the best memory.

Finish this statement, I am most proud to be a Bulldog when _____.

I am most proud to be a Bulldog any time I see the super G, I know we’re supposed to say The Arch, but the super G is so well-known, and that was such a big part of my career. I’m proud because I know what the G stands for, and I know that it stands for both academics and athletic success and excellence.

Get Ready for G-Day 2019

football

Mark your calendars! G-Day 2019 is less than a week away. As you prepare to come back to campus for another exciting spring game in Sanford Stadium, here are some fun-filled activities happening before the big game.

Friday, April 19 

5 p.m. – 7 p.m: Jonathan Ledbetter and Isaac Nauta Bookstore Signings

Come to the UGA bookstore to meet and get autographs from some of your favorite UGA greats and NFL prospects! Call or stop by the bookstore to purchase your tickets today!

*Make a gift during the first ever Georgia Giving Week and get 20% off your bookstore purchase! Visit givingweek.uga.edu for more information.

Price: $15 per ticket/signature

 

Saturday, April 20

8:00 a.m. Athens Farmers Market

The Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park hosts around 45 vendors a weekend, live music, children’s activities and cooking demos.

Location: 705 Sunset Dr., Athens, GA 30606

Price: FREE

 

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Elijah Holyfield and Mecole Hardman Bookstore Signings

Come to the UGA bookstore to meet and get autographs from some of your favorite UGA greats and NFL prospects! Call or stop by the bookstore to purchase your tickets today!

*Make a gift during the first ever Georgia Giving Week and get 20% off your bookstore purchase! Visit givingweek.uga.edu for more information.

Price: $25 per ticket/signature

 

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ARTini’s Paint Fundraiser for ESP

Come have some fun with paint with us & help raise some funds for one of our amazing local organizations, Extra Special People!

Location: 337 Prince Ave, Athens, GA 30601

Price: $24, 50% donated to ESP

 

G-Day game information

11 a.m. Gates open

11:15 a.m. Alumni Football game

2 p.m. G-Day game

SEC Clear bag policy will be in effect. Parking is free and open to the public. G-Day game can be viewed on the SEC Network.

 

Chapter Game Watching Parties

Unable to make it to Athens for G-Day? Don’t worry, Bulldawgs never bark alone. Check out the Alumni Event Calendar to see if there is a game watching party near you!

 

Tailgates

MBA Alumni Tailgate: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Davis Courtyard of Correll Hall on Lumpkin Street

Price: $20 per person, children under 12 free

Register here

MPA GSPA Tailgate: 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: front lawn Baldwin Hall

Price: FREE

Doc & Roc Henderson Barbeque Tailgate Party: 11 a.m.

Location: Myers Quad

Prices vary based on plate orders. Order plates here.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

 

Giving Week Starts Now!

G-Day marks the beginning of the first ever Georgia Giving Week, and we’re calling all Dawgs to show their loyalty. Gifts from alumni and friends can help ensure that every deserving student has an opportunity to earn a UGA education regardless of their financial background. Every gift counts. All Giving Week donors will get 20% off at the UGA Bookstore and an exclusive Georgia pennant magnet. Give now at givingweek.uga.edu.

National Beer Day: Alumnus brewing for a cause

Matt StevensMatt Stevens (AB’03, MPA’14) is the Director of Community and Culture at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Athens. For National Beer Day we’re asking the questions everyone wants to know – from how Creature Comfort’s philanthropy started to Stevens’ top three favorite beers.

The fact that your role exists is unique. You’re clearly passionate about the Athens community, how did that come about?

My role tries to activate the same value with both an internal and external focus, that value being the question of how to use a company to add value to people’s lives. The external focus is, obviously, the community side. Before we’d ever brewed any beer—before there was Tropicalia—there was this value system. What we know how to do is brew beer. But why we do it, in part, is to add value to the community around us. We hope the city of Athens is better off because we’re here helping to support it.

As for my internal focus, we hope our employees view their work as more than “just a job.” We hope every hire is a lifetime hire. Not merely for retention purposes, but we look to invest in our people, and more than just professionally, but personally as well. It looks a lot of different ways, but that’s the basic framework: The simple question of how our employee experience can add value to our people. Great companies recognize that their employees can work anywhere. The fact that they’ve chosen to dedicate their careers to steward our brand demands that we endeavor to, in turn, invest back into them.

Share a little about the Get Comfortable Campaign.

Get Comfortable started in 2015, and initially it was just a slice of the year—from November to January. One of the first things we did once we had more bandwidth was to extend the campaign duration. We wanted this community impact work to be who we are, not just something we do. So today we launch the program every year in January and wrap mid-November, which gives us six weeks at the end of the year to close the books, to disburse funds, and then reload for the next year.

Creature Comforts SignThe program itself stems from our belief that companies have a role to play in the solutions of tomorrow. We cannot simply outsource social services work to the government or nonprofit agencies. Though both sectors absolutely have a role to play, the private sector has a responsibility as well. John Mackey, who founded Whole Foods, wrote a fantastic book a few years back titled Conscious Capitalism, wherein he makes the argument that companies can be capitalistic but also conscientious in the way they go about it. The Get Comfortable campaign, then, is our expression of this belief, our flagship program to participate in the civic wellbeing of our community.

Specifically, we hope this program helps to align the business community to resource the agencies who do our city’s most pressing work. We hope to make serving as simple, as strategic, and as effective as possible for local businesses.

For a full list of the partners and events, visit GetCurious.com.

What was your favorite UGA memory?

I am going to have to go with a sports memory—my father and grandfather played football here so Georgia football memories run deep. I would say being with my dad in Jordan-Hare back in 2002 when we clinched the SEC East for the first time in years. It was the David Greene to Michael Johnson in the fourth quarter with 15 yards and basically zero seconds to go—I leapt into my father’s arms. It was just one of those classic Georgia sports memories.

Favorite UGA professor?

Richard Neupert. I took his introduction to film course—that’s why I not only changed my major but also why I went on to grad school. I received my masters in film studies from the University of Edinburgh before returning to UGA for a now-defunct PhD. Dr. Neupert and I still cross paths from time to time since he still serves on the board of Cine. He is so community-minded, but he’s also this incredible scholar and I admire him greatly.

What are your top three favorite beers?

creature comforts

Arcadiana, it is a barrel-aged saison. Subtle, juicy, delicious. If you like a saison, you should totally try this one.

The Silent World is one of our lesser known releases. It’s a black lager, which is a very unique style. Given its inky black appearance, our brewers named it in homage to the classic Jacques-Yves Cousteau documentary from the 1950’s titled Le Monde du Silence. As a former film scholar, I obviously appreciated the nod to quirky cinema.

This year’s Get Comfortable IPA is a collaboration with Russian River. It was a dream to have Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo come from California this past January to work with our team on that recipe. The result is staggering, one of our best IPAs to date. And of course, all the profits go toward a philanthropic end.

What’s one of your favorite places to grab dinner post-Creature Comforts?

Got to go with my gut, Seabear. In a city full of incredible dining, it remains my very favorite. 

Creature Comforts has expanded to the Southern Mill, which was previously a warehouse near Chase Street, what’s the future of Creature Comforts?

Opening the Southern Mill has given us tremendous new capacity. Throughout 2019 we are looking to continue expanding our distribution footprint statewide. For context, we opened our doors in April 2014 and from day one we were in only two markets, Athens and Atlanta, until last November. In November we opened Augusta and Columbus. And last month we opened up Savannah and more of coastal Georgia. So we’ve gone from two cities for four years to nearly the entire state in the last six months! The new tank capacity, then, has enabled us to release quite a bit more volume and, just as exciting, to create many new recipes through our innovation program. So both our customers and our brewers are pleased with the recent expansion.

UGA Alumni Watson, Mitchell and Kisner to play in 2019 Masters Tournament

The Masters Tournament is one of the four major championships held every year in professional golf.  In fact, many would say the Masters is the most significant professional golf tournament of the year. With the 83rd tournament just days away, we wanted to highlight some of our notable alumni who are playing in the tournament this year. 

uga golfer Bubba Watson

photo by Golf News Net

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson (BSFCS ’08) is not a new name in the Masters Tournament roster. Bubba, a native of Bagdad, Florida, has played in every Masters since 2008 and is a two-time champion of the tournament. Bubba was a member of the UGA Men’s Golf team in 2000 and 2001.  During his time at UGA, Bubba earned many honors including: 2000 All-America and All- SEC recognition and he won the Schenkel Invitational.  He later returned to UGA to complete his degree in 2008. As a professional golfer, Bubba has 12 PGA Tour victories and additional victories in the 2008 CVS/Caremark Charity Classic and the 2015 Hero World Challenge.  He was also a member of the 2016 Men’s Golf Summer Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro. So far in 2019, Bubba tied the low score of the day to finish T4 at the Valspar Championship, finished 6-under and T15 in the Genesis Open and finished T4 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Follow Bubba on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or check out his website for more updates on his career. 

 

uga golfer Kevin Kisner

photo by golfchannel

Kevin Kisner

Kevin Kisner (BBA ’06), is another talented alumnus who is playing in the Masters this year. Kisner is from Aiken, South Carolina, and was a member of the UGA Men’s Golf team from 2003-2006, including the NCAA Division I Championship team. As a golfer at UGA, he earned many honors including:14 top-10 finishes in his career, four-time All-American, three-time All-SEC, SEC Academic Honor Roll, and team captain After earning his degree from UGA, Kisner started his professional career. Kisner has three PGA Tour victories, including the 2019 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, and additional victories in the 2010 Mylan Classic presented by CONSOL Energy and the 2013 Chile Classic. In 2017, Kevin and his wife Brittany founded The Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation. A scholarship of $2500 is awarded to a senior from Aiken County High School from the foundation. Follow Kevin on Twitter or check out his website for more updates on his career.  

 

uga golfer keith mitchell

photo by Golf Digest

Keith Mitchell

Keith Mitchell (BBA ’14) is playing in the Masters for the first time this year. Mitchell is from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was a member of UGA Men’s Golf team from 2011-2014. In 2013, he won the 2013 Bulldog Battle for Georgia. Recently, Mitchell won The Honda Classic, which earned him an invitation to this year’s Masters. Although this is his first PGA Tour victory, he gained experience playing in many PGA Tour tournaments such as the CIMB Classic, Sony Open in Hawaii, The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Follow Keith on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more updates on his career. 

More notable UGA Men’s Golf Alumni

Although these UGA Alumni are not playing in the Masters Tournament this year, both have had successful UGA and professional careers that have earned a large amount of recognition. 

uga golfer Brian Harman

photo by golf.com

Brian Harman

Brian Harman (BBA ’11) is a former UGA Men’s golf member from Savannah, Georgia. During his time at UGA, Harman was named to the 2007 SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2006-2007 First-Team All –SEC, 2006 All-American, 2006 Freshman of the year and more. Harman has two PGA tour victories in his professional career. His 2019 achievements include finishing T8 in The Players Championship. Follow Brian on Twitter and Instagram for more updates on his career. 

 

uga golfer russell henley

photo by Racing Post

Russell Henley

Russell Henley (BSFCS ’11) is a professional golfer from Macon, Georgia. During his collegiate career at UGA, Henley received honors including: 2009 All-SEC ,2009 All-American and the 2010 Haskins Award for outstanding collegiate golfer. Henley began his professional career in 2011 and has three PGA tour victories. His 2019 professional achievements include finishing T15 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Follow Russell on Twitter or check out his website for more updates on his career. 

 

The Masters pre-tournament begins Monday, April 8. Round 1 of the tournament begins on Thursday, April 11. Live coverage of the Masters Tournament can be viewed on CBS and ESPN. For more information, visit masters.com.

The Student Tour of Georgia: Not Your Average Spring Break

Spring break is a time when strangers and university faculty group together to get on a bus and learn about agricultural sustainability, economic development and every other aspect of the state of Georgia that the University of Georgia impacts.  

That’s not actually a traditional spring break, but it was spring break for the 25 students and various faculty members on the inaugural trip of the Student Tour of Georgia. Put together by the President’s Office, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, the Student Tour of Georgia was an experiential learning opportunity based off the longstanding New Faculty Tour created to teach students about what it means to be a land and sea grant university. 

Students went on a boat ride at UGA's Marine Extension.

Students visited UGA’s Marine Extension and went on a boat ride at sunset.

On the first morning of the trip, students heard from University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead and Vice President of Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum about the importance of the trip ahead. With 25 students from various majors across campus as well as supervising faculty, the bus loaded up and headed out at 8am on Monday morning. 

Day 1: 

The tour’s first stop was Jaemor Farms. An hour outside of Athens, we learned about the multi-generational history of the farm from UGA alumna Caroline Black Lewallen (BSA ’11). We were each treated to a delicious fried pie or homemade ice cream. From there, the tour headed to Amicalola Falls to visit one of Georgia’s state parks, and the students climbed around 600 stairs to the top of the falls. At this point it was raining pretty hard, and everyone was thoroughly soaked and ready for a nice hot coffee or tea as we all got to know each other and participated in trust-building exercises at the Amicalola Falls Lodge.  

Day 2 

The second day of the trip started and ended in Atlanta. We started off the day by visiting the Capitol, and it was many students first time entering the building. We sat in on committee hearings and met the Incoming Vice President for Government Relations Toby Carr (BSAE ’01, BBA ’01), as well as put our photography skills to good use on the staircase. 

Students on the steps of the Capitol.

The second day of the tour started at the Capitol in Atlanta. Photo courtesy of the Office of Public Service and Outreach.

From there, we went to the Georgia Experience Center and heard from employees of Georgia Power about how they pitch the state of Georgia to companies who potentially want to open offices or factories here. After that, we went to the Center for Civil and Human Rights and individually toured the three floors of the museum. It was a moving way to remind ourselves of the injustices against human rights that are still happening across the world, as well as reflect on Atlanta’s role in the civil rights movement.    

Our final academic stop of the day was Ebenezer Baptist Church where we got to sit in the pews of the church where Martin Luther King Jr.’s family preached. We were told that the church had been made to appear how it looked on the day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last sermon, which was played for us. It was a surreal experience to hear Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon in which he says what he would like his eulogy to be like, considering that sermon became his own self-eulogy. You can listen to that sermon here.   

We enjoyed a great dinner with UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council members Daniella Singleton (BS ’08, AB ’08), Shayla Hill (BBA ’08), Anna Reddish (BSA ’08, MADS ’09) and alumni Ryan Reddish (BSFR ’08, MFR ’10) and Black Alumni Leadership Council member Jacinta Smith (BS ’01, MS ’04, DRPH ’21) and past president Raymond Phillips (BS ’12, MBA ’18). 

Day 3 

Day three kicked off in Fayetteville for a tour of Pinewood Studios. Though we didn’t see any celebrities (and we couldn’t tell you if we did), it was cool to see where the Marvel blockbuster movies are filmed, and learn about the Georgia Film Academy and the “new urbanism” movement in nearby community Pinewood Forest. 

Students inside a sound stage at Pinewood Studios.

Students got to enter a sound stage at Pinewood Studios. Photo courtesy of the Office of Public Service and Outreach.

After that, we traveled to Macon for a lunch-and-learn. We heard about the economics behind Newtown Macon, an effort to revitalize the city, as well as the Ocmulgee National Historical Park. Our next stop was in Hawkinsville, where we learned about UGA’s Archway programs, and a Youth Leadership Program called LIFE League. From there, we traveled to Albany State University’s campus for a dinner where we learned about their disaster recovery progress in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Although Albany State’s students were also on spring break, we enjoyed meeting students from Howard University in Washington, D.C. who were there helping with recovery efforts on their own spring break “impact” trip. 

Day 4 

On the fourth day of the trip, we visited UGA’s Tifton Campus and learned about what students there are focusing on studying, including going on a tour of an incredibly energy efficient home as well as seeing a demonstration of a drone that can tell farmers how much water their fields need. We also visited UGA’s dairy research facility and pet baby cows, which was a really great time. 

Students pet baby cow at UGA's dairy research facility.

Students got quality time with baby cows at UGA’s dairy research facility.

At the Okefenokee Swamp, we learned all about alligators, including one named Crazy. We got to pet a baby alligator named Tiny, and then took a small boat tour through the swamp, followed by a train tour of another area of the swamp. 

Our last stop of the day was UGA’s Marine Extension on Skidaway Island, where we were greeted by none other than Uga X. Remember how petting baby cows AND baby alligators was really fun? We then got to pet and pose for photos with the best dawg, and that’s certainly a lot of students’ favorite memory from the trip.  

Day 5 

On the fifth and final day of the tour, we woke up in Savannah and went to the Georgia Ports Authority and learned about their work and took a tour of the ports. Next, we went to Gulfstream Aerospace and saw the process behind the construction of $60 million-dollar jets, as well as the creation of simulators for pilot education.  

Finally, we stopped in Washington County and enjoyed Dairy Lane milkshakes as we heard from UGA alumna Conni Fennell-Burley (BSHE ’88), an Archway Professional. It was, no pun intended, a sweet finish to the week.   

This summary doesn’t even begin to mention the time we spent as a group reflecting on what we had learned that day, starting snack delivery chains on the bus or playing silly bonding games. By the end of the week, we had perfected our group photo pose. While it wasn’t a traditional spring break, I believe an alternative spring break where we got to see so many places in Georgia made us all the more grateful to be at the University of Georgia. UGA is and will continue to be a landgrant and seagrant university that is committed to making a positive impact on not only the state, but the world.  

 

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