Honoring the past and present

When brainstorming the perfect gift for a loved one, not many people may think of naming a scholarship in that person’s honor. Bob Miller (AB ’64), however, has made a tradition of commemorating life’s big moments by giving back.  

When his wife’s father passed, Bob decided to give to the University of Georgia to begin that legacy. “Mary Helen was the apple of her father’s eye, so I wanted to make sure she could remember him in a way that was meaningful to us both,” Bob explained. It was this reasoning that led Bob to establish the Charles M. Hicks Scholarship Fund–named after Mary Helen’s beloved father–during the holiday season of 1981 as a gift to her. The Charles M. Hicks Scholarship fund supports students in the Morehead Honors College, a program that had a profound impact on Bob during his own time at UGA. 

Established in 1960, the Honors College–known as the Honors Program before 2021–counted Bob Miller as a student in its very first cohort. The experience was transformational for him; by participating in smaller classes and fostering deeper connections among students and faculty, the Honors College ignited a lifelong love of learning in Bob.  

Bob Miller takes a break while hiking in Dartmoor, England.

“It just blew my mind,” Bob said. “I couldn’t get over how much more I enjoyed going to class after joining the program. It was a fascinating learning experience,” he continued. “The Honors Program made me a student; I wouldn’t have created a scholarship today if it weren’t for my experience in the Honors Program.”  

Bob’s university experience was one he wanted to share with future generations of students, regardless of their circumstances. Establishing several need-based scholarships in Mary Helen’s name was the logical next step in Bob’s giving journey with the university. “I loved the idea of not letting a good student fall between the cracks because they lack the financial means to attend or didn’t want to borrow and be stuck in debt,” Bob explained.  

“We shouldn’t fail to fulfill the potential of students who would eventually become an asset to this state,” he said. “It’s important for us to try to keep the very best of human capital in Georgia by offering as many students as we can the opportunity to attend the state’s flagship university.” 

Building a better future

The Charles M. Hicks Scholarship fund has helped many students make the most of their time at UGA by supporting scholarships through the Morehead Honors College. Still, Bob would like to see more growth in the fund as well as in two need-based Georgia Commitment Scholarships Bob created and named after his wife, Mary Helen, in August 2023 to celebrate the couple’s 60th anniversary.  

“In my lifetime, I want to see the Hicks scholarship valued at $1 million and for there to be four Mary Helen Miller scholarships–one for each year she was at the university,” Bob explained. Supporting these scholarships has become a point of pride for Bob, an appropriate way for him to celebrate the past but also allow future generations of students to have the same transformative experiences at the university that he did. 

One of the recipients of the Charles M. Hicks Scholarship, Nicole Moreno ’25, reflected on her own life-changing immersive learning experience that she was only able to embark on with the assistance of that scholarship.  

Nicole Moreno ’25 was able to embark on her own travels thanks to the Hicks scholarship.

“When I first started looking into a year abroad, I was almost discouraged by the cost of it all,” Nicole said. “My experience studying abroad is one I will never forget, and I am so eternally grateful to the Honors College and its donors for putting their faith in me to venture out, grow, explore, and change the world.”  

From the Bob Millers to the Nicole Morenos, the Morehead Honors College at UGA offers many students learning opportunities that can help shape their future and ignite their passions. When students like Bob and Nicole become alumni, those experiences can inspire them to give back so that current and future students are able to access similar opportunities, continuing a cycle of cascading impact for generations to come.   

UGA alumna opens doors to the arts

Susan Sherman (ABJ ’82) surrounds herself with beautiful things. She is an art collector, co-founder of the experiential retail startup MERCH and a former classically trained dancer, but one of her favorite ways to experience art is simply by wearing it. 

Susan has loved fashion since her days as a dancer, when she would spend the time before performances exploring the production behind her costumes. She described her entry into fashion as a consumer first–she loved shopping and style, and she often flipped her new clothes inside out after buying them so she could examine their seams and stitching. 

“I was always looking at how things were made,” she said.  

She is the chair and co-founder of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which seeks to bring back St. Louis’s fashion industry, once second only to New York’s Garment District. The group, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, uplifts young designers and emerging brands and promotes fashion education and outreach in the city. 

The late Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley (seated at left) with Susan Sherman and members of the inaugural class of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund’s Incubator Program, in 2017.

“We have a city that has fashion in its DNA,” Susan said. “It’s all about increasing job opportunities, economic development, recruiting fashion brands to come back and rebuilding the ecosystem we had around the turn of the century.” 

Susan’s role in the Saint Louis Fashion Fund has positioned her to be one of St. Louis’ leading voices in the industry and given her opportunities to connect students and up-and-coming designers with resources they need to succeed.  

Susan has extended her support to UGA students, sponsoring a series of spring break trips for students in the Lamar Dodd School of Art to St. Louis, Dallas and New York. There, they met with people in the fashion, art, and design industries–touring art galleries, studios and museums, visiting Diane von Furstenberg’s atelier and exploring fashion and design incubator programs.  

Susan Sherman with legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg at the Saint Louis Fashion Fund’s 2022 “Speaking of Fashion” talk at Washington University in St. Louis.

Susan not only funds these trips but also actively participates in them to experience the arts alongside UGA students. She and her husband, David, ride along on the bus with students and offer their expertise and insights, getting to know them and arranging access to institutions and people throughout the trip. 

Susan said she loves being around students, especially those interested in fashion and the arts, because she’s energized by their creativity and innovation.  

“There are so many different ways to produce and make and create,” she said. “I learn more from young people than my peers. They’re the ones who really have their ears to the ground of the industry and understand how it’s changing.”  

Susan and a friend pose for a graduation photo in 1982 in front of the Kappa Alpha Theta house on Milledge Ave.

Susan began her career as a public relations associate for the Atlanta Ballet and worked in broadcast journalism in Atlanta, Paris, and St. Louis before fully immersing herself in the world of fashion. As a UGA student studying broadcast journalism, Susan held the highly selective Georgia Lawmakers internship reporting on the state legislature with her classmate Deborah Roberts (ABJ ’82), a current anchor on ABC News.  

Connecting with undergraduate students through sponsoring experiential learning opportunities is just one of the ways that Susan has remained involved with UGA since graduation. She served on the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees, gives to UGA, attends football games and is on a committee for the renovation of her sorority’s house, Kappa Alpha Theta. 

Above all, Susan hopes her personal efforts and active philanthropy can introduce more students to the diverse range of career paths and opportunities available to them in the arts.   

“When you get to be my age, you have a lot of connections and you’re just trying to open doors and opportunities for young people,” she said. “I’ve always liked the underdawgs. D-A-W-G-S, mind you.”


Away Game Guide: Orange Bowl

Headed to Miami to cheer on the Dawgs as they face off with Florida State in the Orange Bowl? Check out this travel guide for all the best places to stay, eat and sightsee for your weekend in the sunshine state. 

This guide includes recommendations from Akil Kalathil (BS ’14), a Miami-based UGA alumnus. 

Where to stay 

Just one mile from Hard Rock Stadium, the Stadium Hotel is perfect for fans looking to be in the center of the action. The hotel offers event shuttles and has plenty of opportunities for family fun, including a large outdoor pool, mini-golf, a basketball court and an on-site sports bar and grill. 

Hard Rock Stadium is a little outside of Miami’s city center, so the nearest beaches are in the North Beach and Sunny Isles areas. Travelers on a budget can get the resort experience at the Ramada Plaza Marco Polo Beach Resort, a family-friendly resort with direct access to Sunny Isles Beach. The newly renovated Waterside Hotel, another beachside option, is decorated in a colorful retro-chic style. Lounge in their sunny pool courtyard or grab a drink at their daily free happy hour. 

Lounge poolside in the sunny courtyard of the Waterfront Hotel. (Photo: Waterfront Hotel)

Where to eat 

Miami Gardens, the neighborhood around Hard Rock Stadium, is known for having an excellent Caribbean soul food scene. Experience the local flavors at a no-fuss diner like Arline’s Restaurant & Seafood or have a more upscale experience at Yarumba, which becomes lively on weekend nights with live music and Latin DJs. 

The Licking, another casual Caribbean comfort food spot, is beloved by music industry celebrities including DJ Khaled, Flo Rida, Diddy and Nas–even Kylie Jenner has been spotted there! 

The Licking’s flavorful, seafood-forward menu has made it popular with Hollywood A-listers. (Photo: The Licking)

For a quick carry-out meal or sweet treat, make sure to stop by Hammond’s Bakery, a family-owned joint for Jamaican patties and freshly baked Caribbean pastries. Their special includes six patties with four pieces of coco bread, a sweet and starchy bread made with coconut milk, or you can take home some of their delicious pastries and cakes. 

On game day 

If you’re traveling to Miami but don’t have tickets to the game itself, enjoy watching it with other alumni at the alumni game watch party at American Social Brickell. The restaurant’s extensive menu features everything from bar classics like pretzels and beer cheese to upscale steaks, seafood and craft cocktails. 

American Social’s waterfront patio bar overlooks the Miami River. (Photo: American Social)

Another excellent game day option is Moxies, a globally inspired upscale casual restaurant with plenty of TVs to keep up with the game. The restaurant’s menu is sure to please every appetite, with dishes in many different culinary styles and vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. 

Miami attractions

In addition to enjoying Miami’s natural beauty at the beach or taking a trip outside the city to see the Everglades, visitors to Miami have plenty of opportunities for action-packed fun and exploring the city’s arts and culture. 

Topgolf, a golf gaming and dining experience, is located near Hard Rock Stadium. Paddleboards and jet skis are also available for rent throughout Miami Beach and are an exciting way to experience the city’s famous beaches from the water. 

For a more laid-back experience, consider immersing yourself in history and the arts at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a waterfront Gilded Age mansion built in the Italian style. Surrounded by lush gardens, the beautifully preserved historic home also has a café and gift shop with items inspired by the mansion and grounds.  

Wander in the lush, peaceful gardens of the Vizcaya museum. (Photo: Vizcaya)

Visitors to the Ancient Spanish Monastery have a unique chance to encounter European history in the heart of Miami. The monastery, which was originally built in 1141, was disassembled and shipped from Spain to Miami after it was purchased by newspaper titan William Randolph Hearst in 1925. The cloisters and outer buildings were painstakingly rebuilt brick by brick and reopened in the 1960s as a museum, and today the monastery has become a popular tourist attraction and wedding venue. 

Not making the trip to Miami and looking to connect with Dawgs in your own area? Find your local UGA alumni chapter and cheer on the Dawgs with fellow alumni at a game-watching party near you.


University of Georgia reveals 2024 Bulldog 100 businesses

The UGA Alumni Association has released the 2024 Bulldog 100, a list of the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UGA graduates.  

This year, businesses are headquartered in a total of 7 states, with 89 of the businesses located in the state of Georgia. In total, 139 alumni representing over a dozen industries, including health care, financial services, agriculture and real estate are being recognized as a part of this year’s list.  

This year’s fastest-growing businesses, in alphabetical order, include:  

  • A Signature Welcome, Raleigh, NC 
  • Abound Wealth Management, LLC, Franklin, TN 
  • Agora Vintage, Athens, GA 
  • Alexander & Alexander Attorneys at Law, Barnwell, SC 
  • Altera Investments, Atlanta, GA 
  • Art of Floors, Cartersville, GA 
  • ASW Distillery, Atlanta, GA 
  • Atkinson Ferguson, LLC, Monroe, GA 
  • Ben Stout Construction, Fayetteville, NC 
  • BIOLYTE, Marietta, GA 
  • Biren Patel Engineering, Macon, GA 
  • Bitcoin Depot, Atlanta, GA 
  • Bitstream, Dawsonville, GA 
  • BlueBear Solutions, Inc., Atlanta, GA 
  • Builders Specialty Contractors, Boynton Beach, FL 
  • Capital Real Estate Group, Atlanta, GA 
  • Castleberry Veterinary Hospital, Cumming, GA 
  • Chad Weesner Insurance Agency, Vienna, GA 
  • Clark Drug Company, Waynesboro, GA 
  • Classic City Consulting, Snellville, GA 
  • Codesmith Development, Hurricane, UT 
  • Complexion, Nashville, TN 
  • Comprehensive Behavior Change, LLC, Duluth, GA 
  • Consume Media, Norcross, GA 
  • Corps Team, Marietta, GA 
  • Culinary Solution Centers, LLC, Zebulon, GA 
  • Dental Claim Support, Savannah, GA 
  • Detritus, LLC, Savannah, GA 
  • Dovetail Civil Design, Inc., Watkinsville, GA 
  • Eagle Christian Tours, Rome, GA 
  • Ellsworth Cleaning & Facility Services, Atlanta, GA 
  • enewton design, Atlanta, GA 
  • Erica Davis Lowcountry, Savannah, GA 
  • Express Vets, Jasper, GA  
  • FI Navigator Corporation, Atlanta, GA 
  • Freight Control, Inc., St. Simons Island, GA 
  • From Sir With Love, Marietta, GA 
  • Gibson, Johnson & Company Inc., Atlanta, GA 
  • Glass & Robson, LLC, Atlanta, GA 
  • Good Dog Veterinary Care, Marietta, GA 
  • Greater Athens Properties, Athens, GA 
  • Healthcare IT Leaders, Alpharetta, GA 
  • i9 Sports of North & Central Gwinnett County, Suwanee, GA 
  • Imperial Fence Supply, East Point, GA 
  • Ryan Brown Law, LLC, Newnan, GA
  • Jetset World Travel, Atlanta, GA 
  • Johnson & Alday, LLC, Marietta, GA 
  • KBH Industrial, Smyrna, GA 
  • Kempt, Athens, GA 
  • Kevin Patrick Law, Atlanta, GA 
  • King’s Hometown Pharmacy, Blairsville, GA 
  • KRG Fuel + Energy, Roswell, GA 
  • Lake City Chiropractic, Acworth, GA  
  • Lake Pine Animal Hospital, Apex, NC 
  • Lighting Pros, Jefferson, GA 
  • Macallan Real Estate, LLC, Marietta, GA 
  • Manly Shipley, LLP, Savannah, GA 
  • Marketwake, Atlanta, GA  
  • Mark Spain Real Estate, Alpharetta, GA 
  • Marlow Landscape Services, Cumming, GA 
  • Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, LLC, North Charleston, SC 
  • Moore Civil Consulting, Inc., Perry, GA 
  • Morris Hardwood Distribution, Savannah, GA 
  • Neighborly Software, Atlanta, GA 
  • North Forsyth Animal Hospital, Cumming, GA 
  • Parker Executive Search, Atlanta, GA 
  • Pathwise CPA Group, Watkinsville, GA 
  • Pig Apple, Brooklyn, NY 
  • Pittman & Greer Engineering, Watkinsville, GA 
  • Powell Dentistry Group – The Georgia Smile Group, St. Simons Island, GA 
  • Prime Time Pediatrics, Watkinsville, GA 
  • Puppy Haven, Sandy Springs, GA 
  • Roam, Roswell, GA 
  • Roberts Civil Engineering, LLC, St. Simons Island, GA 
  • Ryals Brothers, LLC, Lula, GA 
  • Samet, Greensboro, NC 
  • Sapelo Skin Care, Savannah, GA 
  • Savannah Drywall Supply, Inc., Pooler, GA 
  • Scott Construction, LLC, Macon, GA 
  • Share the Magic Foundation, Atlanta, GA 
  • Shore Coaching Services, Athens, GA 
  • Siegel Construction & Design, LLC, Atlanta, GA 
  • SimplyTRUE Automotive Group, Norcross, GA 
  • Society 54, LLC, Charlotte, NC 
  • Southern Luxury Homes, Greensboro, GA 
  • Southern Reins Logistics, LLC, Alpharetta, GA 
  • Spark A Revolution, Roswell, GA 
  • SPG Planners + Engineers, Watkinsville, GA 
  • Stable Kernel, Atlanta, GA 
  • SynerGrx, Chamblee, GA
  • Telecom Innovations, LLC, Athens, GA 
  • teXga Farms, Clarkesville, GA 
  • The Baer Law Firm, Atlanta, GA 
  • The Grant Partners, Alpharetta, GA 
  • The Live Oak Agency, St. Simons Island, GA 
  • The Taco Stache, Pooler, GA 
  • Three Tree Coffee Roasters, Statesboro, GA 
  • Tier4 Group, Alpharetta, GA 
  • Whitemire Animal Hospital, Dawsonville, GA 
  • Yonder Yoga, Atlanta, GA 

Each year, Bulldog 100 applicants are measured by their business’ compounded annual growth rate during a three-year period. The Atlanta office of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors, a Bulldog 100 partner since the program began in 2009, verified the information submitted by each company.

“We are proud to recognize our incredible alumni who are leaders and innovators in their industries,” said Lee Zell, president of the UGA Alumni Association. “These individuals embody the best of what UGA stands for and represent the value of a degree from our university. We’re excited to celebrate them and the work they are doing to build better communities.”

The university will host the annual Bulldog 100 Celebration in Athens Feb. 9, 2024, to celebrate these alumni business leaders and count down the ranked list to reveal the No. 1 fastest-growing business.

To view the alumni business leaders for each company and learn more about this program, see alumni.uga.edu/b100.