Nominations are now open for the University of Georgia’s inaugural Footsteps Award, which will recognize a UGA graduate who follows in the pioneering footsteps of Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Hamilton Holmes and Mary Frances Early, UGA’s first enrolled Black students and first Black graduate, respectively.
Members of the UGA community are invited to submit nominations for the Footsteps Award using this form. The nomination period ends on Jan. 9, the 61st anniversary of the day Hunter-Gault and Holmes enrolled in classes. The honoree will be a UGA graduate who has made a significant positive impact in human rights, race relations or education in their community. Selected by a committee of UGA faculty, staff and students, the first recipient will be named as part of the 2022 Holmes-Hunter Lecture in February.
Members of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors brought forward the idea for the Footsteps Award shortly before 2021, the 60th anniversary of desegregation at UGA. They knew of great social justice work being done by UGA alumni, but there was no specific recognition for it.
“I am proud in so many ways for this award,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of alumni relations at UGA. “I’m proud of our board members for wanting to honor great and necessary work, proud of our university for adopting the award, and most of all, proud of our alumni who deserve this award for working every day to improve communities.”