Giving Tuesday is a great day to make a difference

Before the rush of the holidays takes over, Giving Tuesday is a day to pause and support the causes that mean the most to you. This year, the University of Georgia is highlighting three causes on campus that are addressing timely issues.

UGA Student Emergency Fund

The UGA Student Emergency Fund provides limited, one-time financial assistance to UGA students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an emergency situation, such as an accident, illness, death of a family member, natural disaster, or other unforeseen circumstance (like a pandemic).

Looking for a stocking stuffer this holiday season? Each purchase of a pair of UGA face coverings also supports the Student Emergency Fund.

UGA Black Alumni Scholarship

The Black Alumni Scholarship Fund provides scholarship funds to a first-year student who exhibits dedication to racial equality through previous experience and creativity in improving race relations in the community. Donors of $19.61 or more to the Black Alumni Scholarship Fund will automatically become a member of the 1961 Club. Commemorating the year in which Hamilton E. Holmes (BS ’63) and Charlayne Hunter-Gault (ABJ ’63) courageously integrated the University of Georgia, the 1961 Club continues their legacy through its commitment to removing barriers and opening doors.

Vets for Pets and People

Run by UGA College of Veterinary Medicine students, Vets for Pets and People (VFPP) partners with Project Safe, a nonprofit working to end domestic violence in the Athens area. As women and children enter Project Safe’s network of safe houses, they often cannot take their pets with them. VFPP offers a temporary foster home for those animals that includes veterinary and nutrition care so that families can receive the care they need without worrying about their pets’ safety.

And you aren’t limited to these causes.

UGA is solving grand challenges on a local and global scale. In celebration of Giving Tuesday, show your support for the Bulldog Nation and your community with a commitment that inspires you. If you’d like to donate elsewhere, there are many causes. One heart.

 

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 9, 2020: South Carolina

One Bulldog replaces another in Columbia, with Mike Bobo taking over for Will Muschamp at South Carolina. Will this Gamecock coach be as good to his alma mater as the last? Also, Jerry assembles an all-alum UGA coaching staff.

Grab your book or e-reader for the UGA Alumni Association’s Between the Pages virtual book club. The next book is “Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things” (released 11/24/20) by Josh Clark (M ’99) and Chuck Bryant (AB ’95), the duo behind the award-winning podcast “Stuff You Should Know.” You can register today for the Dec. 2 event!

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

Isobel Mills (BFA ’12) made her passion her profession thanks to a UGA education

Isobel Mills (BFA ’12) is always eager to try new things. As a child, Mills was interested in puzzles, building with Legos and drawing. She was always drawn to texture and she found a way to bring texture to life through ceramics.

She knew she wanted to major in art, but once she was accepted into the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, she discovered the parallels between ceramics and fabrics. Once she learned to sew, there was no turning back.

“When I see a picture or a painting, I think of how to make it textural. I always see pleats,” said Mills.

She moved to New York a month after she graduated and spent the next eight years working and learning.

“My UGA degree prepared me to do many different things, and I tried many different things—from interior design to jewelry design—but I never worked as a fabric designer, so I continued to create my own fabric designs when I wasn’t working,” said Mills.

“I decided to quit my job at the end of 2016. I then made it my job to learn the business. Consequently, I made a pattern a day, learned new skills by watching YouTube videos, got certified in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and met with everyone I knew to network and pick their brains. Turns out people really and truly want to help, so don’t ever be afraid to ask—that one took me a while to learn.”

She officially launched ISOBEL in May of 2018 in NYC because she lived up the block from her dream showroom, Studio Four NYC. She knew that was where her line belonged, and she wasn’t moving until that dream became a reality. Once she got accepted into that showroom, the first domino fell: Other showrooms began reaching out, and her line slowly grew. She moved back to Georgia nearly two years later once she felt that her line had a presence.

Mills stayed in close contact with some of her UGA professors who gave her invaluable advice along the way on how to get started. One of her professors, Clay McLaurin, was five years into his launching his own brand as well, and he happily shared his experience and wisdom with her.

Her hard work eventually paid off. In addition to her online presence, her fabrics are featured in seven showrooms across the country.

Mills’ favorite memories at UGA are the times she spent with classmates and friends. She recalled the many hours outside the classroom that she spent working on projects and the enduring friendships that were born out of those long hours. For years, she’s met up with friends she met through her sorority for one football game a year, even when she lived in New York.

Her advice for current students: “Listen to your internal voice. Always do what you love, don’t give up and you will find a way to make your passion your profession.”

These days, Mills serves on the Board of Visitors at Lamar Dodd. She feels honored to sit on a board with people who have so much experience and for whom she has so much respect. She feels called to give back to the school that gave so much to her.

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 8, 2020: Mississippi State

In week 8, the Pirate pulls into harbor at Sanford Stadium with Mississippi State’s newly invigorated (if turnover-prone) offense. Jerry looks at Mike Leach’s history and considers taking the show in a new, international direction.

The Women of UGA Leadership Council is proud to present Cookies and Cocoa with Hairy Dawg, taking place virtually this year! The fundraising event will feature appearances by Hairy Dawg and other special guests as they facilitate family-friendly activities, including cookie decorating, letters to Uga, questions for Hairy, and much more. Register today for the December 6th event!

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

UGA alumni at The Home Depot come together to endow scholarship

The University of Georgia Corporate Alumni Chapter at The Home Depot is composed of a group of alumni who are very proud of their Bulldog roots. Beyond their fond memories at UGA, they have a collective, deep-seated belief that their education at the University of Georgia was instrumental in getting them to where they are today 

With that in mind, in 2017, they decided to embark on an ambitious project of creating an endowed need-based scholarship to open doors and remove barriers for students who wanted to attend UGA. 

“For many, college is financially out of reach. They never get to experience a Thursday night in Athens, collegiate friendships that stand the test of time, or the feeling of accomplishment come graduation day,” said Wes Neece (BBA ’00) Vice President of Merchandising at The Home Depot“It was important to me to join in this initiative with my fellow alumni colleagues to give a worthy individual a lifetime of experiences.” 

The collective fundraising effort spanned three years. During this time, the Chapter hosted lunch and learn events featuring UGA faculty and staff speakers and breakfast meet-and-greets to encourage alumni givingIn support of its employees, The Home Depot Foundation matched the gifts these alumni made 

Home depot logo with UGA swag

In 2020, their hard work paid off: The Chapter met their goal to create an endowed need-based scholarshipIn total, 75 alumni came together to create this opportunity for UGA students. A deserving scholar was selected in Fall 2020. The Home Depot Alumni Chapter Scholarship will last in perpetuity, helping students become part of the Bulldog family.  

Although they met their goal, these Bulldog alums didn’t stop there. Chapter members are continuing to add to the scholarship fund by giving their annual gift to UGA through The Home Depot Alumni Chapter Scholarship, in order to increase its impact for the student recipients.  

“It was incredibly heartwarming to watch The Home Depot’s Corporate Alumni Chapter set a goal to help a current Bulldog in need and continue to work towards the finish line until they not only met that goal but surpassed it,” said Stacy Stanford, Director of Corporate Relations at UGA. Their generosity as an alumni corporate chapter is inspiring. 

Calculus tutoring, broken teeth and California: the Aikens have a one-of-a-kind UGA story

Andrew (BS ’97) and Ashley Aiken (BS ’97) are an impressive pair. Andrew is one of Atlanta’s top oral surgeons, with a private practice regularly named among the city’s best. Ashley is a nationally recognized educator and researcher in neuroradiology. But this power couple can trace their origin to an ecology course and calculus tutoring at UGA.

Ashley was always a very motivated student and knew early on that she wanted to go to medical school, so she pursued a biology degree at UGA while in the Honors Program.

Andrew’s undergraduate course was set after conversations with an advisor. He didn’t have Ashley’s singular purpose, but he did know that he liked sciences and the outdoors, so he became an ecology major.

Ashley and Andrew met each other through mutual friends early on in their time at UGA. They hit it off, but it wasn’t until their third year that someone made a move.

“I signed up for an ecology class he was in, which was… let’s say it wouldn’t have been a class I’d normally look into,” said Ashley.

It wasn’t long before Andrew reciprocated: “I asked her to tutor me in calculus, which, if I’m honest, was really more about spending time with her than the calculus.”

After some nudging from their friends, the pair finally started dating. They both graduated in 1997, and while Ashley was ready to head to medical school, Andrew took some time to figure out his next steps. A clear path forward wasn’t coming to him, but a need for new veneers on three teeth that were broken a decade earlier playing tennis led Andrew to a life-changing visit with his dentist.

“I started talking with my dentist about what I wanted to do, and he started telling me about dentistry,” said Andrew. “I had been going to him for about 20 years, so we knew each other pretty well, so based on that and everything we talked about during these visits, he said he thought I’d be a good fit for it.”

So, Ashley enrolled at the Medical College of Georgia in 1997, and Andrew followed suit two years later to attend dental school.

After two years in Augusta, Andrew and Ashley married, in 2001. The newlyweds faced a difficult decision soon after. Ashley finished her internship in 2002 and was ready to begin her residency, but Andrew was still in the process of completing his dental degree.

They both wanted to attend The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), which had highly ranked programs in both of their areas. But to stay on track, Ashley would have to go a year ahead of Andrew. Seeing this as a chance they had to take, the Aikens decided to spend a year apart after having been married for just one year.

Andrew and Ashley at Andrew’s dental school graduation in 2003

This sacrifice would prove worthwhile. At UCSF, Ashley found her calling and was able to work with mentors who helped her set the course of her career while she completed a residency and fellowship. Once Andrew joined her, he earned his medical degree and completed an oral & maxillofacial surgery residency program at UCSF.

The Aikens also welcomed twin daughters, Frances and Olivia, while in California. And even though they were on the other end of the country, on fall Saturdays, they would gather with other Bulldogs at a bar called The Bus Stop to cheer on the Dawgs.

As Ashley was finishing up her fellowship in 2007, she knew she wanted to stay in academia, and thanks to several UCSF connections, she was able to find an opportunity at Emory University. Over the next two years, Andrew finished his residency while Ashley worked as junior faculty at UCSF and kept her Emory connections open.

In 2009, the family of four moved back to Georgia. Since then, Ashley has become director of Head and Neck Imaging at Emory and program director for the Neuroradiology Fellowship in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. Andrew is in private practice at Oral Surgery Specialists of Atlanta. The Aikens also added a son, Walker, shortly after moving back to Georgia.

With their return to Georgia, the Aikens were also able to return to the friendships they made while at UGA, and they found those connections were just as strong as they had left them.

“We still have so many close friends from UGA,” said Ashley. “Some that are in Albany, some in Athens, some in Texas, a lot that are in Atlanta, and those connections are some of the biggest reasons that I’m so thankful we made the choice to attend the University of Georgia.”

Their renewed connection to UGA includes the school itself, by way of a shadowing program Andrew participates in. UGA students interested in dentistry and oral surgery go to his office and follow him throughout the day to explore the work of an oral surgeon.

“I’m happy to give back and let people come back and see if they like oral surgery because it’s a really wonderful profession,” said Andrew.

The Aikens’ story begins at UGA. And though they have achieved so much beyond Athens and staked an impressive claim out in the world, it’s clear that the Classic City never left their hearts.

“My time at Georgia was the best four and a half years of my life,” said Andrew. “I met my wife, I met good friends, and I created shared experiences with people that I’m still in touch with 20 years later.”

Ten tips to ensure an at-home tailgate win

By Shontel Cargill (BS ’10), secretary of the UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council, and David White (ABJ ’10), member of the UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council.

Tailgating looks different this year. We’re not on campus, we’re social distancing from many friends and family members and honestly, we’re just grateful to have a football season. Still, Bulldogs have never been ones to give up—especially when it comes to spending time with fellow alumni and fans. With Homecoming approaching, it’s time to once again rally our enduring spirit of camaraderie and pride. And there’s one event that is sure to do this …

All Bulldogs are invited to UGA’s annual Black Alumni Homecoming Tailgate. This year, we’re taking the reunion virtual. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late. Be sure to order an official Homecoming box (you can always use it for future games if it doesn’t arrive in time) and tune in to our pregame show at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 21.

No matter who you’re with or how you’re celebrating Homecoming this year, you can still plan a winning tailgate with these top ten tips:

  1. Never Bark Alone, but get that mask on!

You want everyone to have a fun and safe time at your tailgate despite the pandemic. So, make sure to limit the number of guests you invite and have your favorite Bulldog masks handy (check these out from the UGA Bookstore—which also support UGA students!). If you’re not eating or drinking, keep that mask on! Alternatively, you can host a virtual tailgate to cheer on the Dawgs with friends all over the country.

  1. Make a grocery list and plan ahead.

You can’t wait until Saturday morning to start planning—and don’t forget the essentials: food, beverages, water, plates, and don’t forget the ‘Ice, Ice, Baby!’ Now, it’s a lot more complicated than just “food” so be sure you …

  1. Create a menu.

Expert tailgaters know that the food can make or break a tailgate. Put in the work on Pinterest ahead of time to create a menu that tastes good and can be enjoyed throughout the game. And remember your vegetarian/vegan friends and others with dietary restrictions. Share your menu on social media and tag us @ugaalumni ahead of the game.

  1. Prep food in advance.

Make sure your food is well-seasoned! Consider marinating your meats (or jackfruit, tofu, etc.) the night before. And hey—go ahead and set up as much as possible on Friday night.

  1. Remember the coolers.

Some Bulldogs focus on the food and drink, but completely forget one essential item: ice! That little cooler that holds three drinks is not going to cut it if you’re hosting 2+ people. Consider ordering a larger one from the UGA Bookstore or your local sporting goods store ahead of time.

  1. Hydrate and hydrate some more!

You can never have too much water. Fill one of your coolers with bottles of water and leave some out for the end of the game. If a guest hasn’t had a sip of water by the second quarter, you might need to throw a flag and call for a water break.

  1. A sensational setup!

Ensure that your TV and speakers are setup for a front-row experience. Provide comfortable seating options with a good view of the game for each guest. Don’t forget the decorations and your best Georgia gear. Bonus points for setting up games like cornhole to enjoy before kickoff and during halftime.

  1. The perfect pregame playlist! 

Make sure to swag when you surf, tote that Georgia-Florida Line and get ready to Hail to Georgia before kickoff. You are welcome to listen to the playlist we created just for this occasion. Maybe even assign someone the role of drum major—it’s their job to queue up Krypton Fanfare at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

  1. Don’t forget to show off your hard work! #UGAHomecoming 

If we didn’t see it on social, did it happen? Share your tailgating talents on social media with #UGAHomecoming and tag @ugaalumni!

  1. Bring your best Bulldog touchdown celebrations!

What is a Bulldog tailgate without celebrations? We expect Bulldog fans of all ages to come ready with a touchdown dance. Need an easy one? Just channel your inner Sony Michel. 🤗

 

We wish you a happy Homecoming and hope to see you for the virtual Black Alumni Homecoming Tailgate on Nov. 21. As always, Go Dawgs!

2020 Homecoming–this is normal, right?

Homecoming–a time when UGA alumni gather to celebrate and return to their alma mater … but how do we do this in 2020? This year, instead of lining the streets of downtown Athens for the annual Homecoming parade or attending a tailgate hosted by your school or college, the UGA Alumni Association’s loyal volunteers and dedicated staff members have curated a week of virtual festivities to bring a little piece of the Arch to you (Nov. 16-21)!

 

For the Woman Who Wants to Serve

Monday, November 16 | Mentorship Monday | Women on Boards

UGA Alumni Association Vice President Yvette Daniels (AB ’86, JD ’89) will moderate a Mentorship Monday panel focused on women’s role as board members of community, nonprofit and for-profit boards–and how to find a board placement that’s right for you.

 

For the Nostalgic Football Fan

Tuesday, November 17 | Hunker Down & Huddle Up | Members of the 1980 Championship Football Team

UGA Alumni Association President Brian Dill (AB ’94, MBA ’19) will speak with members of UGA’s 1980 football team. Buck Belue (M ’82), Scott Williams (AB ’86), Frank Ros (BSED ’82, MED ’84) and Coach Vince Dooley will reminisce on the 1980 season, discuss their time at UGA, weigh in on this year’s team–and answer questions from alumni and fans.

 

For Alumni Who Love History

Wednesday, November 18 | Monumental Discussions w/Sheffield Hale (AB ’82)

UGA’s Metro Atlanta Alumni Chapter will host a conversation with Sheffield Hale (AB ’82), president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center. Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander, associate professor of employment law and legal studies in the Terry College of Business, will moderate this discussion of historical facts and context around monuments, historic markers, and the meaning behind them.

 

For Alumni Who Could Use a Good Laugh

Thursday, November 19 | Between Two Hedges | Comedian Mia Jackson (AB ’00)

Atlanta-based comedian Mia Jackson (AB ’00) has opened for Amy Schumer, taped specials for EPIX and Comedy Central, and was a semi-finalize on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” The UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council will host this successful alumna for a discussion ‘Between Two Hedges.’

 

For Alumni Who Miss Tailgating–especially on Myers Quad

Saturday, November 21 | UGA Black Alumni (Virtual) Homecoming Tailgate
Saturday, November 21 | Homecoming @ Home w/UGA School of Law

Fire up your grill, gather your circle of friends or family, and tune in to this special pre-game show three hours prior to kickoff. The UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council is proud to bring the spirit and pride of the annual Black Alumni Homecoming Tailgate on Myers Quad into your living room. Then, switch on the TV to cheer for the Dawgs as they beat Mississippi State!

For all of those Law Dawgs out there, the School of Law is taking its annual tailgate virtual as well. Find all you need to know here.

 

For Alumni Who Are Busy Next Week

Wednesday, December 2 | Between the Pages | Chuck Bryant (AB ’95) of Stuff You Should Know
Sunday, December 6 | Cookies & Cocoa with Hairy Dawg
Tuesday, December 8 | Who is Hiring Now? | Top Job Search Strategies Webinar

If you can’t make it next week, we have an ever-evolving lineup of virtual offerings for alumni throughout the year, including the Between the Pages virtual book club on December 2 (you don’t even have to read the book beforehand!) and a virtual edition of our annual holiday fundraiser, Cookies & Cocoa with Hairy Dawg. Hope to see you there!

In addition to these activities, there are a number of activities in which alumni can participate that are coordinated by UGA’s Homecoming Committee:

  • Dawg Dawg 5K (Sunday, 11/15) – A virtual 5K similar to our “Attack the Day 5K” this summer. Details here. Post your photos to social and tag @ugahomecoming.
  • Donation Drive (Monday-Thursday, 11/16-11/19) – Donate items for the Student Food Pantry, Professional Clothing Closet and/or Bulldog Basics in Tate Plaza from 10-4 each day.
  • School & College Day (Wednesday, 11/18) – Post on social why you love your UGA school/college. Tag @ugahomecoming to be featured!
  • Drive-In Movie (Friday, 11/20) – Catch a flick at the IM Fields Lot (E01) at 7 p.m.

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 7, 2020: Missouri

NOTE: The UGA-Missouri game originally scheduled for Nov. 14 has been postponed, and a rescheduling is pending. This episode was recorded prior to the postponement.

We’re headed to Columbia West, where Eli Drinkwitz gets to become the fourth Mizzou head coach to take a swing at the Dawgs. Also, Jerry attempts to cope with the Florida loss by using the healing properties of dad jokes.

Hunker Down & Huddle Up is a semi-regular virtual event where Bulldog legends will talk about pivotal moments in UGA history, answer your questions and weigh in on the 2020 season. Register today for our next Hunker Down & Huddle Up event, featuring members of the 1980 national championship team, kicking off at 7 p.m. on November 17!

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

The Jerry Tanner Show – Week 6, 2020: Florida

It’s time for our annual St. Johns River skirmish with the Gators. Will the disappointingly dull Dan Mullen finally beat UGA? Or will Kirby become the first coach since Vince Dooley to extend Georgia’s UF win streak to 4?

Hunker Down & Huddle Up is a semi-regular virtual event where Bulldog legends will talk about pivotal moments in UGA history, answer your questions and weigh in on the 2020 season. Register today for our next Hunker Down & Huddle Up event, featuring former UGA quarterback Aaron Murray and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, kicking off at 7 p.m. on November 4!

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.