Dawgs through the decades: UGA in the 1970s
Take a trip down nostalgia lane with our newest blog series documenting UGA in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. First stop: the psychedelic seventies! We sat down with alumni to learn about college life in a decade defined by war, protests and rock ‘n’ roll.
The 1970s was a spirited decade in America and that was no different on campus. Long-standing traditions, like chanting “How ‘Bout Them Dawgs,” found their humble beginnings during these years. Prominent buildings and organizations also were established, fostering a university-wide commitment to preparing a generation of risk-takers and culture-shapers.
Students in the 1970s were curious and innovative, tenaciously searching for better answers and impactful solutions. Among UGA’s distinguished alumni from this decade, there are scientists, musicians, entrepreneurs, professors and U.S. representatives. Bulldogs from the 1970s continue to inspire those who will lead, discover and serve across our state, country and the world.
Here are some important moments from UGA’s history in the 1970s:
- UGA celebrated the first Earth Day with a teach-in at Memorial Hall
- Nearly 3,000 demonstrators gathered on campus to protest the Vietnam War
- Aderhold Hall was completed (and named for UGA’s 17th president)
- Rising Junior Test was adopted as a graduation requirement
- Title IX of the Education Amendments was enacted, changing the landscape of college athletics (Before 1972, sporting opportunities for women on campus were confined to intramurals and club teams)
- The first women scholarship athletes competed on campus
- A standard minimum SAT score became a requirement for admission to UGA
- The Center for International and Comparative Law was dedicated to Dean Rusk
- The UGA Small Business Development Center was established
- The School of Accounting was established in the College of Business Administration (now the J. M. Tull School of Accounting in the Terry College of Business)
- The UGA Research Foundation was established
- “How ‘Bout Them Dawgs” emerged as the battle cry of the Bulldog Nation
Classic City Entertainment
In 1972, Georgia lowered the legal drinking age to 18, greatly impacting Athens nightlife. Students flocked to live music at Memorial Hall, the Last Resort, the 40 Watt Club and Legion Field. University Union and downtown concert venues hosted national acts like the Allman Brothers Band, Bob Hope, Jimmy Buffet and Randy Newman.
Athens-based bands revolutionized rock and alternative music in the 1970s. Ravenstone, a politically active hard-rock band, formed at UGA early in the decade. The group supported anti-war protests and other social issues. In 1972, Ravenstone played at the first openly held LGBTQ rights dance in the Southeast. The B-52s played its first gig at an Athens house party in 1977, later releasing several best-selling records.
The Lamar Dodd School of Art sustained the Athens music scene. Throughout the 1970s, it attracted highly qualified and talented students who were seeking a receptive environment for visual arts. These students would become nationally recognized artists, musicians and scholars. In 1979, four students formed R.E.M. and made their debut appearance on WUOG, the campus radio station. R.E.M.’s creative ascent would help shape the Classic City into the cultural epicenter that it is today.
The 1970s gave rise to disco, rock, R&B and soul. Toward the end of the decade, hip-hop was born. Reminisce on the 1970s with this UGA Alumni playlist, a brief sampling of the bands and performers who ruled the golden era of music!
While many students opted for jeans and T-shirts, Bulldogs in the 1970s boasted an eccentric style. Snelling Dining Hall held fashion shows, featuring trends like buckskin bags, wide leather belts, suede vests and bell bottoms. The Red & Black advertised inventive styles from stores like Clothesline, Millers at Alps and Sears at Beechwood.
Seventies fashion saw bold colors and patterns take center stage. Students expressed themselves through experimental, cutting-edge and unconventional clothing. Flared pants, pantsuits, platform shoes and ascots were worn by both men and women, paving the way for gender-neutral fashion.
In addition to trailblazing fashion and music, students established their own slang, too. Learn to speak like a Bulldog from the 1970s–or if you were a student during this decade, does anything sound familiar?
- Crib: Apartment or home
“Come to my crib to watch the Dawgs beat Auburn.”
- Ace: Awesome
“The Dawgs were ace this season.”
- Skinny: The truth
“Want the skinny? The Gators are going to lose.”
- Far out: Cool
“The B-52s’ new album is far out.”
- Get down: Dance
“Let’s get down at the 40 Watt!”
- Right on: Agreement with something or someone
“Go Dawgs? Right on!”
- Chump: Foolish person
“Did you see that Georgia Tech fan? What a chump!”
Whether you graduated in the 1970s or just started wearing red and black, UGA remains more than a memory and more than a degree. It’s a deep-rooted community, centuries old and over 340,000 strong.
Stay tuned as we travel to the 1980s!
*Shannon Moran, writing/communications intern for UGA’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations, is researching and writing this special blog series.