Photo: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass over the defense of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 14, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Former University of Georgia quarterback and current Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and wife Kelly, a former UGA cheerleader, have committed to a gift to the university totaling $1.5 million.
The gift benefits a variety of areas and is highlighted by a significant contribution to an ambitious new social justice program launched by the UGA Athletic Association.
“Kelly and I have thought a lot about how we can improve our society and make a meaningful impact on the current social situation. Each and every time, we came back to education, and there’s no better place to create that kind of positive change than UGA,” said Matthew Stafford. “When we learned more about this program and others across campus, we were happy to lend our support.”
The primary goal of the new program is to continue developing an environment that will effect meaningful change in the areas of areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice for all of the Association’s members, including student-athletes, coaches and staff.
“We are incredibly grateful to Matthew and Kelly for their support of this important program and the university as a whole,” said J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Their generosity will create positive experiences for many students across multiple areas at UGA and will ensure our student-athletes continue to enjoy exceptional experiences on campus.”
In addition to helping launch UGA Athletics’ social justice program, the Staffords’ gift includes a donation to the Magill Society to support the Butts-Mehre Expansion Project. The project will add a greatly expanded weight room, locker room, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices and sports medicine facility, as well as a number of other improvements for the football program.
The Staffords’ pledge will create two Georgia Commitment Scholarships as well. These scholarships will provide critical support to students who are unable to afford the full cost of attendance at UGA even when they have financial aid, such as a HOPE or Zell Miller scholarship or Federal Pell Grants.
The UGA Spirit Program Operational Endowment also will receive a donation as part of the Staffords’ commitment. The endowment provides general support for UGA Cheerleading.
“Matthew and Kelly Staffords’ pledge demonstrates the commitment of our alumni to their alma mater and to making a positive difference in the world,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I deeply appreciate their support of UGA’s efforts to nurture a diverse and inclusive campus culture and to promote academic access and success for all students.”